Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC's Kenardo Forbes recorded his eighth multi-assist game on Saturday, moving him to 49 assists in the USL Championship's regular season for his career. | Photo courtesy Chris Cowger / Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
The USL Championship will near the conclusion of the first quarter of the regular season this week as a slate of games including a top-two clash in the Eastern Conference and some intriguing interconference contests plays out this weekend.
In addition, there are some significant individual landmarks that can be reached by some of the league’s longtime standouts, including the potential we could see the first player to reach a half-century of assists in the regular season.
Here’s what you need to know going into Week 8 of the campaign.
KING KENNY ON VERGE OF HALF-CENTURY
Two season ago, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC’s Kenardo Forbes became the USL Championship’s all-time assists leader as he passed Cuban playmaker Maikel Chang with the 39th regular-season helper of his career. This past Saturday, Forbes moved to the verge of a league first after recording the 48th and 49th assists of his career in the Hounds’ 4-0 victory against Atlanta United 2 at Highmark Stadium, one shy of becoming the first player in league history to reach a half-century of regular season assists.
Forbes’ two-assist performance was the eighth of his career in the Championship’s regular season, currently the most of any player in league history after breaking a tie with Hartford Athletic’s Danny Barrera on seven. As Pittsburgh heads to Louisville on Saturday, the Jamaican has recorded one assist in prior meetings with LouCity as he seeks his latest landmark moment.
Most Multi-Assist Games in the USL Championship’s Regular Season
1. Kenardo Forbes – 8
2. Danny Barrera – 7
T-3. Maikel Chang – 5
T-3. Solomon Asante – 5
T-3. Jose Barril – 5
T-3. Kevin Kerr – 5
HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE? NOT WHEN LOUISVILLE, PITTSBURGH MEET
The top two teams in the Eastern Conference entering Week 8 of the USL Championship regular season will meet on Saturday night as conference-leader Louisville City FC plays host to second-placed Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at Lynn Family Stadium.
In its history, LouCity has posted one of the best home records in the league with 66 wins in 109 regular season contests, and only 18 defeats. Almost one-quarter of those losses, however, have come against the Hounds, who are a remarkable 4-1-1 in their travels to the Derby City during the Championship’s regular season. Among those visits was a 3-1 win in the first game at Lynn Family Stadium history in 2020 when goals by Jordan Dover, Robbie Mertz and Anthony Velarde spoiled the housewarming for the hosts.
You might think that would translate to the Hounds also holding serve at Highmark Stadium, but there the roles are reversed. In seven regular-season trips to Pittsburgh, LouCity has never suffered defeat, going 4-0-3 away from home in the rivalry between the two clubs. That makes for a combined 8-1-4 record in favor of the visiting side overall, a remarkable number considering the home strength both sides currently exhibit.
PHOENIX’S AODHAN QUINN ON DOORSTEP OF 200 APPEARANCES
Phoenix Rising FC's Aodhan Quinn is set to become the 14th player to make 200 regular season appearances in the USL Championship on Sunday against the LA Galaxy II. | Photo courtesy Ashley Orellana / Phoenix Rising FC
Phoenix Rising FC’s Aodhan Quinn is set to become the 14th player in the USL Championship’s history to record 200 regular season appearances on Sunday when Rising FC visits the LA Galaxy II, marking the latest landmark in what has been a standout career in the league. Quinn is currently tied for second place in the league’s history with 44 regular-season assists, while his 37 regular season goals put him as one of only two players to have recorded at least 35 regular-season goals and 40 regular-season assists in the league alongside former Rising FC teammate Solomon Asante.
The 30-year-old has shown remarkable consistency over his appearances, and currently sits fourth in the Championship’s regular season all-time ranking with 16,359 minutes played. Currently, Quinn has played 91.3 percent of available minutes across his appearances in the league, having played every minute of a season once in 2018 for Orange County SC.
Quinn could make his 200th regular season appearance alongside teammate Joe Farrell recording his 150th regular season appearance in the league on Sunday, which would mark the second time in as many seasons that teammates would share those landmarks in the same game. In 2021, Louisville City FC’s Kyle Greig made his 200th regular season appearance and Sean Totsch made his 150th regular season appearance in their side’s contest against Birmingham Legion FC on June 16.
PHOENIX CONTINUES TO BE COMEBACK KING
Phoenix Rising FC claimed its first comeback victory of the 2022 season on Saturday night as it took a 2-1 victory against Miami FC at Wild Horse Pass on Luis Seijas’ 88th-minute winner, which landed at No. 5 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 that night.
The victory was Phoenix’s 11th regular season win overall after trailing in a contest since the start of the 2019 USL Championship season, the most by any team in that span. Rising FC has also earned the most points (43) after trailing in a contest over the same span.
Victories after trailing in a contest in the USL Championship Regular Season (2019-present)
1. Phoenix Rising FC – 11
2. Memphis 901 FC – 9
T-3. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – 8
T-3. LA Galaxy II – 8
T-3. New York Red Bulls II – 8
Points Gained after trailing in a contest in the USL Championship Regular season (2019-present)
1. Phoenix Rising FC – 43
T-2. LA Galaxy II – 38
T-2. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – 38
4. Memphis 901 FC – 36
5. Sacramento Republic FC – 33
San Diego Loyal SC's Elijah Martin is on course to make his 100th regular season appearance in the USL Championship on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. | Photo courtesy San Diego Loyal SC
Approaching 200 regular-season appearances
Aodhan Quinn (PHX) – 199
Approaching 150 regular-season appearances
Sebastian Dalgaard (TBR) – 149
Joe Farrell (PHX) – 149
Joel Johnson (HFD) – 147
Approaching 100 regular-season appearances
Elijah Martin (SD) – 99
Kyle Adams (SD) – 98
Sean McFarlane (MIA) – 98
Ayoze (IND) – 98
Frank Lopez (RGV) – 98
Justin Dhillon (SA) – 98
Tobi Adewole (COS) – 97
Pierre Da Silva (MIA) – 97
Approaching 10,000 regular-season minutes
Christiano Francois (ELP) – 9,985
Chris Wehan (NM) – 9,976
Santi Moar (PHX) – 9,975
Christian Volesky (MB) – 9,915
Bradley Bourgeois (TUL) – 9,880
Approaching 75 regular-season goals
Corey Hertzog (HFD) – 73
Cameron Lancaster (LOU) – 71
Approaching 50 regular-season goals
Solomon Asante (IND) – 49
Kyle Murphy (MIA) – 46
Approaching 50 regular-season assists
Kenardo Forbes (PIT) – 49
Approaching 30 regular-season assists
Chris Wehan (NM) – 29
Santi Moar (PHX) – 28
Oscar Jimenez (LOU) – 28
Alex Dixon (PIT) – 27
Approaching 200 regular-season saves
Sean Lewis (TUL) – 197
Approaching 30 regular-season shutouts
Joe Kuzminsky (CHS) – 29
Matt VanOekel (BHM) – 28
TAMPA, Fla. – The following is the USL Championship’s discipline report for Week 8 of the 2022 USL Championship season:
Birmingham Legion FC’s Alex Crognale has been suspended for one game following the review of an incident in Birmingham’s contest against Loudoun United FC on April 24 by the Independent Disciplinary Panel. Crognale will be unavailable for Birmingham’s contest against the Charleston Battery on Wednesday night.
Loudoun United FC’s Hayden Sargis has been suspended for one game following his red card for denial of a goalscoring opportunity against Birmingham Legion FC on April 24. Sargis will be unavailable for Loudoun’s contest against El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday night.