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Trio of Americans flocks to Russian club Zorky

FC Zorkiy Krasnogorsk of the Russian Supreme Division has added a few American players on loan.

In the past week it was announced that late-season Sky Blue FC signing Ashley Nick, Western New York Flash midfielder/defender Amy Barczuk and Chicago Red Stars midfielder Alyssa Mautz have all gone on loan to the team. American goalkeeper Chante Sandiford is already at the club. Sandiford went to UCLA and was a part of the U.S. youth national team system.

Zorky, for short, is in the Round of 32 in the UEFA Champions League and will play Icelandic side Thor next month for a spot in the final 16.

Waves of signings like this are always interesting for teams — especially Russian teams — competing in the Champions League. In the spring of 2012 I detailed a horror story shared by a trio of Americans who agreed to play for Rossiyanka but quickly got out and returned home after what they said was a situation unlike what they expected (Jamaican midfielder/forward Omolyn Davis said similar things about FC Energiya Voronezh).

Rossiyanka’s side of the story didn’t see much light, in part because they never responded. And nothing is to say that incidents from those tales have anything to do with Zorky and the three NWSL players who headed over there for some Champions League soccer. But it’s certainly noteworthy, and worth some caution before diving head-first into any scenario. We’ll keep an eye out.

Then again, former Portland Pilot and current Portland Thorns FC forward Danielle Foxhoven played for FC Energiya Voronezh in 2012 and never spoke out about anything like Yael Averbuch, Leigh Ann Robinson, Kia McNeill or Foxhoven’s teammate Davis did. And Foxhoven had a successful first season in NWSL, scoring four goals mainly off the bench for the champion Thorns.


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