The Rochester Rhinos have signed striker Matt Luzunaris for the 2013 USL PRO season pending approval from the league and the United States Soccer Federation.Luzunaris was a 2012 USL PRO All-League selection after he scored nine goals and added two assists in only 18 matches with the Orlando City Lions.
“We were looking for a young player who had a history of scoring goals in this league as our premier signing of the 2012-13 offseason.”Rochester Rhinos head coach Jesse Myers said.“We think that we found that player in Matt, and we are looking for him to come into Rochester and score goals for us this season.”
Luzunaris’ nine goals ranked third in USL PRO and his 20 points were the fifth best total in the league last season.He was selected to the 2012 USL PRO All-League Second Team in recognition of his efforts, but his scoring output came in only 934 minutes.
“Matt had a productive season despite dealing with the significant loss of a family member.”Myers said.“Matt needed a new start and we are happy to provide that opportunity.“
Luzunaris began his career when he turned professional after one season with the University of Central Florida in 2007.He signed his first professional contract in Austria in February 2008 and played there until 2010.During his time in Austria he was loaned out to Brazilian giant Botafogo for six months where he trained with the first team, but did not play in any matches due to a visa issue.
Luzunaris returned to the United States and signed with the San Jose Earthquakes in March 2011.He appeared in six matches with San Jose before he was loaned to Orlando City in July 2011.Luzunaris scored one goal in one appearance with Orlando City, and joined the Lions permanently when his contract with San Jose ended after the 2011 season.
“Last year we were very happy with our work defensively, and we finished with the second best defensive record in the league.”Myers said.“Matt is a huge off-season acquisition who we can build our attack around in the 2013 season.We have a couple of more pieces that we are going to be putting in place over the next month, and that’s before we even begin to think about our MLS allocation from New England.Things are beginning to fall into place for a strong run at the 2013 USL PRO Championship.”