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Former Skyhawk with Islanders

April 6, 2011 | 8:46 pm No comments
By Shaun Schafer

Former Fort Lewis College men’s soccer standout Jamie Cunningham has signed a professional soccer contract with the Puerto Rico Islanders, the club announced.

Cunningham will play for the Islanders for the 2011 NASL season, CRU Club Champions Cup and, eventually, the CONCACAF Champions League.

“We are very excited with Cunningham’s signing,” said Islanders assistant coach Adrian Whitbread. “He is a young defender that will bring depth to our roster. He worked very hard during pre-season and earned a spot on our team, and will now fight for a starting position.”

“I am very honored to be representing one of the best franchises in the NASL and I’m very happy in Puerto Rico,” Cunningham said. “The hard work in pre-season is almost over and I am excited to get on with the season and help the Puerto Rico Islanders toward another championship.”

Cunningham, 23, spent part of the spring a trial with Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer. His performance in the MLS training camp opened doors for the contract with Puerto Rico.

The 6-foot-2 defender is one of the most decorated student-athletes in Fort Lewis College history. He was part of FLC’s 2009 NCAA Division II championship team and earned Daktronics All-America accolades the past two years for the Skyhawks. He was an honorable mention All-American in 2010 after being named to the All-America second team in 2009.

He was also a two-time Daktronics first team All-Central Region selection, a member of the RMAC All-Tournament Team four times from 2007-10 and a four-time RMAC All-Academic award winner. He was chosen by league coaches as the 2010 RMAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and was a member of the 2008 and 2010 Preseason All-RMAC teams.

During his four-year Skyhawk career, Cunningham appeared in 83 matches and earned a starting assignment 80 times. He amassed 39 career points on 17 goals and five assists.

The 2010 USSF D-2 champion Islanders will begin their 2011 NASL season on Saturday when they face Carolina at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. The CFU Championship will start in Puerto Rico on April 23, when they will face Walking Boyz Co. of Surinam.

The Islanders will have their home opener on April 26 against the NSC Minnesota Stars at the Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium, also known as “La Islandera.”

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