NASHVILLE - Former Columbus Crew midfielder Dominic Schell, the 57th player chosen in the 2000 MLS Super Draft, has been signed by the Nashville Metros for the 2001 A-League season.
The Metros also announced they have signed young English midfielder Paul Hart, who played last season with a first division team in Cyprus, and second-round draft choice Brandon Wright of Chattanooga, a fleet forward who recently completed his college career at James Madison University.
The signings bring to nine the number of players signed by Coach Brett Mosen as he prepares for the team's April 20 opener against the Richmond Kickers in Virginia.
Schell trained with MLS' Columbus squad throughout the 2000 season, logging 138 minutes in seven Crew contests. He also appeared in both of the Crew's U.S. Open Cup national soccer championship games last season, playing 115 minutes and earning 3 points (1 goal, 1 assist).
The stint with Columbus was Dallas-born Schell's first professional soccer experience. He split his time over the previous four years with the Jackson Chargers in United Soccer Leagues' Premier Development League and with the University of Mobile.
At Mobile, Schell captained the Rams to a second-place finish in the NAIA Championship Tournament in 1999. He led the NAIA division in assists and was selected the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference's Player of the Year.
Schell continued his winning ways during his summers with the PDL's Chargers, helping the Jackson, MS squad to conference championships in 1998 and 1999.
"For the Metros to sign a player of his caliber must prove to our fans and competitors that we are taking this season extremely seriously," Mosen said.
Hart, a 19-year-old London native, spent three years training at the England's Crystal Palace Football Club School of Excellence. Until last year, he played for various clubs in the London area.
During 2000, in addition to his play in Cyprus, he also trained in Italy and with South Melbourne Football Club in Australia.
"For a young lad, Paul is already a seasoned traveling soccer player. I'm sure he'll settle in quickly and make an impact," Mosen predicted.
The signing of Wright gives Nashville a clean sweep on signing all of its three draft choices this year, including forward Mark McKeever of Christian Brothers University in Memphis, the 2000 Gulf South Conference Player of the Year, and midfielder Nick Glaser of Hendersonville, a four-year starter for the University of Memphis.
Wright had 68 points (28 goals, 12 assists) at James Madison, putting him in the school's all-time Top Ten list for both goals and total points in his collegiate soccer career.
The 6'3", 180 lb. forward had a stellar prep career at Chattanooga Baylor, leading his squad to the 1997 AAA state championship and winning the MVP award in the championship game. Wright also played for four years on the state's Olympic Development Program team (1992-96), and played a year for the Chattanooga Express in the USL's Premier Development League in 1997.