MICHAEL ADUBATO - Monday, January 18, 2010
Niko Gkionis has parted company with his employers, Royal Liege of the Belgian Exqi League this past week.

"Considering the circumstances at the club, I thought it would be best for me to seek a challenge elsewhere," the New Jersey native told YA.

Struggling at the bottom of the league and scrambling to save their second division status, the Liegois management decided to panic shop and has brought in six new Brazilian players.

"I wanted to stay with Liege because I am not someone to shy away from a challenge, but they made it very difficult," explained Gkionis.

A few third division teams showed interest in Gkionis and he decided to sign for Excelsior Veldwezelt.

"Veldwezelt has a good group of guys but is an overall young team, which will present an interesting opportunity. They definitely have quality so I think what I want to do is bring a little bite to the midfield," he concluded.

With this weekend's game postponed due to inclement weather, Gkionis is expected to make his Excelsior debut against former US Nat, David Regis' former team, FC Bleid.