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USL Championship News & Notes | Week 15

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 06/15/22, 10:00AM EDT

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Digging into Oakland’s last-gasp heroics, Indy’s standouts for Soca Warriors, and upcoming milestones across the league


Oakland Roots SC has been the most prolific team late in games this USL Championship season with 12 goals in the final 15 minutes or stoppage time. | Photo courtesy Oakland Roots SC

Welcome to the USL Championship’s weekly News & Notes, where this week we look at the late-game success being earned by Oakland Roots SC this season, the latest move across the Atlantic from the USL Championship, and international success by a pair of Indy Eleven notables.

Here’s more on all that, and upcoming player milestones and the weekly Discipline Report ahead of this week’s action.

NEWS AND NOTES

OAKLAND CONTINUES LATE-GAME HEROICS
Oakland Roots SC maintained its current seven-game undefeated streak on Saturday night with a pair of goals by Juan Carlos Azocar in the 78th minute and Charlie Dennis in the 88th minute to earn a 2-2 draw against Rio Grande Valley FC at Laney Stadium. The pair of goals moved Roots SC to 12 goals this season following the 76th minute, the most in the Championship so far this campaign.

Through 16 games, Roots SC is almost halfway to the USL Championship season-high for late-game goals since records became available in 2017. That mark of 26 goals is currently held by Orange County SC in the 2018, in which OCSC finished first in the Western Conference standings.

Most Goals in the final 15 minutes of Games (2017-Present
Orange County SC (2018) – 26
Phoenix Rising FC (2019) – 23
Phoenix Rising FC (2018) – 21
Real Monarchs SLC (2019) – 22
New York Red Bulls II (2019) – 20

SACRAMENTO’S RODRIGO LOPEZ RECORDS 35TH REGULAR-SEASON ASSIST


Sacramento Republic FC's Rodrigo Lopez recorded his 35th career regular-season assist this past Saturday, making him the eighth player in league history to reach the mark. | Photo courtesy Christian Inoferio / Rio Grande Valley FC

Sacramento Republic FC’s Rodrigo Lopez became the eighth player in the USL Championship’s history to record 35 regular-season assists this past Saturday as he provided the helper on Keko’s goal in Republic FC’s 2-0 victory against Detroit City FC at Keyworth Stadium. Previously the Championship’s all-time assist leader prior to seasons spent in the top two flights in Mexico, Lopez is also the sixth player to record both 30 goals and 35 assists in his career in the league.

Players with 30 goals, 35 assists in the USL Championship Regular Season
Jorge Herrera – 72 goals, 35 assists
Solomon Asante – 49 goals, 44 assists
Aodhan Quinn – 37 goals, 44 assists
Antoine Hoppenot – 36 goals, 37 assists
Maikel Chang – 32 goals, 38 assists
Rodrigo Lopez – 31 goals, 35 assists

MAKING THE MOVE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC

Orange County SC’s Kobi Henry became the fifth player to be transferred to a European club in 2022 on Tuesday, continuing the growing path for top young players from the USL Championship to top-flight leagues on the other side of the Atlantic. The 18-year-old – who alongside former Louisville City FC standout and 2021 USL Championship Young Player of the Year Jonathan Gomez became the first active Championship player called up to a senior United States Men’s National Team camp last December – joined Ligue 1’s Stade de Reims for a reported USL-record transfer fee.

Players Transferred to Europe from the USL Championship in 2022
Jonathan Gomez – Louisville City FC to Real Sociedad (Spain)
Jose Gallegos – San Antonio FC to SønderjyskE (Denmark)
Ronaldo Damus – Orange County SC to GIF Sundsvall (Sweden)
Junior Flemmings – Birmingham Legion FC to Toulouse FC (France)
Kobi Henry – Orange County SC to Stade de Reims (France)

INDY ELEVEN DUO COME THROUGH FOR SOCA WARRIORS

The recent international break saw a pair of Indy Eleven players feature prominently as Trinidad and Tobago remained in contention for an automatic berth at the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup and promotion to Concacaf Nations League A for the next edition of the tournament. Neveal Hackshaw and Noah Powder each recorded a pair of goals in three victories for the Soca Warriors, with Hackshaw scoring the only goal off a corner kick by Powder against the Bahamas on June 6 before recording the opening goal in the side’s 2-0 win against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on June 10 for his first two goals at the international level.

Powder, meanwhile, scored twice as Trinidad and Tobago downed St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the second game of their home-and-home series in Group C on Monday night. The Soca Warriors are now a point behind Nicaragua for first place in the group with the teams set to meet in Port of Spain next March 27 where an automatic berth in the Concacaf Gold Cup will likely be at stake.

UNITED STATES U-20S FEATURE TOP USL CHAMPIONSHIP ALUMNI


Both Jalen Neal (LA Galaxy II) and Diego Luna (El Paso Locomotive FC) are among the 17 players selected in the U.S. U-20s squad with USL Championship or League One experience in their careers. | Photo courtesy Ivan Pierre Aguirre / El Paso Locomotive FC

The United States U-20 Men’s National Team will open the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship on Saturday in Honduras with the largest contingent of USL Championship and League One alumni in its ranks in the league’s history. Seventeen players named by Head Coach Mikey Varas have previously played in the USL’s two professional tiers, with recent El Paso Locomotive FC transfer Diego Luna among five players that have competed in the Championship this season. In the prior cycle in 2019, 12 players with USL Championship experience were named to the final FIFA U-20 World Cup squad, including players such as Mark McKenzie who have since gone on to become senior internationals.

