Hampton Roads Piranhas News Release - www.hrpiranhas.com
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
CHESAPEAKE, VA -- The PDL Piranhas announce the signings of three Virginia Beach Mariner veterans, midfielder Jeff Bilyk, defender Steve Danbusky and forward Jakob Fenger, pending Federation approval. Known for their tenacious defense, both Bilyk and Danbusky add great strength to the team’s backfield. Fenger, a prolific scorer during his career, will add to the strength of the attack.
Bilyk was selected 18th overall by Columbus Crew in the 1999 Major League Soccer draft but was immediately traded to the Miami Fusion where he played through 2001 alongside former Mariner coach Jim Rooney. He joined the Milwaukee Rampage USL First Division side in 2002 and played for the Mariners from 2003-2006. Bilyk served as co-captain and was named Team MVP last season.
The 29-year old midfielder was born in Bayport, New York and was named First Team All-American at Clemson, playing in 70 games, and starting 62. He was also named second-team All-ACC and second-team All-South Region and named to the All-ACC Tournament team in 1998. He was a two-time All-Conference selection at St. John Baptist High School when his 1993 squad allowed just four goals all season and was ranked No. 1 in the country by USA Today. Bilyk was also an All-Conference tennis player. He currently coaches the Boys U11 Red team for Beach FC.
His decision to sign with the PDL Piranhas was driven by his love of the game and for the Hampton Roads area. He feels he can contribute his leadership and knowledge of the game to help make the team successful.
Danbusky was born in Mineola, New York on April 18, 1977 and earned his BA in psychology from Williams College in 1999. In 1998, while at Williams, he was named First Team All-American, First Team All-New England, First Team All New England Small College Athletic Conference and team MVP. In 1995, Williams won the NCAA Division III National Championship and Danbusky was named the most valuable first year player.
He played for the Long Island Rough Riders from 1999-2001 and joined the Connecticut Wolves in 2002. That year, he was named USL Second Division Defender of the Year and selected to the All-League Team. He joined the Mariners in 2003.
Danbusky is Beach FC’s Boys Director of Coaching in addition to coaching the club’s boy’s U13 and U18 Red teams. He holds a USSF “A” coaching license and is on the Olympic Development (ODP) staff.
He joined the PDL Piranhas because he is now “rooted in this area and would like to see soccer survive and thrive in Hampton Roads." And he still has that competitive drive to play at a high level. He adds “I hope to contribute experience to the younger guys to make their transition to playing at the next level easier. I would also like to have another crack at a championship before I hang up the cleats completely.”
Fenger joined the Mariners for the first time in 1998 and scored the winning goal in the team's 3-2 win over D.C.United in the inaugural match at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. He played in Virginia Beach through 1999, scoring 8 goals and 5 assists. Fenger signed with the Nashville Metros for the 2000 season, scoring 14 goals in 24 games. He then signed with the Minnesota Thunder in 2002, scoring 8 goals and 5 assists in 25 matches. He finished his 2006 Mariner season with 4 goals and 3 assists in 20 games.
Fenger graduated from Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky in 1998 where he still stands ninth in all-time career goals with 42. His team won the NAIA National Championship in 1996 where he was the top scorer and named an All-American.
The Aarhus, Denmark native also played with AGF Aarhus from 1989-1994, ranking first in scoring for four straight years. Fenger was also selected as an All-American during his high school career.
He is also currently pursuing a career in photography and is excited about contributing his experience to the PDL Piranhas while helping build a new foundation for the future success of soccer in this area.
PDL Piranhas head coach Jon Hall is delighted by the signings of Bilyk, Danbusky and Fenger.
“All three players are playing because they love the game first and foremost,” he said. “Their experience will prove invaluable to the younger players around them.”
And PDL Piranhas owner, Marcie Laumann, had this to say about the team’s new players: "We are thrilled to have these three players as the first ever signings of the PDL Piranhas. They bring a great deal of experience and talent to our team on the field, while possessing the leadership and character we are looking for in players off the field. We are proud to have them suit up in the red and white this year and we encourage the fans to come out and watch what promises to be entertaining games in a fan friendly environment."
The Piranhas are offering five different ticket packages for the 2007 season. The Plan A Flexi-Pack includes 14 tickets that may be used, in any combination, for regular season PDL and W-League home matches for only $56. The Plan B Flexi-Pack includes 8 tickets to matches as described in Plan A for only $32. The Plan C Flexi-Pack is the same and includes 6 tickets that can be used in any combination for just $24. Youth passes costing $10 may be purchased for ages 15 and under and include all regular season PDL and W-League matches. A $5 youth pass is available to all Beach FC, NYSL and Chesapeake United Soccer Club players. Ticket plans, including youth tickets, do not include U.S. Open Cup, exhibition or playoff matches. General admission tickets are $5.
The PDL Piranhas will kick off their 2007 season on Friday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. at home against West Virginia. The Hampton Roads W-League Piranhas open their season on Sunday, May 13 at 3 p.m. hosting Richmond. The 2007 venue for both teams will be announced this week.