USL Championship Golden Boot leader Ottar Magnus Karlsson of Oakland Roots SC has recorded four two-goal outings so far this season, within sight of the most in a single season by an individual player. | Photo courtesy Oakland Roots SC
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of the USL Championship News & Notes, where this week we take a look at the Golden Boot leader and the other record he could surpass before the end of the regular season, a night of target practice for San Antonio FC at Toyota Field, and a unique Las Vegas Lights FC victory this past Sunday night.
More on that and Niall McCabe’s career-best assists streak, upcoming potential landmarks for players across the league, and the weekly Discipline Report.
OAKLAND’S KARLSSON BRACING HIMSELF
Oakland Roots SC’s Ottar Magnus Karlsson currently leads the race for the USL Championship’s Golden Boot with 15 goals this season, with the Icelandic forward getting there in double-quick time after recording his fourth two-goal game of the season this past Saturday night against El Paso Locomotive FC.
The Venezia F.C. loanee is now only two behind the single-season record for two-goal games in a regular season. The mark of six braces was originally set by Louisville City FC’s Cameron Lancaster during the 2018 campaign and was subsequently matched a season ago by the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Sebastian Guenzatti. Only six players all-time have recorded at least five two-goal performances in a regular season, a group Karlsson would join with his next brace as he tries to push Roots SC into a second consecutive postseason berth.
Most Two-Goal Games in a USL Championship Regular Season
T-1. Cameron Lancaster, Louisville City FC (2018) – 6
T-1. Sebastian Guenzatti, Tampa Bay Rowdies (2021) – 6
T-3. Luke Vercollone, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (2015) – 5
T-3. Rob Vincent, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (2015) – 5
T-3. Solomon Asante, Phoenix Rising FC (2019) – 5
T-3. Hadji Barry, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (2021) – 5
SAN ANTONIO TAKES ON-TARGET PRACTICE
San Antonio FC set a new 2022 single-game on Saturday night with 15 shots on target in the club’s 5-0 victory against Atlanta United 2, surpassing the mark of 13 shots on target previously accomplished by El Paso Locomotive FC (vs. Monterey Bay F.C., 4/9/22), the LA Galaxy II (vs. Oakland Roots SC, 7/1/22) and Louisville City FC (vs. New York Red Bulls II, 7/9/22).
Overall, in USL Championship regular season history since the start of the league’s partnership with Opta in 2017, San Antonio’s shots on target mark tied for the fifth-most in a single game in the league’s regular season. The single-game record remains Phoenix Rising FC’s 19 shots on target against Las Vegas Lights FC on May 22, 2021.
Most Shots on Target in a USL Championship Regular Season Game (2017-Present)
1. Phoenix Rising FC – 19 vs. Las Vegas Lights FC, 5/22/21
T-2. Reno 1868 FC – 17 vs. Portland Timbers 2, 9/5/20
T-2. New York Red Bulls II – 17 vs. Richmond Kickers, 7/13/18
T-2. Charlotte Independence – 17 vs. New York Red Bulls II, 5/11/17
T-5. San Antonio FC – 15 vs. Atlanta United 2, 7/16/22
T-5. New York Red Bulls II – 15 vs. Sporting Kansas City II, 3/8/2019
T-5. Louisville City FC – 15 vs. FC Cincinnati, 8/12/17
LESS IS MORE FOR LAS VEGAS LIGHTS FC
Las Vegas Lights FC achieved a pair of recorded firsts in the USL Championship’s history in its 1-0 victory against Rio Grande Valley FC on Sunday night, becoming both the first side to win a contest while recording no official shots from inside the penalty area and the first to win a contest while only recording one official touch of possession inside the opposing penalty area during the contest. All three of Lights FC’s shots in the game came from outside the penalty area, with Morten Björshol’s game-winner in the 27th minute coming from approximately 30 yards from goal, earning nomination for the Championship’s Fans’ Choice Goal of the Week.
Prior to Sunday since the Championship partnered with Opta before the 2017 season, there had been 10 instances of a team failing to register an official shot inside an opponent’s penalty area, most recently by Atlanta United 2 on March 16 in a 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls II. Those teams had combined to produce an 0-8-2 record.
Additionally, prior to Sunday’s contest there had been five instances in which a team had recorded only one official touch of possession in the opposition’s penalty area. Those teams had combined to produce a 0-3-2 record.
Of the teams who had both recorded no shots inside the opposition’s penalty area and only recorded one official touch of possession, the prior combined record was 0-3-0.
SACRAMENTO’S HOME UNDEFEATED STREAK COMES TO CLOSE
Birmingham Legion FC became the first team to defeat Sacramento Republic FC at Heart Health Park this season on Saturday night, ending Sacramento’s home regular season undefeated streak at 12 games overall while ensuring no side in the Championship will finish with an undefeated home record this season.
This will mark the first time since the 2018 season that no side will end the campaign with an unblemished home record in the Championship’s regular season, with each of the past three seasons having seen two teams accomplish the feat.
Undefeated Home Records in Championship Regular Season
2021: Phoenix Rising FC (13-0-3), El Paso Locomotive FC (11-0-5)
2020: San Antonio FC (7-0-1), Sacramento Republic FC (5-0-4)
2019: Indy Eleven (13-0-4), Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (10-0-7)
2015: Rochester Rhinos (12-0-2), Charleston Battery (8-0-6)
2014: Orlando City SC (13-0-1)
2013: Richmond Kickers (8-0-6)
2012: Orlando City SC (8-0-4)
LOUCITY’S NIALL MCCABE ON HELPER HOT STREAK
Louisville City FC’s Niall McCabe became the third player in the USL Championship this season to record an assist in three consecutive games, following Memphis 901 FC’s Jeremy Kelly (May 14-22) and Detroit City FC’s Deklan Wynne (July 2-9) as he provided the helper on Brian Ownby’s first goal against Memphis 901 C this past Saturday night, a streak the LouCity original has previously not attained while accumulating 26 regular season assists in his career.
