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2021 USL Championship Final – Squad Breakdown

By Staff, 11/27/21, 2:00PM EST


Find out more about the players that project to feature in Sunday’s showdown

The Tampa Bay Rowdies' Aaron Guillen and Laurence Wyke and Orange County SC's Rob Kiernan and Brent Richards will try to help their sides to victory in the 2021 USL Championship Final on Sunday night at Al Lang Stadium.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Orange County SC will square off in the 2021 USL Championship Final on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. ET at Al Lang Stadium (ESPN | ESPN Deportes | SiriusXM FC) with both clubs taking aim at their first league title in the Championship.

Having earned the best record in the Championship this season, the Rowdies’ core has formed a strong, balanced unit that has seen six players record at least 31 starts in 35 games across the regular season and playoffs and 11 players record at least 29 appearances as either starter of substitute. Led by leading scorer and captain Sebastian Guenzatti and a back line featuring Championship Goalkeeper of the Year Evan Louro and Defender of the Year Forrest Lasso, Tampa Bay has produced the best season of its modern era this year.

Orange County’s squad and lineup has also been consistent for much of the season, with seven of the club’s players having appeared in at least 30 out of 35 games across the regular season and playoffs, including veteran defender Michael Orozco – who made 29 appearances for the United States Men’s National Team and more than 250 appearances in LigaMX – and young standout forward Ronaldo Damus. One of the league’s original clubs in 2011, Orange County is making its first Championship Final appearance and will be aiming to become the second road team to take victory in the game’s history.

Here's a look at potential lineups for both sides in Sunday’s game as we reach the final match of the season.

Tampa Bay Rowdies
Tampa Bay Rowdies Projected Lineup

1. Evan Louro | Goalkeeper
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 225lbs
Key Stats: 16 Shutouts; +5.24 G+
Voted the Championship’s Goalkeeper of the Year after claiming the 2021 Golden Glove, Louro’s shot-stopping ability has been on display throughout the season for the best defensive unit over the course of the season.
2. Conner Antley | Wingback
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 172lbs
Key Stats: 6 Assists; +3.96 G+
A new arrival this offseason, Antley has slotted in at the right wingback position consistently during the second half of the season, with the 2019 USL League One Defender of the Year providing strong two-way performance in the Rowdies’ system.
3. Forrest Lasso | Center Back
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 202lbs
Key Stats: 151 of 201 aerial duels; +6.11 G+
Now a three-time USL Championship Defender of the Year, Lasso has been the centerpiece for the Rowdies’ back three with his size and strength also proving a valuable asset for the club on set pieces with one goal, one assist and 13 key passes this campaign.
4. Lewis Hilton | Center Midfield
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 150lbs
Key Stats: 70 Key Passes; +5.07 G+
Hilton has been a consistent presence in the center of midfield for the Rowdies this season, appearing in 34 of 35 games overall, and his technique and distribution both in open play and on set pieces has helped drive the club’s attack.
5. Jordan Scarlett | Right Center Back
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 190lbs
Key Stats: 23 Blocks; +3.85 G+
Voted to the Championship’s All-League Team in 2020, Scarlett has remained a strong part of the Rowdies’ back three this season with 36 tackles won and 43 interceptions as he covers the right third of the field.
7. Yann Ekra | Attacking Midfield
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 171lbs
Key Stats: 86.3% Passing Accuracy; +2.94G+
A former French youth international, Ekra has made more than 200 appearances in the Championship in his career and reached the Championship Final in 2014 with the Harrisburg City Islanders while playing in the hole underneath the club’s forward pairing.
10. Steevan Dos Santos | Forward
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 198lbs
Key Stats: 12 Goals; +7.51 G+
An offseason arrival, the Cape Verde native claimed the Championship Final with the Rochester Rhinos in 2015 and this season passed 60 goals in the league across the regular season and playoffs, including the game-winner in the club’s comeback 3-2 win against Louisville City FC in the Eastern Conference Final.
11. Leo Fernandes | Wingback
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 175lbs
Key Stats: 52 Key Passes; +9.04 G+
Now in his fifth season with Tampa Bay, Fernandes has been one of the side’s most consistent performers throughout the season playing both as left wingback and as an attacking option that have seen him record eight goals and five assists over the regular season and playoffs.
13. Sebastian Guenzatti | Forward
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 170lbs
Key Stats: 22 goals; +11.53 G+
The Rowdies’ captain has recorded more goals than any player over the past three seasons in the Championship with 51 tallies, and this season earned the first All-League First Team selection of his career.
27. Laurence Wyke | Center Midfield
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 180lbs
Key Stats: 6 Assists; +7.31 G+
An offseason addition, the English midfielder has provided a strong two-way presence in the center of the field for the Rowdies, recording 48 tackles and 32 interceptions in addition to a 71.7 passing accuracy rate in the attacking half.
33. Aaron Guillen | Left Center Back
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 168lbs
Key Stats: 60 Interceptions; +6.04 G+
Playing on the left side of the Rowdies’ back three, Guillen had a standout season that saw him earn his first Championship All-League selection, ranking second in the league with 1,891 passes attempted and a passing accuracy rate of 84 percent.