Overall, the U.S. U-20s have a cumulative 290 appearances in the USL Championship, recording 20,260 minutes of action, 39 goals and 24 assists. The squad also includes League One alumni that have made 45 appearances and recorded 3,926 minutes of action, while featuring the past two League One Young Player of the Year award winners in goalkeeper Chris Brady (2020, Forward Madison FC) and Noah Allen (2021, Fort Lauderdale CF).

USL Championship & League One alumni in United States Concacaf U-20 Championship Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Christopher Brady (Forward Madison FC)
, Antonio Carrera (FC Dallas)

DEFENDERS (6): Noah Allen (Fort Lauderdale CF), Brandan Craig (Philadelphia Union II), Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy II), Marcus Ferkranus (LA Galaxy II), Michael Halliday (Orlando City B), Jalen Neal (LA Galaxy II)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Paxten Aaronson (Philadelphia Union II), Alejandro Alvarado Jr. (LA Galaxy II), Caden Clark (New York Red Bulls II) Daniel Edelman (New York Red Bulls II), Diego Luna (El Paso Locomotive FC), Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union II), Rokas Pukstas (Hajduk Split), Niko Tsakiris (San Jose Earthquakes), Obed Vargas (Tacoma Defiance)

FORWARDS (3): Cade Cowell (Reno 1868 FC), Quinn Sullivan (Philadelphia Union II), Tyler Wolff (Atlanta United 2)

Upcoming Player Milestones


Monterey Bay F.C.'s Kai Greene is on course to make his 150th regular season appearance in the USL Championship on Wednesday night as the side visits the LA Galaxy II. | Photo courtesy Monterey Bay F.C.

Appearances
Approaching 200 regular-season appearances

Alex Dixon (PIT) – 199

Approaching 150 regular-season appearances
Kai Greene (MB) – 149
Seth Casiple (OC) – 149
Kalen Ryden (NM) – 147
Charlie Adams (SD) – 147
Andre Lewis (HFD) – 147
AJ Cochran (IND) – 147

Approaching 100 regular-season appearances
Shannon Gomez (SA) – 98
Dominic Oduro (CHS) – 98
Will Seymore (NM) – 98
Joe Kuzminsky (CHS) – 97
Richie Ryan (ELP) – 97
Angelo Kelly (PIT) – 97

Minutes
Approaching 15,000 regular-season minutes

Alex Dixon (PIT) – 14,705

Approaching 10,000 regular-season minutes
Duke Lacroix (SAC) – 9,971
Mikey Lopez (BHM) – 9,924
Chris Cortez (MB) – 9,784

Goals
Approaching 75 regular-season goals

Corey Hertzog (HFD) – 74
Cameron Lancaster (LOU) – 73

Approaching 50 regular-season goals
Solomon Asante (IND) – 49
Kyle Murphy (MIA) – 47
Alex Dixon (PIT) – 47

Assists
Approaching 50 regular-season assists
Kenardo Forbes (PIT) – 49

Approaching 40 regular-season assists
Antoine Hoppenot (DET) – 37

Approaching 30 regular-season assists
Santi Moar (PHX) – 29
Corey Hertzog (HFD) – 29
Oscar Jimenez (LOU) – 29
Alex Dixon (PIT) – 29

Saves
Approaching 200 regular-season saves
Trey Muse (MEM) – 191

Shutouts
Approaching 30 regular-season shutouts
Joe Kuzminsky (CHS) – 29
Kyle Morton (LOU) – 27
CJ Cochran (TBR) – 27

Discipline Report – Week 15

TAMPA, Fla. – The following is the USL Championship’s discipline report for Week 15 of the 2022 USL Championship season:

Hartford Athletic Head Coach Harry Watling has been suspended for one game following his red card for abusive language during his side’s contest against San Diego Loyal SC on June 11. Watling will serve his suspension during Hartford’s contest against Memphis 901 FC on Wednesday night.

Phoenix Rising FC’s Manuel Madrid has been suspended for one game following his red card for denial of a goalscoring opportunity against El Paso Locomotive FC on June 11. Madrid will be unavailable for selection in Phoenix’s contest against Loudoun United FC on Saturday night.

Monterey Bay F.C. Hugh Roberts has been suspended for one game following his red card for two cautionable offenses against San Antonio FC on June 11. Roberts will be unavailable for selection in Monterey Bay’s contest against the LA Galaxy II on Wednesday night.

Sacramento Republic FC’s Rodrigo Lopez has been suspended following his eighth caution of the season against Detroit City FC on June 11. Lopez will be unavailable for selection in Sacramento’s contest against the LA Galaxy II on Saturday night.

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:

  • Las Vegas Lights FC (1): Alex Lara

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  • USL Championship News & Notes | Week 15

  • By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com 06/15/2022, 10:00am EDT
  • Digging into Oakland’s last-gasp heroics, Indy’s standouts for Soca Warriors, and upcoming milestones across the league
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