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USL Championship News & Notes | Week 16

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 06/22/22, 11:00AM EDT


Sacramento becomes Open Cup’s King of California, Judd notches notable second hat trick, and more

Sacramento Republic FC fans celebrate during the club's victory against the LA Galaxy in the Quarterfinals of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night. | Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC

Welcome to this week’s edition of the USL Championship’s News & Notes, where this week we’ll bullet-point the achievement of Sacramento Republic FC in advancing to the Semifinals of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night, catch up with a veteran standout that reached a notable individual landmark, and find out where Preston Judd lands on the list of the youngest players to bag two hat tricks in the Championship’s history.

All of that, plus upcoming individual landmarks and the Week 16 Discipline Report.



Sacramento Republic FC became the third team in the USL Championship’s history to reach the Semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night as Luis Felipe Fernandes’ goal in the 70th minute earned the side a 2-1 win against the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park to advance from the Quarterfinals.

Sacramento joins the Richmond Kickers (2011) and FC Cincinnati (2017) in reaching this stage of the tournament, while came via some notable club and individual club achievements.

  • After victories against the San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy, Republic FC is the last remaining team from California in this year’s Open Cup.

  • Fernandes’ game-winning goal was his third in as many rounds. The New York native also scored the opening goal against Phoenix Rising FC (Fourth Round) and San Jose (Round of 16) in a pair of 2-0 victories.

  • Rodrigo Lopez scored the opening goal for Sacramento and is now tied for the tournament lead with four goals this tournament.

  • Republic FC has conceded only two goals in five Open Cup games thus far and has yet to trail in a game in the tournament.

Republic FC will try to become the first lower-division side since the USL First Division’s Charleston Battery in 2008 to reach the Final of the Open Cup against either Major League Soccer’s Sporting Kansas City or USL League One club Union Omaha, who meet in the Quarterfinals on Wednesday night.


Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC's Alex Dixon became the 15th player in USL Championship history to reach 200 regular-season appearances on Saturday night against Rio Grande Valley FC. | Photo courtesy Christian Inoferio / Rio Grande Valley FC

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC’s Alex Dixon became the 15th player in the USL Championship’s history to record 200 regular season appearances on Saturday as he came on as a substitute against Rio Grande Valley FC at H-E-B Park. The Texas native became the fourth player to reach the landmark this season following Louisville City FC’s Paolo DelPiccolo, Hounds teammate Kenardo Forbes, and Phoenix Rising FC’s Aodhan Quinn.

Dixon has recorded more than 40 appearances for four clubs in the Championship, with 65 regular season appearances at OKC Energy FC the most currently for an individual club. The 32-year-old has made 45 regular-season appearances for the Hounds and is closing in on two additional landmarks with 47 regular season goals and 29 regular-season assists in the league to his credit so far. 


The LA Galaxy II’s Preston Judd recorded his second career hat trick in the USL Championship last Wednesday night in his side’s 3-2 victory against Monterey Bay F.C., becoming the 15th player to record multiple hat tricks in the league’s history overall. Judd’s second hat trick came at the age of 23 years, 19 days old, making him the fourth-youngest player to achieve the feat in the league. Two of those younger than Judd were predecessors with the Galaxy II, with 2018 Championship Young Player of the Year Efrain Alvarez and Ethan Zubak both having accomplished the feat in Los Dos’ colors.

Youngest USL Championship Players to Record Two Regular Season Hat Tricks
Efrain Alvarez – 16 years, 96 days
Ethan Zubak – 20 years, 42 days
Douglas Martinez Jr. – 22 years, 101 days
Preston Judd – 23 years, 19 days
Kevin Molino – 24 years, 75 days

Upcoming Player Milestones

Hartford Athletic's Andre Lewis is set to make his 150th regular season appearance in the USL Championship on Saturday when Hartford hosts Louisville City FC on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET. | Photo courtesy Hartford Athletic

Approaching 150 regular-season appearances

Andre Lewis (HFD) – 149
Kalen Ryden (NM) – 148
Charlie Adams (SD) – 148
AJ Cochran (IND) – 148
Liam Doyle (LA) – 147

Approaching 100 regular-season appearances
Shannon Gomez (SA) – 99
Dominic Oduro (CHS) – 99
Will Seymore (NM) – 99
Richie Ryan (ELP) – 98
Angelo Kelly (PIT) – 98
Joe Kuzminsky (CHS) – 97

Approaching 15,000 regular-season minutes
Alex Dixon (PIT) – 14,750

Approaching 10,000 regular-season minutes
Mikey Lopez (BHM) – 9,924
Chris Cortez (MB) – 9,784
Jack Metcalf (SD) – 9,755

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

Approaching 50 regular-season assists

Kenardo Forbes (PIT) – 49

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

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

Approaching 200 regular-season saves

Trey Muse (MEM) – 194
Eric Lopez (LA) – 189

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

Discipline Report – Week 16

TAMPA, Fla. – The following is the USL Championship’s discipline report for Week 16 of the 2022 USL Championship season:

New Mexico United’s Jerome Kiesewetter has been suspended for one game following his red card for violent conduct against Oakland Roots SC on June 15. Kiesewetter will be unavailable for selection in New Mexico’s contest against Birmingham Legion FC on Saturday night.

The New York Red Bulls II’s Juan Castillo has been suspended for one game following his red card for two cautionable offenses against FC Tulsa on June 15. Castillo will be unavailable for selection in New York’s contest against El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday night.

Oakland Roots SC’s Jose Hernandez has been suspended following his eighth caution of the season against San Antonio FC on June 18. Hernandez will be unavailable for selection in Oakland’s contest against Atlanta United 2 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

  • San Antonio FC (1): Mitchell Taintor

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