May 7, 2008

Courtesy of Kelly-Ann DiGiulio, Dominican SID

Orangeburg, NY--Dominican College men's soccer player, Jhonny Arteaga, has signed to play with the Western Massachusetts Pioneers of the United Soccer League (USL) Second Division.

Arteaga, a native of Columbia who resides in Stamford, CT, was the 2007 Central Atlanic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Player of the Year and led the CACC in points (38), goals (16) and game-winning goals (six) this season and also ranked second with six assists. He scored 12 more points and four more goals than anyone else in the conference in leading Dominican to its fourth consecutive CACC regular-season championship. Arteaga was a second team NSCAA All-Region choice last year. He earned first team All-America accolades from Daktronics, becoming the first CACC men's soccer player to earn the honor. He was also named to the Daktronics All-New England Region first team this past season.

He is the only player from the CACC on the squad and he joins Mike Lima of Franklin Pierce University on the team. Last year, Arteaga played with the Albany Admirals of the Professional Developement League (PDL).

"This is something that I always wanted to do," Arteaga said. "Every athlete dreams of playing at the professional level and my experience at Dominican College has prepared me for this new challenge."

The Western Mass Pioneers are a member of the United Soccer Leagues. The league is structured as a pyramid with MLS at the top, followed by the 1st Division League and then the 2nd Division. The Pioneers currently participate at the 2nd Division level (comparable to AA in minor league baseball). On September 11, 1999, after only two years in existence, the Pioneers captured the D3 National Championship title and in 2005 they reigned as regular season champions and hosted the National Championship match.

The team is comprised of former collegiate All-Americans, players with previous professional experience, players with international experience, as well as up and coming players who are recent college graduates.

"I want to thank Coach Campbell, the Dominican College Athletic Department, my family, friends and God for all their support and influence in my life." Arteaga said.

You can follow Arteaga this season at