Detroit City FC's Antoine Hoppenot this past week became only the fourth player in the USL Championship's history to reach 35 goals and 35 assists in the league's regular season. | Photo courtesy Jon DeBoer / Detroit City FC
Hello and welcome to our weekly look around the USL Championship, where in the past week one of the league’s veterans joined an exclusive club of attacking playmakers, a pair of goalkeepers notched landmark achievements, and one of this season’s newcomers notched one of the bigger upsets in the Championship’s history.
Here’s more on all those topics, a look ahead to upcoming individual landmarks, and the Week 12 Discipline report.
ANTOINE HOPPENOT JOINS EXCLUSIVE 35-35 CLUB
Detroit City FC’s Antoine Hoppenot became just the fourth player in USL Championship history to reach 35 regular season goals and 35 regular season assists last Wednesday night as he found the net in DCFC’s 1-1 draw against Miami FC. The 31-year-old subsequently added a goal and assist in Le Rouge’s 3-1 victory against Atlanta United 2 this past Saturday night, and now sits with 36 goals and 37 assists for his career in the league.
35 goals, 35 assists in the USL Championship’s Regular Season
Solomon Asante – 49 goals, 41 assists, 113 appearances
Aodhan Quinn – 37 goals, 44 assists, 201 appearances
Jorge Herrera – 72 goals, 35 assists, 231 appearances
Antoine Hoppenot – 36 goals, 37 assists, 179 appearances
ROWDIES, TOROS GO BACK-TO-BACK WITH COMEBACKS
The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Rio Grande Valley FC became the second and third teams this season to record consecutive victories after conceding the opening goal of the game this past weekend as the Rowdies rallied for a 3-1 victory against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday night, while the Toros rallied for a 2-1 win against San Diego Loyal SC at H-E-B Park on the same night.
The Rowdies had previously claimed victory after conceding first in the club’s 5-1 victory against Phoenix Rising FC at Wild Horse Pass on May 15, which came a day after the Toros’ 2-1 comeback victory against Monterey Bay F.C. at Cardinale Stadium.
The consecutive comebacks by Tampa Bay and Rio Grande Valley joined El Paso Locomotive FC in accomplishing the feat, with El Paso having rallied to victory against both Loudoun United FC on April 30 and FC Tulsa on May 4 as the side took a 3-1 result on both occasions.
MONTEREY BAY F.C. UPSETS THE ODDS IN LOUISVILLE
Monterey Bay F.C. delivered what was according to fivethirtyeight.com’s predictor model one of the biggest upsets in the USL Championship’s history on Saturday night as it defeated Louisville City FC 2-0 at Lynn Family Stadium after being given a nine percent chance at victory pregame.
Lowest Pregame Odds on 538.com for a winning USL Championship side in 2022
9% – Monterey Bay F.C. at Louisville City FC, 5-21-22
13% – Las Vegas Lights FC at El Paso Locomotive FC, 3-23-22
17% – Las Vegas Lights FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC, 3-19-22
18% – Monterey Bay F.C. at Oakland Roots SC, 3-26-22
19% – Indy Eleven at Rio Grande Valley FC, 4-9-22
Saturday’s game marked only the second time this season a team has been given such short odds to win – the other was also Monterey Bay F.C. in its visit to San Antonio FC on April 30, a contest the side lost 6-0 at Toyota Field. The lowest pregame odds since the USL Championship was added to fivethirtyeight.com’s model in 2018 to earn victory also did so against Louisville City FC, with Toronto FC II earning a 4-1 win at Slugger Field on August 28, 2018, in the statistically biggest upset in league history.
Lowest Pregame Odds on 538.com for a winning USL Championship side 2018-present
3% – Toronto FC II at Louisville City FC, 8-28-18
4% – Birmingham Legion FC at Tampa Bay Rowdies, 8-10-19
5% – Rio Grande Valley FC at Orange County SC, 8-25-18
5% – FC Tulsa at Orange County SC, 3-16-19
5% - Tacoma Defiance at Fresno FC, 10-5-19
6% – Loudoun United FC at New York Red Bulls II, 4-20-19
6% – OKC Energy FC at Portland Timbers 2, 6-13-18
7% – Toronto FC II at Charleston Battery, 9-29-18
7% – Sporting Kansas City II at Indy Eleven, 8-1-20
7% – Hartford Athletic at Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, 9-26-20
9% – Monterey Bay F.C. at Louisville City FC, 5-21-22
NEW MEXICO’S ALEX TAMBAKIS MOVES INTO SECOND ALL-TIME IN SAVES
New Mexico United's Alex Tambakis has moved into second place all-time in the Championship's history with 415 regular season saves in his career. | Photo courtesy Matt Peacock / Charleston Battery
New Mexico United’s Alex Tambakis recorded just a lone save in his 36th career regular season shutout in the USL Championship on Tuesday night against Phoenix Rising FC, but that was enough to break a tie with Championship legend Brandon Miller and move the Greek goalkeeper into sole possession of second place all-time in regular season saves with 415 for his career.
Tambakis, who began his career in the Championship on loan with the Charleston Battery from Atlanta United FC in 2016, has made 140 regular-season appearances in his career, averaging 2.96 saves per game. He now sits 92 saves behind all-time leader Evan Newton, who is currently competing for El Paso Locomotive FC.
