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Restrepo Returns to Rowdies for 2014 Season

Restrepo Returns to Rowdies for 2014 Season

The Rowdies announced on Friday that the club has signed star goalkeeper Diego Restrepo to a two-year contract, with the second year being a club option. 

Restrepo (6-0, 185) joined the Rowdies just weeks before the beginning of the 2013 season, but by the fifth match of the season he was named the starting goalkeeper. His first match as goalkeeper was against league rival Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, where he made several key saves to earn the Rowdies a 2-1 win. The Venezuelan-born goalkeeper went on to start in 26 matches including U.S. Open Cup matches.

Just one month after his first start, Restrepo once again proved why he would ultimately be one of the best keepers in the league. On May 29, when the Rowdies faced the Seattle Sounders, Restrepo made his biggest save of the year. After Hristov had put the Rowdies up 1-0, the Sounders were awarded a penalty kick with just minutes left in the match. Nigerian international Obafemi Martins stepped up for the kick but a diving Restrepo saved it. 

The goalkeeper would only grow in confidence week after week, making game-changing saves every match. The goalkeeper saved all three penalty kicks he faced this year, something uncommon for a soccer goalkeeper. Restrepo’s performances led to him to be named to Team of the Week in seven opportunities. 

Restrepo is an American national raised in Colombia, who joined the Rowdies after recently training with D.C. United earlier in 2013. Prior to his return to the United States, the young goalkeeper spent his 2011 rookie season with Colombian powerhouse America de Cali and his 2012 season with one of Venezuela’s most popular clubs, Deportivo Tachira. 

In 2005, Restrepo was a member of the U.S. U-17 squad that participated in the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Peru. The goalkeeper would go on to play collegiately for the University of South Florida for two years, before transferring to the University of Virginia in 2009. In his first season at Virginia, Restrepo led the Cavaliers to an NCAA Division I National Championship, being named both the 2009 NCAA College Cup's Defensive MVP and the ACC Tournament MVP.

For more information or to order 2014 season tickets, including the new Midfielder’s Premium Club Memberships, fans can e-mail tickets@rowdiessoccer.com or call (813) 287-1539. For season ticket prices and a seating chart for Al Lang Stadium click here

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