Former York College men's soccer standout Antonio Bua has signed a professional soccer contract with the Harrisburg City Islanders.
Bua inked the contract after working out with the City Islanders the last few weeks.
The former Spartan closed out his collegiate career in November as the Spartans made their eighth straight NCAA Division III Tournament appearance after winning a school-record fourth straight Capital Athletic Conference championship. Bua was a three-time All-CAC selection for the Spartans. He was named a first-teamer as a senior after the forward tallied 20 points on 10 goals. He was a second-team selection after his sophomore campaign and a first-team pick after his junior season.
Spartan head coach Mark Ludwig is happy to see his former player earn a shot in the professional game.
"This is the culmination of the hard work that Antonio has put in during his career," Ludwig said. "He improved every year he was in our program and I am happy that he gets to take this next step in his career. Antonio is a great kid and a great player. I wish him the best as he pursues his professional opportunities."
Bua finished his Spartan career with 66 points on 28 goals and 10 assists in 87 games. He netted nine game-winning goals in his career including a pair during the 2012 campaign.
Bua is happy to have the opportunity to play professionally.
"It's a wonderful opportunity and I am thankful to get the chance to play professional soccer," Bua said. "I am also thankful to Coach Ludwig and the York College men's soccer program for great experience I had in college. I had great teammates; we won four straight conference championships and went to the NCAA Tournament all four years. It was a great run. I am excited to take the next step in my career and see how far I can advance."
Ludwig believes Bua's signing reinforces the program's reputation.
"Antonio's signing is another example of the quality of our program," Ludwig said. "We have had a number of players move onto the professional level and that's something we are very proud of. Our program prepares our players for a chance to advance professionally, if they choose to, at the end of their collegiate careers."
Ludwig knows that Bua can help the City Islanders as they make a playoff push late in the season.
"Antonio gives the City Islanders another option out wide. He has both the creativity and technique to bring quality to the Islanders attack," Ludwig said. "The City Islanders are making a playoff run and we wish him the best as he takes the next step in his career."
The City Islanders are 10-6-1 as they sit in third place in the USL Professional Division, just three points out of first place, which is currently occupied by the Orlando City Lions. The Lions and City Islanders are the only two teams in the league to have reached double figures in wins in 2013. The Islanders fell to the Los Angeles Blues on Wednesday night, 4-2. Bua did not play in the game.
The City Islanders are an affiliate of the MLS Philadelphia Union.
Harrisburg advanced to the 2011 USL Pro championship match, falling to Orlando City in a penalty shootout at the Citrus Bowl.