Rhinos Add European Flair

01/30/2014 11:41 AM -


Rochester, NY - The Rochester Rhinos have agreed to terms with forwards Onua Thomas Obasi and Samuel Petrone and defender Ayao Sossou for the 2014 season. The Rhinos new signings have all had success overseas, and are looking to come to the United States to make a name for themselves in America. Obasi, Petrone, and Sossou all attended the Rochester Rhinos combine at Total Sports Experience on December 19th and 20th, 2014. All three contracts are pending Federation approval as well as international clearance, while transfer fees and personal terms will not be disclosed.

All three of our new signings will add a different dimension to our team this season.” Rhinos head coach Bob Lilley said. “Petrone is a player who is clever in his movement off the ball. He also has an excellent understanding that allows him to make that final pass that unlocks an opponent's defense. He can create chances for others, but he can also score goals. Thomas is a very technical player who is creative and can beat a defender one-v-one, but at the same time he has shown me the ability to play simply and work hard for his team. He can do unpredictable things in the final third which is a valuable commodity to have. Ayao Sossou is a quick player who loves to go forward and jump into the attack. He excels in one-v-one situations both offensively and defensively.”

Obasi hails from Birmingham, England. The 6'3” attacking personality was the leading goal scorer for England’s National Futsal Team, and he was voted tournament MVP in the World Futsal Championships while representing Great Britain. Obasi has earned 19 caps and scored 4 goals while representing his country.

Petrone will be adding depth to the attack for the Rhinos in 2014. He has been playing for the Swedish club Mjällby AIF. In July 2013 he was loaned to the Icelandic team Leiknir until the end of their season. He played nine matches for the club and scored a goal. He also spent time with Husqvarna FF and was with them when they won promotion to Swedish Supperettan last season.

Sossou will be joining the team as a left back. He logged 900 minutes over 10 appearances in 2013 for Tampereen Pallo-Veikot in Finland. In 2011 he played for 799 minutes in 10 appearances and also had a goal.

Obasi, Petrone, and Sossou are the Rhinos second set of signings this month.  The club announced the acquisition of goalkeeper Alex Horwath and defender Kyle Hoffer - both USL PRO veteran players - on January 23rd.  The Rhinos five new additions will be joining returning Rhinos forward Matt Luzunaris, winger JC Banks, midfielder Tyler Rosenlund, and midfielder Lance Rozeboom.

Rochester Rhinos season tickets, flex packages and group ticket sales are currently available, and they can be purchased by calling (585)454-KICK (5425), by visiting the MVP Health Care Box Office at Sahlen's Stadium, or by visiting

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