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Published on 02/26/2009 7:37 am   (Last Updated 02/26/2009 7:37 am)
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Thunder Signs DC United's Rod Dyachenko and Terrapins' Rich Costanzo
Minnesota Thunder News Release
Blaine, Minn. (February 26, 2009) -- The Minnesota Thunder announced today the signing of former DC United midfielder Rodion Dyachenko and Maryland Terrapins defender Rich Costanzo. Dyachenko has signed a two year contract with one option year and Costanzo has signed a three year contract. Both players will join the Thunder when they start preseason training on March 13.

Dyachenko, born in Russia, finished his third season with DC United in 2008, playing in 42 games and logging 1,452 minutes with one goal and three assists. He was selected 31st overall in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft out of UNLV.

“I am extremely happy that Rod Dyachenko will be in a Thunder uniform this season,” said Thunder head coach Donny Gramenz. “I watched Rod perform several times last season with DC United and he is going to raise the level of the technical and tactical understanding of our midfield. He will bring an athletic and physical presence to our midfield that we have been missing.”

While at UNLV, Dyachenko was named the 2005 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the year following his senior season. He also earned his third consecutive All-MPSF First Team honors by leading the Rebels with eight goals and one assist. He ended his collegiate career with 23 goals (seven game winners).

Costanzo joins the Thunder after finishing his senior season at Maryland where he helped to guide the Terrapins to the NCAA Division I championship. In his senior season the defender started all 26 games for Maryland on the way to the championship. He played his freshman season at Penn State before transferring to Maryland for his sophomore season.

“I watched Richie Costanzo play several times for the University of Maryland this past season and one of those times was the Terps hoisting the National Championship,” said Gramenz. “Richie brings leadership, a blue-collar mentality, and a great understanding of the outside defender position. As a coach, I appreciate not only his ability to play the game but all the selfless things he does off the ball to make his team succeed.”

In other news the Thunder has released midfielder Tighe Dombrowski and defender Paul Moran. In just one season with the Thunder, Dombrowski played in 16 games but battled injury off and on the majority of the season. Moran in his one season with the Thunder played in five games.

The Thunder will open preseason camp on March 13 at the National Sports Center. The Thunder will play preseason matches in preparation for the season as follows:

  • March 14, vs. Kansas City Wizards, Cedar Rapids, IA, 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  • March 21, vs. Shattuck St. Mary’s, Faribault, MN, 12:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
  • March 28, vs. MTA U-18, Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN, 4:00 p.m.
  • March 29, vs. TBD, Shattuck St. Mary’s, Faribault, MN, 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

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