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Atlantic City FC roster a blend of internationals, local college standouts

New NPSL club has been announcing players for its inaugural season over the past couple weeks on social media.

Shane McFall

Atlantic City FC’s inaugural roster has started to take shape with player announcements that began on social media last month.

The new semi-pro National Premier Soccer League club started making player announcements on January 22 and has announced 22 players to date.

Names include veterans like 31-year-old Irish midfielder Shane McFaul, former Celtic FC and Irish U17 national team captain Brandon Payne, Trinidad & Tobago international Julio Jaier Noel, twin brothers from Western Pa. and a host of younger collegiate players from New Jersey and elsewhere.

“We’ve been very blessed to get a lot of attention domestically and internationally from some top quality players, but more importantly people,” said Andrew Weilgus, the club’s president and co-founder.

Players are unpaid, but the attraction of a shore community in the summer and the partnership with the Tropicana for lodging players from outside the area has factored into the successful recruiting efforts.

Matt Hendrickson, a Clearview Regional graduate who plays at Rowan University, is one of six South Jersey players on the roster who have been announced. The 6-foot-1 forward was second on the Profs in goals in 2017 with 12 in his first season after transferring from Montclair State.

“It’s awesome to have a team that’s only a 45-minute drive away,” Hendrickson said. “When I heard there was going to be a team in Atlantic City I knew it was something I definitely wanted to be a part of.”

Hendrickson’s college teammate, Alex Nicol, is also on the roster along with a host of players from their in-state rival Stockton, where the Aces will be playing their home games.

“We’re going to have to put that stuff aside and learn how to play together,” Hendrickson said of the Stockton players on the team.

The Ospreys captain, Joe Dikmak of Marlton, N.J., was the first player announced. His Stockton teammates include goalkeeper Michael Lescano, Washington Township native Zach Burns, and forward John Maxted. Stockton alum Eucario Solano, of nearby Ventnor City, is also on the team.

Saint Francis (PA) twin brothers Mario Mastrangelo and Nicco Mastrangelo highlight the crop of Division 1 college players on the team, which includes Notre Dame midfielder Sean Macleod and incoming Rutgers transfer Romario Depalmer.

Mario led the Red Flash with 13 goals in 17 matches in 2017 while Nicco was a regular on the back line. Kean University standout freshman and 21-year-old Saint Kitts & Nevis international Vinceroy Nelson also led his team in goals in 2017 with eight.

McFaul, a former Republic of Ireland youth international, has played for 11 clubs over a professional career dating back to 2002 with Notts County in England. He’s also had a previous stint in the U.S. and played in Finland, Ireland, and India.

Fellow Irish midfielder Sean Russell spent time in the USL with Louisville City FC last year while another Irish midfielder named Matt Moody will come to Atlantic City from the lower divisions in England.

“Because of the unique market we are playing in and our sponsor the Tropicana Hotel and Casino, we have been able to put together a package that attracts players with tremendous playing histories,” Weilgus said. “Being able to mix them with some of the top NCAA college talent will hopefully do wonderful things for our team’s culture and chances for success on the pitch.”

The roster of players that have been announced so far for the 2018 season is below.

2018 Atlantic City FC Roster

Player Pos. Age Hometown State/Country Current College Former College
Player Pos. Age Hometown State/Country Current College Former College
Joseph Dikmak MF Marlton New Jersey Stockton
Shane McFaul MF 31 Dublin Ireland
Sean Russell MF 24 Dublin Ireland
Vinceroy Nelson F 21 Piscataway New Jersey Kean
Mario Mastrangelo F 20 Venetia Pennsylvania Saint Francis PA
Nicco Mastrangelo D 20 Venetia Pennsylvania Saint Francis PA
Nick Hanuscin D 22 Somers Point New Jersey St. Francis PA
Matthew Broomall GK 23 Somers Point New Jersey Rutgers-Newark
Eucario Solano MF 24 Ventnor City New Jersey Stockton
Matt Moody MF 18 Dublin Ireland
Matt Hendrickson MF/F 21 Sewell New Jersey Rowan
Corentin Diverres MF 20 Guidel France University of Alabama Huntsville
Julio Jaier Noel F 25 Trinidad & Tobago
Zach Burns D 20 Washington Township New Jersey Stockton
John Maxted F 20 Middletown New Jersey Stockton
Sean Macleod MF/F 21 Troon Scotland Notre Dame
Alex Nicol F 19 Caldwell New Jersey Rowan
Jack Miller D 20 Linlithgow Scotland Wingate
Michael Lescano GK 19 Union New Jersey Stockton
Romario Depalmer F 19 Clifton New Jersey Rutgers
Brandon Payne MF 20 Dublin Ireland
Aidan Thornell MF 18 Summit New Jersey University of Scranton