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Luis Labastida Signs With The Riverhawks

The Cincinnati Riverhawks have signed Luis Labastida for the 2001 season. "Luis brings a championship quality to the Riverhawks," said Head Coach Nick Ranieri.

Labastida has A-League experience with the Minnesota Thunder in 1999, when the Thunder were the A-League champions, and in 2000, when they were runners-up to the Rochester Rhinos. In two seasons with the Thunder, Labastida had ten goals and eight assists. Labastida also played for the Albuquerque Geckos, another A-League team, in 1997 and 1998. In 1998, he led the Geckos in scoring and assists with 11 goals and 7 assists. Labastida most recently played in Mexico with Cruz Azul for the winter half of the 2000 season.

Labastida started playing soccer at the age of seven for youth soccer in Mexico. Then in 1985, at the age of 10, he came to the United States and started playing youth soccer. In 1988-89, he was selected for the Olympic Development Team of Oklahoma and then was selected for the Olympic regional team in Tampa Bay, Fl. In 1991, he was selected for the Youth Olympic National Team in Mexico.

From there his international experience took him to Europe and South America in 1993. In Europe he trained in Barcelona, Spain with Barcelona FC. He finished the season with Cruz Azul from Mexico City. In France he played in a Tournament called "La Croix", where he was the leading scorer of the trip with seven goals. He also played for Udinesse in Udine, Italy and for Club Spittal in Austria. Labastida completed his international experience with Cruz Azul in 1995-96, before coming to the United States.

"Luis is a proven veteran," said Head Coach Nick Ranieri. "He has played for one of the top teams in the A-League and brings a winning attitude to our club. We expect that attitude to be contagious to the rest of our team," General Manger Richard Wanamaker adds, "We have played against Luis for the past three years and we know that he will be a great addition to our club."

For more information, please contact the Riverhawks at (513) 853-7070.

Many Thanks to News Digger John Zukas who scours up all of the local news links during the year.