Most Regular Season Saves, USL Championship History
1. Evan Newton – 507*
2. Alex Tambakis – 415*
3. Brandon Miller – 414
4. Carl Woszczynski – 393
5. Nick Noble – 387
* - active player
BIRMINGHAM LEGION FC’S MATT VANOEKEL REACHES 30 SHUTOUTS
Birmingham Legion FC's Matt VanOekel has moved into the Top 15 in the USL Championship's history in both regular season saves and shutouts. | Photo courtesy Mallory Neil / Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Birmingham Legion FC’s Matt VanOekel became the 15th player in the USL Championship’s history to record 30 regular season shutouts for his career last Wednesday night in Legion FC’s scoreless draw against Las Vegas Lights FC at Protective Stadium. The 35-year-old, who competed for Minnesota United and FC Edmonton early in his career, reached the mark in his 97th regular season appearances, averaging a shutout every 3.23 contests in the league.
VanOekel has also recently moved into the Top 15 in the Championship all-time in regular season saves, where he currently sits in 14th place on 273. For both VanOekel and the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ CJ Cochran, who sits one save back on 272, the Top 10 of the category is within sight. Former Sacramento Republic FC standout Josh Cohen currently sits in the No. 10 position with 279 career regular season saves in the league prior to his successful move to the Israeli Premier League with Maccabi Haifa, where he and his side recently claimed a second consecutive league title.
The Charleston Battery's Matt Sheldon could make his 100th regular season appearance in the USL Championship when his side faces Loudoun United FC on Saturday night. | Photo courtesy Matt Peacock / Charleston Battery
Approaching 200 regular-season appearances
Alex Dixon (PIT) – 197
Approaching 150 regular-season appearances
Matt Bahner (ELP) – 149
Malik Johnson (COS) – 148
Santi Moar (PHX) – 147
Approaching 100 regular-season appearances
Matt Sheldon (CHS) – 99
Zeiko Lewis (SAC) – 98
Tobi Adewole (COS) – 98
Shannon Gomez (SA) – 97
Albert Dikwa (PIT) – 97
Matt VanOekel (BHM) – 97
Approaching 15,000 regular-season minutes
Evan Newton (ELP) – 14,986
Yann Ekra (TBR) – 14,839
Approaching 10,000 regular-season minutes
Duke Lacroix (SAC) – 9,971
Jordan Scarlett (TBR) – 9,932
Bradley Bourgeois (TUL) – 9,880
Approaching 75 regular-season goals
Corey Hertzog (HFD) – 74
Cameron Lancaster (LOU) – 71
Approaching 50 regular-season goals
Solomon Asante (IND) – 49
Kyle Murphy (MIA) – 47
Approaching 50 regular-season assists
Kenardo Forbes (PIT) – 49
Approaching 40 regular-season assists
Antoine Hoppenot (DET) – 37
Approaching 30 regular-season assists
Chris Wehan (NM) – 29
Santi Moar (PHX) – 29
Oscar Jimenez (LOU) – 29
Alex Dixon (PIT) – 28
Approaching 250 regular-season saves
Connor Sparrow (MIA) – 241
Approaching 200 regular-season saves
Trey Muse (MEM) – 189
Approaching 30 regular-season shutouts
Joe Kuzminsky (CHS) – 29
Kyle Morton (LOU) – 27
TAMPA, Fla. – The following is the USL Championship’s discipline report for Week 12 of the 2022 USL Championship season:
The LA Galaxy II’s Carlos Harvey has been suspended for three games following his red card for violent conduct against Memphis 901 FC on May 18. Harvey served the first game of the suspension against Oakland Roots SC on May 21 and will also be unavailable for selection for LA’s contests against San Diego Loyal SC this Saturday, and Rio Grande Valley FC on Saturday, June 4.
Sacramento Republic FC’s Douglas Martinez Jr. has been suspended for one game following his red card for violent conduct against El Paso Locomotive FC on May 18. Martinez will be unavailable for selection in Sacramento’s contest against Oakland Roots SC this Saturday night.
Oakland Roots SC’s Benny Diaz has been suspended for one game following his red card for denial of a goalscoring opportunity against the LA Galaxy II on May 21. Diaz will be unavailable for selection in Oakland’s contest against Sacramento Republic FC this Saturday night.
The Charleston Battery’s DZ Harmon has been suspended for one game following his red card for two cautionable offenses against Miami FC on May 21. Harmon will be unavailable for selection in Charleston’s contest against Loudoun United FC on Saturday night.
Atlanta United 2’s Efrain Morales has been suspended for one game following his red card for two cautionable offenses against Detroit City FC on May 21. Morales will be unavailable for selection in Atlanta’s contest against Orange County SC on Friday night.
The prior suspensions issues to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC’s Triston Hodge and FC Tulsa’s Adrian Diz Pe will now be served in their club’s upcoming games following postponements this past weekend. Hodge will be unavailable for selection in Colorado Springs’ contest against Monterey Bay F.C. on Saturday night, while Diz Pe will be unavailable for selection against Louisville City FC on Saturday afternoon.
The following players enter the upcoming matches one caution away from a yellow card accumulation suspension for their eighth yellow card of the season. Here is the breakdown per club:
Tag(s): Features San Antonio FC CO Spring Switchbacks LA Galaxy II Orange County SC Phoenix Rising FC Rio Grande Valley FC Sacramento Republic FC FC Tulsa Charleston Battery Louisville City FC New York Red Bulls II Pittsburgh Riverhounds Tampa Bay Rowdies Las Vegas Lights FC Birmingham Legion FC Atlanta United 2 Indy Eleven Memphis 901 FC El Paso Locomotive FC New Mexico United Loudoun United FC Hartford Athletic San Diego Loyal SC Miami FC Oakland Roots SC Detroit City FC Monterey Bay F.C.