McCabe can become only the ninth player in the Championship’s history to record an assist in at least four consecutive games on Wednesday night as LouCity hosts the USL Summer Showcase against Phoenix Rising FC.
New Mexico United's Alex Tambakis is set to make his 150th regular season appearance in the Championship on Saturday when United visits Detroit City FC. | Photo courtesy Josh Lane / New Mexico United
Approaching 150 regular-season appearances
Alex Tambakis (NM) – 149
Augustine Williams (CHS) – 149
Joey Calistri (PHX) – 148
Neveal Hackshaw (IND) – 148
Christiano Francois (ELP) – 147
Jack Metcalf (SD) – 147
Approaching 100 regular-season appearances
Sebastian Velasquez (ELP) – 99
Sean Okoli (OC) – 99
Jack Blake (SD) – 99
Isidro Martinez (RGV) – 98
Joe Kuzminsky (CHS) – 97
Tyler Gibson (LOU) – 97
Approaching 15,000 regular-season minutes
Sean Totsch (LOU) – 14,711
Kyle Greig (TBR) – 14,649
Approaching 10,000 regular-season minutes
CJ Cochran (TBR) – 9,989
Karl Ouimette (DET) – 9,956
Augustine Williams (CHS) – 9,908
Chris Cortez (MB) – 9,867
Kevon Lambert (PHX) – 9,860
Thomas Vancaeyezeele (TBR) – 9,860
Jack Metcalf (SD) – 9,816
Amadou Dia (LOU) – 9,781
Mechack Jerome (IND) – 9,780
Malik Johnson (COS) – 9,777
Approaching 75 regular season goals
Corey Hertzog (HFD) – 74
Hadji Barry (COS) – 74
Cameron Lancaster (LOU) – 73
Approaching 50 regular season goals
Solomon Asante (IND) – 49
Kyle Murphy (MIA) – 48
Alex Dixon (PIT) – 48
Christian Volesky (MB) – 47
Approaching 40 regular season assists
Antoine Hoppenot (DET) – 37
Rodrigo Lopez (SAC) – 37
Approaching 30 regular season assists
Corey Hertzog (HFD) – 29
Santi Moar (PHX) – 29
Oscar Jimenez (LOU) – 29
Approaching 300 regular season saves
Matt VanOekel (BHM) – 290
Approaching 200 regular season saves
Eric Lopez (LA) – 196
Approaching 60 regular-season shutouts
Evan Newton (ELP) – 58
Approaching 40 regular-season shutouts
Alex Tambakis (NM) – 37
Approaching 30 regular-season shutouts
Joe Kuzminsky (CHS) – 29
CJ Cochran (TBR) – 28
Kyle Morton (LOU) – 27
TAMPA, Fla. – The following is the USL Championship’s discipline report for Week 20 of the 2022 USL Championship season:
FC Tulsa’s Johnny Fenwick has been suspended for one game following his red card for denial of a goalscoring opportunity against New Mexico United on July 13. Fenwick will be unavailable for selection in Tulsa’s contest against Birmingham Legion FC on Saturday night.
The Charleston Battery’s Matthew Sheldon has been suspended for one game following his red card for violent conduct against Hartford Athletic on July 16. Sheldon will be unavailable for selection in Charleston’s contest against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Friday night.
Memphis 901 FC’s Trey Muse has been suspended for one game following his red card for denial of a goalscoring opportunity against Louisville City FC on July 16. Muse will be unavailable for selection in Memphis’ contest against Indy Eleven on Saturday night.
Memphis 901 FC’s Patrick Seagrist has been suspended for one game following his red card for two cautionable offenses against Louisville City FC on July 16. Seagrist will be unavailable for selection in Memphis’ contest against Indy Eleven on Saturday night.
Louisville City FC’s Amadou Dia has been suspended for one game following his red card for two cautionable offenses against Memphis 901 FC on July 16. Dia will be unavailable for selection for Louisville’s contest against Phoenix Rising FC on Wednesday night.
FC Tulsa assistant coach Nemanja Vukovic has been suspended for one game following his red card for offensive gestures against New Mexico United on July 13. Vukovic will serve his suspension during Tulsa’s contest against Birmingham Legion FC on Saturday night.
FC Tulsa’s Adrian Diz Pe has been suspended for one game following his eighth caution of the regular season against New Mexico United on July 13. Diz Pe will be unavailable for selection in Tulsa’s contest against Birmingham Legion FC on Saturday night.
The LA Galaxy II’s Liam Doyle has been suspended for one game following his eighth caution of the regular season against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on July 15. Doyle will be unavailable for selection in LA’s contest against Orange County SC on Saturday night.
The Charleston Battery’s Romario Piggott has been suspended for one game following his eighth caution of the regular season against Hartford Athletic on July 16. Piggott will be unavailable for selection in Charleston’s contest against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Friday 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:
Birmingham Legion FC (1): Marlon
Charleston Battery (1): Tristan Weber
Hartford Athletic (1): Younes Boudadi
Memphis 901 FC (1): Phillip Goodrum
San Antonio FC (1): Mitchell Taintor
FC Tulsa (1): Gabriel Torres
The following players enter the upcoming matches one caution away from a yellow card accumulation suspension for their 11th 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.