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USL Studios Presents – Champions, Assemble!

By Staff, 04/27/19, 4:35AM EDT


From Iron Man to Black Panther, which Championship players fit the Marvel Comic Universe perfectly?

The arrival of the premiere of Avengers: Endgame has had the movie world buzzing for months, with the biggest release in the Marvel Comic Universe set to break worldwide records this weekend as fans pour into cinemas to watch the conclusion of the series that began with Avengers: Infinity War.

For more than a decade since Iron Man first burst onto screens in 2008, the intertwining stories of superheroes across the universe have enthralled all of us, but it got us thinking about the characters.

If USL Championship players were superheroes, which members of the Marvel Universe would they be?

Thanks to the USL graphic design team of Jaime Austin, Sonjai Persaud and Angela Zanaglio, here are six players we think would fit in perfectly.

Illustration by Angela Zanaglio

Who else could it be to play the role of Tony Stark but the man who has made the most appearances in USL Championship history? A two-time USL Cup champion with Louisville City FC and three-time All-League selection, George Davis IV has been the league’s Iron Man since being nominated for Rookie of the Year in 2011.

Illustration by Jaime Austin

There are a lot of great captains around the Championship, but when Memphis 901 FC signed Marc Burch to be its first captain in club history it brought aboard a player whose career has been built on fierce determination as a defensive shield for his former club. Burch has played every minute so far of 901 FC’s inaugural season and figures to be among the league-leaders in minutes played in October.

Illustration by Sonjai Persaud

There are two sides to New Mexico United’s Santi Moar. There’s the off-field person, mild-mannered and well-liked by fans of both former club Bethlehem Steel FC and United. Then, when he steps between the lines, there’s the all-action attacking machine that has scored seven goals in eight games to start 2019. Best approach for defenses? Don’t make him angry. You wouldn’t like Moar when he’s angry.

Illustration by Angela Zanaglio

By consensus the youngest member of The Avengers, we went young for our Spider-Man with San Antonio FC’s Ethan Bryant. After all, the 17-year-old Academy standout has already shown a flair for the spectacular with his hometown club and has earned a place on the national stage after his call-up to the United States U-18 National Team. No word on what his photography skills are like, but we figure there’s a very bright future ahead here.

Illustration by Jaime Austin

With a bristling beard and ability to defend his home from attack, OKC Energy FC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi takes up the Stormbreaker to become Thor, the God of Thunder. We’re not quite sure he’ll be allowed to use his axe or his legendary hammer when he’s on the field, but with 30 career shutouts in 100 regular-season appearances in the Championship, Laurendi will be up for the challenge anyway.

Illustration by Sonjai Persaud

With 70 regular-season goals in his Championship career and another five in the USL Cup Playoffs, Dane Kelly has been the king of the Championship’s goalscorers. With his legendary speed and skill, Kelly has ruled over the league as T’Challa rules over Wakanda, using his performances to elevate himself to the Jamaican National Team. And all, we think, without the use of the heart-shaped herb.

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