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Saturday Jul 10, 2004

Stockton's Own Professional Indoor Soccer Team Launched

Stockton Soccer Festival Features Youth Skills Competition

STOCKTON, CALIF. (Saturday, July 10, 2004) - American Pro Sports, LLC and the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) announced today at Weber Point Events Center in downtown Stockton the launch of the California Cougars professional indoor soccer team to commence play in the 2005-06 season. The Cougars will be the first professional sports team to kick off in the Stockton Events Center arena which is currently being constructed at the downtown waterfront.

"We are ecstatic to bring the MISL to the City of Stockton," said MISL Commissioner Steve Ryan. "The League is proud to have two of our teams call California home. Today is a celebration of the growth and diversity of the Central Valley region. The fast growing Stockton/Sacramento marketplace joins Chicago and Newark as the League continues to expand its footprint throughout the top 20 US markets."

The much-anticipated announcement, made by American Pro Sports Co-Owners John Thomas, Darrell Petray. Mike Courtney, J. Paul Thomas, and Jessica Thomas, with Commissioner Steve Ryan, took place amidst a soccer festival at Weber Point, during which a Youth Skills Competition was held for kids ages 14 and under. MISL star players, including Carlos "Chile" Farias of the two-time defending MISL champion Baltimore Blast, and David Beltran and Matt Johnson of the San Diego Sockers, were present to run future soccer stars through the exercises and to sign autographs.

"We are thrilled to bring Stockton its own major league sports team," said Petray. "The City of Stockton has twice in the last five years been the recipient of the All-America City Award by the National Civic League. Now with the state-of-the-art Stockton Events Center and the addition of the California Cougars, the city can truly proclaim itself as a destination venue for sports and entertainment, not only for the Central Valley region, but for all of Northern California. Furthermore, with the MISL featuring players from 29 nations, the Cougars are committed to building a team and organization that touches the wide diversity of our community and gives our fans the unique opportunity to connect to our players."

The Cougars also named its Team President and General Manager, Dennis Lukens and Vice President of Marketing, Catalina Baker. Lukens brings a lifetime of experience in the field of soccer to the Cougars. The Springfield College alum previously served as General Manager and Head Coach of two professional soccer teams of the USL and the "A" League. He has also promoted numerous International Soccer matches. Lukens played professional soccer for The Boston Storm of the USL, and was a college soccer coach for eight seasons, reaching the NCAA Division II Final Four on two occasions.

Baker contributes a diverse background in marketing and public relations to the Cougars. She has spent the bulk of her career in marketing and funding development consulting for a host of organizations throughout the West Coast. Her earlier career years were spent with Sotheby's Art Auction House, in Beverly Hills, where her position included promotions of exhibition, auctions and special events, followed by a stint as Fine Print Specialist with Weschler's Art Auctioneers in Washington, D.C.

The California Cougars executive offices are located at 146 W. Weber Avenue in Stockton. For information regarding the California Cougars, please log on to www.CaliforniaCougars.net. A limited number of "Founders Club" memberships are being offered by calling 209-944-8238 or via e-mail at info@CaliforniaCougars.net.


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Pretty nice logo - I like the color scheme, seems to be the trend, the gold & wine color (ie-Cleveland Cavs). The cougar is plain, I've seen better 'cats' on the CC boards - it's a shame more people don't come a 'knocking' when they need something good - from the minds of our 'graphic warriors' here at the CC Boards.

Go California Cougars - I'll see them in KC this season.

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