While watching the USL2 championship game on FSC between the Charleston Battery and the Richmond Kickers last August, I was struck by the same thing that stuck out to me when the Battery and Kickers visited Real Maryland: I enjoy watching Tiyi Shipalane and Mike Zaher play and will root for both wherever they end up because of their short time on DC United.
I was also impressed with Lamar Neagle's work up top for Charleston -- that Neagle would eventually end up at IFK Mariehamn alongside Mason Trafford and Joe Funicello was a pleasant surprise.
Now, a fourth former USL alum is vying for a spot on the Finnish club as Mike Zaher is on trial with Mariehamn.
In all the time we watched Zaher try to break into United's lineup or attempt to take seriously playing ball on a high school football field in Rockville, I had not realized his singular claim to fame as the jerk to JoJo's heroine in Too Little, Too Late. But nothing gets past the Aland Islands press.
The prospect of a Zaher/Trafford/Funicello/Wicks defense for Mariehamn is intriguing for us because we've been able to see each of them play -- in difficult circumstances -- and each (to us) truly deserves a shot at demonstrating that MLS clubs messed up by failing to appreciate their abilities.