The Carolina RailHawks announced today that it has exercised contract options on six players for the 2015 North American Soccer League (NASL) season.
The club picked up the options of midfielders Leo Osaki, Nazmi Albadawi and Tiyi Shipalane, defenders Daniel Scott and Connor Tobin, and forward Daniel Jackson. They will join striker Nacho Novo, who is already under contract with the RailHawks for 2015.
Chief among the contract optionees is Shipalane, who will return to Carolina for his fifth season. The speedy South African playmaker has 19 goals in 91 appearances for his RailHawks’ career. In 2014, he scored five goals and assisted on four others, highlighted by this NASL Goal of the Year nominee.
In his first season with the RailHawks, Albadawi, a former N.C. State standout, scored four goals and displayed versatility in oscillating from the holding and attacking midfielder positions. Albadawi and Osaki, both 23 years old, were nominated for the NASL’s Young Player of the Year award.
“Being able to bring back a core group of the players is an important piece for our plans in 2015,” RailHawks manager Colin Clarke said in a statement. “This is the first of many moves as we build a championship roster for next season.”
The RailHawks also announced that it is declining to exercise options on five other players: defenders Jordan Burt and Uriah Bentick, midfielders Gabe Latigue and Danny Barrera, and forward Aaron King.
Clarke indicated that the club is negotiating new deals with several unspecified players either out of contract or whose contract options were declined. The notable RailHawks believed to be currently out-of-contract include team captain Jun Marques Davidson, the venerable Kupono Low and sibling midfielders Enzo and Alex Martinez.
The 2015 fates of midfielders Austin da Luz and Nick Zimmerman, defenders Jordan Graye and Austen King, and goalkeeper Scott Goodwin also remain undetermined.