Key Substitutes

8. Zach Steinberger | Midfielder
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 170lbs
Key Stats: 16 Key Passes; +1.83 G+
A veteran attacking midfielder, Steinberger has played as a starter and come off the bench to positive effect this season in his third season with the club.
9. Juan Tejada | Forward
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 155lbs
Key Stats: 80.3% Pass Accuracy; +0.71 G+
The Panamanian forward returned from injury midseason and served as an understudy to Guenzatti and Dos Santos, with his high-energy approach aiding the Rowdies’ defensive press up the field.
16. Max Lachowecki | Defender
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 160lbs
Key Stats: 9 Interceptions; +0.98 G+
Now in his second stint with the Rowdies after a brief break from the game, Lackowecki has been a reliable option off the bench to help see out games for Tampa Bay.
17. Jordan Adebayo-Smith | Forward
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 178lbs
Key Stats: 4 Goals; +3.62G+
The 20-year-old English forward joined the Rowdies this offseason and has offered a vertical threat in attack with his speed and finishing creating opportunities on the counterattack.
21. Dayonn Harris | Winger
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 162lbs
Key Stats: 41 Crosses; +1.76 G+
Another offseason arrival, Harris has been a strong option on the right flank off the bench this season and notably helped drive the Rowdies in their comeback victory against Louisville City FC in the Eastern Conference Final.
22. Jordan Doherty | Midfielder
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 167lbs
Key Stats: 82.9% Pass Accuracy; +1.58 G+
A former Republic of Ireland youth international, Doherty has been used as a starter and off the bench this season in central midfield and started at right center back in lieu of Scarlett in the Eastern Conference Final, highlighting his versatility.
23. Sebastian Dalgaard | Midfielder
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 185lbs
Key Stats: 61 Crosses; +4.12 G+
A consistent presence in the Championship in recent seasons, Dalgaard has both started or been one of the Rowdies’ first options off the bench as a wide midfield option on either flank, having appeared in every game of the season so far.
77. Lucky Mkosana | Forward
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 169lbs
Key Stats: 4 Goals; +2.52 G+
Now in his second stint at the Rowdies, Mkosana has been a standout off the bench since rejoining the club midway through the 2019 season with 12 goals as a substitute in Tampa Bay’s colors and a league-high 19 goals as a substitute overall in the Championship’s regular season and playoffs.

