Ascendant Pietrantonio Really Is Leaving For Overseas Opportunity; Lohko Soccer

Winston-Salem, NC - Josh Pietrantonio is no longer a Thunderbird.

After receiving a phone call late last night on the way back to Winston-Salem after a 10-2 win in Danville Sunday the Thunderbirds captain has agreed to play for FC Jazz in Finland's Kakkonen Lohko B Division (Finnish third tier soccer), effective immediately.

"You know, I'd like to thank the Flock for everything they've done for me, but this is a very exciting time as my true dream of being a professional soccer player will now be realized" Pietrantonio said.

Pietrantonio played right-back (defense) in high school at St. Thomas More Catholic before making the decision to pursue hockey at Niagara University. It's a decision he said was tough, but never gave up the possibility of returning to the pitch.

"Hockey has kept me in shape and its something that I was good at before so for me it'll just be like riding a bike and getting back to the game I love. I'm excited to meet up with all my new teammates at FC Jazz" Pietrantonio continued.

Pietrantonio will be one of two North Americans on the FC Jazz team, fellow defensemen (center-back) Gabriel Wirz is a New York state native.

When reached for comment FC Jazz Chairman Kari Kaivo-oja was ecstatic about his new addition to the team.

"We've been following him [Pietrantonio] since his schooling days and I was disappointed he chose hockey out of it. I'm glad the scouts kept up with him and helped push to make him the decision" Kaivo-oja said in a translated statement.

The FC Jazz season begins in May and they hope to rise to the top of Lohko B and be promoted to the second tier in Finland There are three friendlies (exhibitions) coming up for FC Jazz with a game on April 6 against Kaarinan Pojat or KaPa as they are known in Finland. FC Jazz have told Pietrantonio they want him on the training grounds as soon as possible to get him into top form quickly.

When asked about leaving the Thunderbirds in such a crucial moment in the season ahead of playoffs Pietrantonio simply said "April Fool's Flock"