Three days after struggling to create chances in the final third against the New England Revolution, the Carolina RailHawks officially announced the signing of 20-year-old striker Sainey Touray. Formerly a reserve with the New York Red Bulls, where he played with RailHawks left back John Gilkerson (who gets credited for bringing him to the attention of the RailHawks staff), Touray most recently played for Wallidan of The Gambia Premier League, where he scored six goals in 2009.
Touray has been trialing with the team for several weeks and has scored four goals in two abbreviated scrimmage appearances. In a scrimmage against N.C. State two weeks ago, he scored two goals in 45 minutes before departing the game with a hamstring injury. That same hamstring kept him out of Saturday's contest against the Revolution, although he participated in pregame warm-ups. Triangle Offense first reported his signing here.
He's tall and clearly opportunistic, and hopefully he'll provide some goals for the RailHawks this season. As RailHawks head coach Martin Rennie puts it in the team press release, "Players who can score are hard to find, and he could be really good."
Fans may be able to see Touray this weekend, when the RailHawks take on the UNC Tar Heels in a Friday night scrimmage in Southern Pines, or Saturday night's friendly against USSF D2 rival Montreal Impact.
For tickets to Saturday's game against the Impact, or for the just-announced April 25 matchup against Mexico's Olympic team, go to the team Web site. Complete press release below.
CARY, N.C. (March 23, 2010) - On the strength of an impressive preseason, Carolina RailHawks coach Martin Rennie has signed Gambian forward Sainey Touray.
Touray leads the team in preseason scoring with four goals.
"I have enjoyed my trial with the RailHawks and I'm excited to join the team," Touray said. "I'm looking forward to scoring a lot of goals this season."
Though just 20, Touray comes to the RailHawks with an accomplished background. He has featured for Gambia's Under-17 and Under-20 national teams. At a four-nation U-17 tournament in Ivory Coast, Touray scored three goals in four games - including the lone tally in a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso in the final - to lead Gambia to the championship and earn himself the Golden Boot.
In 2008, he scored a team-leading nine goals and led Wallidan to the Gambia Premier League championship. At the end of the Gambian season, Touray went on trial with the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer. He signed with the team in August 2008. He appeared in six matches for the Red Bull Reserves and scored two goals. He returned to Wallidan in 2009 and scored six goals.
It was his time in New York that led to Touray's initial trial with the RailHawks. Rennie welcomed Touray on trial at the recommendation of his Carolina defender John Gilkerson. Gilkerson was teammates with Touray in New York.
"He's a player we've known about for some time," Rennie said. "He's scored four goals in 90 minutes over two games in our preseason. He's a player that can finish. He's good around the goal and we think he's got a lot of potential. Players who can score are hard to find, and he could be really good."
The RailHawks continue their preseason this week with games against the North Carolina men's soccer team on Friday in Southern Pines and against the Montreal Impact on Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park.