CANYON – Middlesbrough, England, natives, and former Buffalo soccer standouts Dominic Furness and Ben Everson have both joined professional clubs in two of Sweden’s highest levels of league competition to continue their careers.
Both Everson (2007-10) and Furness (2008-12) played together at West Texas A&M under head coach Butch Lauffer and have returned to Europe to continue playing professionally. The two crossed paths again in 2012 while playing together in Iceland and now have joined clubs in Sweden. Furness signed with Ljungskile SK earlier this season, a highly successful club in Uddevalia, Sweeden. Ljungskile SK plays in Superettan (Tier 2), the second-highest league in Swedish football. Everson can now be found on the pitch in Upplands Väsby competing for AFC United in Division I Norra (Tier 3).
Everson concluded an outstanding four-year career with WT in 2010. He made a name for himself from the get-go as a freshman in 2007 by scoring 14 goals and a team-leading 31 points en route to being named Southwest Soccer Conference (SSC) Freshman of the Year. He went on to receive SSC Player of the Year and All-South Central Region team honors as a sophomore in 2008. Everson continued to improve his game in his final two seasons as we was a repeat selection on the Daktronics All-America team, earning second-team honors in 2009 and honorable mention in 2010. He still sits high in the Buffalo record books ranking third in career goals (48), 10th in career assists (13), third in career points (109), fifth in goals in season (15, 2009), 10th in assists in a season (seven, 2010) and eighth in points in a season (31, 2007 & 2009).
“Ben (Everson) is probably one of the most talented players we have ever had at WT,” noted Lauffer. “He has the ability to turn the game at any moment or any time and because of that, he scored some really big goals for us. He is an outstanding and very imaginative player. Ben has done really well playing overseas and we anticipate that he will continue to do really well over there.”
Remaining in the Panhandle after completing his collegiate career, Everson spent a couple of seasons with the formerly named West Texas United Sockers, a team in the USL Premier Development League (PDL), where he scored 10 goals in 23 appearances. He also appeared on the pitch for the Bradenton Academics, also of the PDL, and in January of 2011, was invited to training camp with the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer (MLS).
Everson ventured back across the Atlantic in 2012 when he signed with UMF Tindastóll, a second-tier football club in Sauðárkrókur, Iceland. He spent the remainder of the year between there and Breidablik UBK, a team in the top tier of Icelandic football, Úrvalsdeild karla (Men’s Select Division), commonly referred to as “Pepsi-deildin” or “The Pepsi League” in English. Between those two clubs, Everson appeared in 20 matches and found the net eight times.
He returned to England in 2013 after signing with York City FC, a fourth tier team. After playing two matches, Everson joined English fifth tier Gateshead F.C. on a loan where he scored twice in 11 matches. In May of last year, Everson went back to Iceland, this time signing with BÍ/Bolungarvík, also in second-tier 1. deild karla (Men’s First Division). He had a successful run in his second stint in Iceland appearing in 20 matches with 10 goals to his credit.
On Feb. 6 of this year, Everson was sent to AFC United where he has made four total starts in 12 appearances while logging one assist. His club currently sits in second place in the Division I Norra standings with a 10-2-1 record (31 points).
During his senior season at WT in 2012, Furness, along with teammate Colin Bjostad, became the program’s first NSCAA First-Team All-American since Buffalo great Davy Arnaud in 2001. Furness led the Lone Star Conference in just about every offensive category that season, including shots (80), points (43), points per game (2.53), goals (18), goals-per-game (1.06), assists (seven) and game winning goals (four). He ranked fourth nationally in goals and points, while ranking 44th in assists, and had six multi-goal games.
In addition to his NSCAA honors as a senior, Furness was named Daktronics Second-Team All-America, Co-LSC Player of the Year, and earned LSC Player of the Week honors twice. He ranks high in the Buffalo career record book in several offensive categories including goals (fifth, 32) and points (fifth, 77) as well as season records including goals (fourth, 18, 2012) and points (third, 43, 2012).
After graduating from WT in 2012, Furness, like Everson, joined Tindastóll. There, he played in 14 matches and scored one goal. For the 2013 season, he signed with FH Hafnarfjörður in top flight Pepsi-deildin. FH won the league championship the year prior to Furness’s arrival and finished second in 2013.
During his time this year with Ljungskile SK, Furness has seen time in seven matches with the first team and has dished out one assist. The team is just past the halfway point of the 2014 season with 18 matches played at a 10-2-6 record, second in Superettan with 36 points.
“Dom (Furness) really blossomed as an outstanding soccer player after his first year with the Buffs,” Lauffer added. “We had to switch his position up a little and he turned into an amazing goal scorer. Dom demonstrates great game wisdom because he can play in a lot of different spots on the field. He has been able to do really well in his pro career at both defensive midfield and attacking midfield. He is a real student of the game and I am really happy for his continued success.”