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Oakland Re-Signs Rodriguez, Mbumba for 2021 Season

By Staff, 12/15/20, 8:18AM EST


Gdula, Mason both set to return for Battery; Athletic announce Rogers as latest returnee

Oakland Roots SC announced on Monday it had re-signed Johnny Rodriguez, who played a key role in the club's attack during the 2020 season.

OAKLAND, Calif. – Oakland Roots SC has announced the return of two more players ahead of the 2021 USL Championship season, re-signing former Cal State Northridge forward Johnny Rodriguez and midfielder Ariel Mbumba. The signings are pending league and federation approval.

Rodriguez, from California’s Central Valley, helped lead the line for Roots in the Fall 2020 campaign, scoring in both the Semifinal and Final of the 2020 Fall Championship Tournament.

“We are excited to retain Johnny in our attacking arsenal moving into 2021, said Roots Technical Director Jordan Ferrell. “He is a talented young striker with a lot of potential, which he really started to show in the Fall Tournament. Johnny’s grit and knack for finding the net will definitely cause problems for opposing defenses this season."

Before transferring to Northridge Johnny Led Fresno City College to the 2017 CCCAA State Championships and was named CCCAA Tournament MVP. While at Fresno City he was chosen as the 2017 NSCAA Division III Junior College Player of the Year and was selected to the NSCAA Division III Junior College first-team All-American in both 2016 and 2017.

Rodriguez then stepped into the NCAA Division I ranks at Cal State Northridge in the Big West. As a junior, he was second on the team in goals and tied for second in assists. In his senior year, he was named to the Big West All-Conference Second Team while ranking fourth in the Big West in goals scored.

Mbumba featured with multiple US Soccer Federation development academies including the U-14 San Jose Earthquakes Academy, then for Juventus Sports Club in the South Bay through U-17. Mbumba then made a short stop at the Portland Timbers Academy before joining Roots current VP of Soccer Eric Yamamoto at De Anza Force in the Bay Area.

“Signing with Oakland means the world to me, there is no other place I’d rather be right now,” said Mbumba. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and eager to show how we get down in The Town.”

Battery Announce Return of Gdula, Mason

The Charleston Battery announced on Monday that the club had exercised the contract option to retain defender Logan Gdula and that midfielder Kierron Mason remained under contract for the 2021 USL Championship season.

In his first season for the Black and Yellow, Gdula made 14 starts while putting up impressive numbers on both ends of the pitch. Selected in the First Round of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft by FC Cincinnati, the 24-year-old recorded one goal and two assists in his first season with the Battery while offering a consistent two-way threat from the right flank. Defensively, Gdula ranked third on the Battery with 22 interceptions and recorded 26 clearances in 1,233 minutes of action.

Mason made three appearances in his second season with the Battery including a start against Atlanta United 2 on August 5. A native of Trinidad & Tobago, the 22-year-old had previously played for Western Connection and has made six appearances for Charleston overall.

Rogers Latest Returnee in Hartford

Hartford Athletic announced on Monday it had exercised its contract option on midfielder Arthur Rogers, who will return to the squad for the 2021 USL Championship campaign.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to continue my career here in Hartford,” Rogers said. “I’m incredibly proud of finishing at the top of Group F and making the playoffs for the first time in club history. Those of us who are returning know there’s more work to be done and I’m excited for the challenge.”

In his rookie season out of the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, Rogers played in 16 of 17 matches and totaled 975 minutes of action. He made his debut in the season’s first match against New York Red Bulls II, coming on as a substitute in the 67th minute. Rogers scored his first professional goal against Loudoun United, a right-footed rocket from 25 yards out that was nominated for USL Championship Goal of the Week.

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