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Geno to play for Charlotte Eagles in USL Pro

Joe Avento • Feb 25, 2014 at 9:28 PM

David Geno will begin his professional soccer career with the Charlotte Eagles.

Geno signed a contract with the Eagles of USL Pro last week and is expected to begin training with the club on March 3.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” Geno said Tuesday. “It’s a great league and a great team. They do really good things on and off the field.”

USL Pro in the third level of professional soccer in the United States, below top-tiered Major League Soccer and the second-division North American Soccer League.

Geno finished his career at East Tennessee State as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 26 goals, 20 assists and 72 points. When the MLS Superdraft was held last month, his name wasn’t called.

“I was hoping it would happen, just like every guy hopes,” he said of a shot at MLS. “But it didn’t and now I’m looking forward to my new challenge.”

Geno was expected to enter his senior season at ETSU with big plans and was picked on Soccer America’s preseason All-American team, but he suffered a broken foot playing for the Seattle Sounders U-23 team, for which he scored four goals in a U.S. Open Cup game.

The injury caused him to miss the beginning of the season and might have affected him even once he began playing.

“I think it affected me more in my head than anything,” he said. “I tried to come back as quick as I could, maybe a little too soon. I wanted to play with my teammates. I wanted to finish with the guys I came in with as freshmen.”

The Kingsport native and former Dobyns-Bennett High School standout, had three goals and four assists as a senior, and re-injured his foot in the Atlantic Sun Conference championship game, forcing him to miss the NCAA tournament loss to Coastal Carolina.

“That was tough having to watch as those guys battled as hard as they did,” he said. “I wish I could have been out there. I was glad we went out with a championship.”

The foot is back to 100 percent, he reports.

“It’s great now,” he said “Everything’s normal about it. I think I turned the corner. I don’t even think about it any more.

The Eagles made the USL Pro championship game last season, falling 7-4 to Orlando City in front of a crowd of more than 20,000 in the Orlando Citrus Bowl.

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