Atlanta United announces signing of Tyrone Mears

atlanta unitedRelease from Atlanta United:

Atlanta United announced today it has signed defender Tyrone Mears. Atlanta previously acquired Mears’ rights from Seattle in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money.

“We’re happy to add another veteran piece to our back four,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said. “Tyrone has a great deal of experience and has helped his clubs achieve success wherever he’s played, including winning MLS Cup this past season and also helping his teams secure promotion twice while playing in England.”

Mears, 33, comes to Atlanta after two successful seasons with Seattle which ended in winning the 2016 MLS Cup. A native of Manchester, England, Mears spent majority of his career playing in England’s Premier League and Championship prior to joining MLS in 2015. The veteran fullback played more than 200 matches in England, beginning his career with Manchester City in 2001. Mears then enjoyed stays with Preston North End (2002-06), West Ham United (2006-07), Derby County (2007-09), Burnley (2009-2011) and Bolton Wanderers (2011-14).

In his two seasons with the Sounders, Mears played 65 of the club’s 68 league matches, starting all of them. In his first season in MLS, he scored one goal and registered two assists, including one in his debut against New England Revolution (March 9). Mears also led the team in minutes in 2015 and started all three of their playoff matches. In 2016, Mears cemented his reputation as one of the league’s top fullbacks, making 32 starts and ranking No. 2 on the team in minutes behind Jordan Morris, and No. 11 in the league. He anchored the Seattle defense which finished No. 7 in goals allowed and No. 6 in shots on goal allowed. Mears started and played the full 90 minutes in all six of Seattle’s postseason matches, including the 2016 MLS Cup final against Toronto FC which ended in a penalty shootout victory for the Sounders.

Prior to his MLS career, Mears played with Bolton for three seasons. He compiled 32 appearances across all competitions including playing in both the Premier League and Championship. Mears also spent two seasons with Burnley from 2009-2011 alongside now-teammate Chris McCann who captained the team. In his first season with The Clarets, Mears started all 38 Premier League matches and recorded a career-high six assists. Burnley suffered relegation to Championship for the 2010-11 season, however while there, Mears set a new career-high with eight assists over 44 matches while adding one goal.

Mears became a regular first-team starter with Preston North End in the 2002-03 season and remained with the club until 2006, totaling 73 appearances. From there he moved to West Ham for one season where he made his Premier League debut in 2006 against Charlton (Aug. 19). Mears then moved to Derby County where he spent two seasons, helping the club earn promotion to the Premier League for the 2007-08 season.

Simonds’ Leads Georgia State to 83-72 Win Over Appalachian State

PrintRelease from Georgia State Athletics:

Led by 25 points from freshman D’Marcus Simonds, Georgia State cruised to an 83-72 win over Appalachian State on Monday night at the GSU Sports Arena. The Panthers won for the fourth-straight time while shooting 56.9 percent from the floor.

Simonds missed his career-high by just one point and scored 24 or more for the second time in three games. He went 10-of-16 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the free throw line with five steals and four rebounds.

Georgia State (12-7, 5-2 Sun Belt) maintained its second-place spot in the Sun Belt standings, while Appalachian State (6-12, 1-6 Sun Belt) lost for the third-straight time despite 22 points from Tyrell Johnson.

A game after hitting 15 3-pointers, Georgia State went inside and outscored the Mountaineers 56-18 in the paint.

Sophomore Malik Benlevi added 10 points, while Jeremy Hollowell, Isaiah Williams and Isaiah Dennis scored nine points each. Hollowell is now just three points shy of 1,000 for his career.

“It was a good win as I thought that Appalachian State played really tough,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “I thought we were a little tired and didn’t play with the same enthusiasm we did the other night. However, we got the win at home which we needed. D’Marcus was outstanding and made plays when we needed him to tonight.”

Appalachian State took an early 10-4 leading, knocking down its first four shots before Georgia State responded to take its first lead of the game, 13-12, with 12:23 remaining in the first half.

Georgia State’s offense started to heat up and after Dennis hit a pair of shots in the lane to key a 6-0 run, the Panthers led 24-19 with 6:56 to play.

The Panthers went into the locker room leading 39-32, shooting 56.7 percent from the floor and forcing the Mountaineers into 13 first half turnovers.

Leading by 10 early in the second half, Georgia State double its lead to 57-37 following a 10-0 run that was capped by a pair of Jeff Thomas free throws with 14:03 remaining.

Appalachian State used a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 64-54 with 9:13 to play before back-to-back lay-ups by Simonds. The Mountaineers got as close as nine points, 70-61, with 5:29 to play.

Georgia State responded and pushed the lead back to as many as 15 points in the final minutes of the game.

Ronshad Shabazz, coming off a career-high 36 points on Saturday against Georgia Southern, finished with 18, while Patrick Good came off the bench to add 15.

Georgia State held the Mountaineers to just 39.3 percent shooting, the fourth-straight game holding an opponent under 40 percent. The Panthers swiped 11 steals and forced App State into 17 turnovers which led to 17 points.