Orange County SC
Orange County SC Projected Lineup

1. Patrick Rakovsky | Goalkeeper
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 187lbs
Key Stats: 11 Shutouts; +7.56 G+
After platooning with Abraham Romero over the first half of the season, Rakovsky became OCSC’s No. 1 and since then has been a standout performer, recording an 81.5 save percentage and 0.57 goals-against average over his past 15 appearances.
2. Kevin Alston | Left Back
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 160lbs
Key Stats: 33 Interceptions; +1.88 G+
Now in his fourth season at Orange County, the former New England Revolution defender has been a solid contributor at left back and brings more than 250 games of experience to the side’s back line.
3. Dillon Powers | Central Midfield
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 176lbs
Key Stats: 30 Tackles; +2.22 G+
A midseason arrival after competing in Scotland’s top flight, the former MLS Rookie of the Year has been a key influence in the center of Orange County’s lineup with his ball-winning ability and distribution keying the club’s recent success.
4. Rob Kiernan | Center Back
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 170lbs
Key Stats: 133 Clearances; +6.70 G+
The veteran center back was a consistent presence in the heart of Orange County’s back line this season, making 30 starts and recording 133 clearances to lead the side while posting a success rate of 66.4 percent in aerial duels.
6. Michael Orozco | Center Back
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 165lbs
Key Stats: 51 Interceptions; +6.10 G+
An Orange, Calif. native, the former United States Men’s National Team center back has started every game of the season for OCSC at both center back and full back as his experience proved key both defensively and at set pieces in the attacking third.
10. Brian Iloski | Left Wing
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 150lbs
Key Stats: 51 Key Passes; +5.62 G+
An attacking playmaker, Iloski has recorded 90 chances created since joining Orange County prior to the 2020 season, good for ninth in the league over the past two seasons, and alongside Orozco has played every game of the season with 31 starts.
11. Ronaldo Damus | Forward
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 170lbs
Key Stats: 16 Goals; +9.00 G+
A 2019 USL League One title winner with North Texas SC, the Haiti international competed at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup this summer in addition to having a standout first season with Orange County in which he has led the side with 16 goals and also notched three assists.
13. Tommy McCabe | Central Midfield
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 174lbs
Key Stats: 84% Pass Accuracy; +2.30 G+
An offseason arrival, McCabe has made 34 appearances and 24 starts this season and has formed a solid defensive tandem in central midfield with Powers while providing solid distribution through midfield, ranking third on the team with a 73.5 passing accuracy rate in the attacking half.
15. Eric Calvillo | Attacking Midfield
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 139lbs
Key Stats: 87.9% Pass Accuracy; +3.74 G+
A mid-season arrival on loan from the San Jose Earthquakes, Calvillo possesses a dangerous shot from distance that has made him a threat on set pieces while linking well in the side’s attacking quartet. His play saw Calvillo earn his first call-up to the El Salvador Men’s National Team this fall.
16. Brent Richards | Right Back
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 167lbs
Key Stats: 7 Assists; +5.44 G+
A Championship veteran, Richards has been solid defensively throughout the season and possesses a long throw-in that has proven a useful weapon for Orange County in the attacking third.
25. Mikko Kuningas | Right Wing
Height: 6'
Weight: 178lbs
Key Stats: 34 Key Passes; +2.13 G+
The Finnish creating midfielder joined Orange County this offseason and has had a solid debut campaign, making 32 appearances and recording three goals and four assists in addition to his 34 Key Passes.

Key Substitutes

7. Thomas Enevoldsen | Forward
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 163lbs
Key Stats: 2 Goals; +1.49 G+
Hampered by injury for part of the season, the Danish veteran – who was a finalist for the Championship’s MVP award in 2018 – has provided a strong attacking option off the bench late in the season.
8. Seth Casiple | Midfielder
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 155lbs
Key Stats: 52.1 Passes/90; +0.74 G+
Returning late in the season to make eight appearances after injury, Casiple’s experience in the center of midfield and progressive passing has seen him make a positive impact off the bench when available.
19. Sean Okoli | Forward
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 184lbs
Key Stats: 4 Goals; 6.36 G+
The 2016 Championship Golden Boot winner, Okoli has provided an attacking threat since his midseason arrival from Austin Bold FC, either as a starter in tandem with Damus or as an option off the bench. The 28-year-old scored the decisive penalty kick in the club’s Western Conference Final against San Antonio.
20. Ben Mines | Attacking Midfield
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 150lbs
Key Stats: 22 Crosses; +2.41 G+
Used as both a starter and off the bench since his arrival on loan from FC Cincinnati midway through the season, Mines brings prior Championship Playoffs experience from his time with the New York Red Bulls II, and has notched three goals – including two game-winners – for the side.
23. Kobi Henry | Defender
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 165lbs
Key Stats: 60 Clearances; +0.79 G+
Recently called up to the United States U-20 Men’s National Team, the 17-year-old recorded 19 appearances this season and could be a good late-game addition if Orange County is looking to protect a lead.
24. Nathan Smith | Defender
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 170lbs
Key Stats: 20 Tackles; +1.46 G+
Now in his second season at Orange County, Smith has made 19 appearances this season and 14 starts and offers solid cover for both Richards and Alston at the full back positions.

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