The Mesquite Outlaws, a new soccer club launched by DFW real estate magnate Mehrdad Moayedi, has signed its first five players.
The Outlaws are joining the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) for the 2019-20 season and will play home games at the Mesquite Arena. Moayedi is owner of Centurion American Development Group, whose properties include the Statler Dallas hotel and his newest project, the Cabana.
Four have previously played in the Major Arena Soccer League with the Dallas Sidekicks, which will be the Outlaws' cross-town rival team. Three have roots in North Texas.
The newly signed players include:
- forward VcMor Eligwe
- defender Cody Ellis
- defender Mike Jones
- mid-fielder Jamie Lovegrove
- defender J. Rio Ramirez
Per team and league policies, the terms of their agreements were not disclosed.
Outlaws head coach is Tatu, a former Brazilian coach and player who was previously coach of the Dallas Sidekicks. He goes by one name, so you know he's a big deal.
In a statement, Tatu says that the player "bring a strong mix of experience and youth, and will help lead the Outlaws to a strong first season."
Eligwe, 28, has played for the Dallas Sidekicks, Fort Worth Vaqueros, Liverpool Warriors, Laredo Heat, and Midland Sockers. He was also selected for the USA Men’s National Arena Soccer team at the World Cup in Australia in 2019. He scored 27 goals and eight assists while with the Dallas Sidekicks, and went to the Final Four in NCAA soccer while playing for Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls. Eligwe attended McKinney High School and currently lives in Frisco. Outside of soccer, his interests include painting.
Ellis, 32, played more than six years with the Dallas Sidekicks. During his career, he has participated in an open cup with North Texas Rayados against the Houston Dynamos and beat Manchester United with Solar 87. Ellis is from Richardson and attended Berkner High School. In his free time, he loves spending time with his wife and sons, playing Fortnite, and skating.
Jones, 31, played with the Dallas Sidekicks and also has Major League Soccer experience, playing for Sporting KC and the New York Red Bulls. He was selected as the 28th pick in the MLS draft in 2011. Jones is from St. Louis, Missouri. His other interests include watching movies, playing basketball, hiking, and traveling.
Lovegrove, 29, is from Crawley, England. His previous professional experience has been with Crawley Town FC and the Dallas Sidekicks. Career highlights include playing in an FA Cup (England), being an NJCAA All American, and being on Premier Arena Soccer League first team. Other interests include FIFA and hairdressing.
Ramirez, 21, is a North Texas native who attended Lamar High School in Arlington and Tarrant County College. He played with the semi-professional Fort Worth Vaqueros for three years. Career highlights include playing a year in Germany, the National Premier Soccer League Lone Star Conference Champions, Dana Cup champions (Denmark), and training with Club Atlético Peñarol and Danubio F.C. in Uruguay. Ramirez’s other interests include collecting soccer jerseys and traveling.
You definitely want to memorize these guys and their interests so that when you watch games, you can say, Oh, Ramirez has a big collection of soccer jerseys.
Additional players will be announced during the coming weeks in preparation for the team's home opener in late November. They're expected to play 24 games as a part of their inaugural season, against the Sidekicks, Monterrey Flash, Ontario Fury, San Diego Sockers, Soles de Sonora, Tacoma Stars, and the Turlock Express.
The MASL is currently incorporated as a 501(c)6 not-for-profit corporation, to promote the business and sport of arena soccer. They added a developmental league in 2017, bringing an additional 15 teams under the MASL umbrella and creating a path for players and franchises to develop and prepare for the Major Arena Soccer League.
Moayedi is developing a mixed-use community with single-family homes, townhomes, bungalows, villas, retail, restaurants, trails, and parks on a 54-acre parcel of property adjacent to the Arena in Mesquite. Having soccer there will be good; it's one less night for the gross rodeo.