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Tampa Bay Adds Conner Antley to Defensive Group

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 12/29/20, 12:20PM EST

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Brazilian Marlon set for third season in Tulsa; Energy FC re-signs Stephenson for second year


New Tampa Bay Rowdies signing Conner Antley made 12 appearances for Indy Eleven during the 2020 Championship season. | Photo courtesy Matt Schlotzhauer / Indy Eleven

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced on Tuesday they had signed defender Conner Antley to a two-year contract. The signing is pending league and federation approval.

Antley joins the Rowdies after spending the 2020 Championship season with Indy Eleven. The 25-year-old made 12 appearances for Indy and defensively won 72.7 percent of tackles while recording nine clearances and six interceptions and also recorded seven chances created at the attacking end.

“Our defenders from 2020 were absolute warriors with their willingness to keep the ball out the net,” said Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins. “The biggest compliment I can pay Conner is that he will add even more skill to this group. He is a true competitor with fantastic physical attributes that will make him a perfect fit for our team. Conner showed a great desire to join the Rowdies, and we were just as keen to make him part of our 2021 team.”

Antley was named the USL League One Defender of the Year in 2019 while playing for South Georgia Tormenta FC. During that season, Antley started 26 games and recorded six goals, six assists and 34 chances created in addition to winning 76.9 percent of tackles and making 49 interceptions and 46 clearances.

“When I heard Tampa became an option, it was an easy decision for me,” said Antley. “Going to a club where I will grow as a player and compete for a championship every year is exciting for me. A big thanks to Neil Collins and Lee Cohen down in Tampa for believing in me. I look forward to meeting the team and the fans, and to winning a championship in 2021.”

Marlon Returns for Third Season in Tulsa

FC Tulsa announced on Tuesday that attacking midfielder Marlon would return for his third season at the club in the 2021 Championship season.

Marlon has recorded eight goals and four assists for Tulsa in 25 appearances over the past two seasons and appeared in every game of the 2020 campaign for the club as it reached the USL Championship Playoffs for the second time. The 25-year-old has also completed 73 percent of passes and notched 17 chances created since arriving at ONEOK Field.

Prior to joining Tulsa, Marlon had played in his native Brazil for Madureira Esporte Clube during the 2018 season, having previously began his career in 2015 with Novo Iguacu FC.

Stephenson Re-Signs for Second Campaign with Energy FC

OKC Energy FC announced on Tuesday it had re-signed forward Tucker Stephenson for the 2021 Championship season. The deal is pending league and federation approval.

Stephenson made 11 appearances for Energy FC in the 2020 season and recorded one goal, one assist and 10 key passes. A native of Overland Park, Kansas, Stephenson began his professional career in 2019 with Sporting Kansas City II.

Prior to his professional career, the 24-year-old came through the Sporting Kansas City Academy before competing collegiately for both West Virginia University in his freshman and sophomore seasons before playing two seasons for Loyola University of Chicago. In his senior season for the Ramblers, Stephenson earned All-Missouri Valley Conference Second Team honors.

In addition to his college experience, Stephenson played for both the Des Moines Menace and Kaw Valley FC. In 2018 while at Kaw Valley, Stephenson was named to the USL League Two All-Central Conference Team as he recorded nine goals in 11 appearances for the side. 

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