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USL Championship News & Notes | Week 24

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 08/17/22, 9:50AM EDT

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Reviewing Friday’s eight-goal thriller, Augustine Williams’ half-century, Milan Iloski continues a remarkable run


The 4-4 draw between Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and El Paso Locomotive FC on Friday night was the eighth time that scoreline had occurred in the USL Championship's regular season. | Photo courtesy Isaiah J. Downing / Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

Welcome to the latest edition of the USL Championship’s News & Notes, where the past weekend saw El Paso Locomotive FC continue a remarkable series record, the Charleston Battery’s Augustine Williams became the second-youngest player to reach a half-century of regular season goals, and Milan Iloski’s remarkable individual campaign continued for Orange County SC.

Here’s a deeper look at those three topics, and more, plus upcoming potential landmarks for players around the league and the Week 24 Discipline Report.

NEWS AND NOTES

LOCOMOTIVE FC MAINTAINS UNDEFEATED RECORD AGAINST SWITCHBACKS

El Paso Locomotive FC and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC played out one of the most dramatic games in the USL Championship so far this season as they ended in a 4-4 draw last Friday night at Weidner Field. The result saw Locomotive FC not only maintain its undefeated record in the series with a record of 6-0-6 against the Switchbacks in their history but equal the mark for the most games without a defeat in a series in the Championship’s history.

Most Meetings Without Defeat in a USL Championship Regular Season Series
T-1. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – 12 games vs. El Paso Locomotive FC (6-0-6)
T-1. LA Galaxy II – 12 games vs. Rio Grande Valley FC (7-0-5)
T-1. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – 12 games vs. Toronto FC II (9-0-3)
T-1. Tampa Bay Rowdies – 12 games vs. Atlanta United 2 (9-0-3)
T-5. Hartford Athletic – 11 games vs. Loudoun United FC (10-0-1)
T-5. Sacramento Republic FC – 11 games vs. FC Tulsa (9-0-2)

The result also marked the eighth game to end in a 4-4 draw in the league’s history, and the second in a row to feature the Switchbacks as one of the participants. Colorado Springs also finished in a 4-4 draw against Austin Bold FC on August 26, 2020 in a game that saw Austin score four times in the first half before Colorado Springs answered with four goals in the second half at Weidner Field. A 4-4 final score remains the highest-scoring draw in the Championship’s history.

CHARLESTON’S WILLIAMS BECOMES SECOND-YOUNGEST TO 50 REGULAR SEASON GOALS


Sierra Leone international Augustine Williams became the second-youngest player to record 50 regular season goals in the USL Championship, scoring in the Charleston Battery's victory last Friday. | Photo courtesy New York Red Bulls II

The Charleston Battery’s Augustine Williams became the 19th player to reach 50 regular season goals in the USL Championship for his career on Friday night as he notched his 13th goal of the 2022 campaign in the Battery’s victory against the New York Red Bulls II at MSU Soccer Park.

In doing so, at the age of 25 years and 9 days old, the Sierra Leone international became the second-youngest player to reach the landmark, with only current Jamaican international and 2020 Championship Golden Boot winner Junior Flemmings having recorded 50 goals at a younger age in league history.

Youngest Player to Reach 50 Regular Season Goals in USL Championship History
1. Junior Flemmings – 24 years, 247 days
2. Augustine Williams – 25 years, 9 days
3. Dane Kelly – 26 years, 56 days
4. Chandler Hoffman – 27 years, 285 days
5. Cameron Lancaster – 27 years, 319 days

ORANGE COUNTY’S ILOSKI NOTCHES SIXTH MULTI-GOAL PERFORMANCE OF SEASON

Orange County SC’s Milan Iloski recorded his sixth multi-goal game of the season last Friday night, moving him within one of equaling the USL Championship’s single-season record currently held by Louisville City FC’s Cameron Lancaster of seven in the 2018 campaign.

Iloski’s two-goal performance against Phoenix was his fifth of the season, with the current Championship Golden Boot leader having also notched one hat trick this campaign. During the 2018 season, Lancaster produced six two-goal games and one hat trick on his way to a single-season record 25 goals, a mark that Iloski would equal with seven goals in Orange County’s final 10 games of the regular season.

Most Multi-Goal Games in a USL Championship Regular Season (2015-Present)
1. Cameron Lancaster (Louisville City FC, 2018) – 7 (6 two-goal games, 1 hat trick)
T-2. Rob Vincent (Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, 2015) – 6 (5 two-goal games, 1 hat trick)
T-2. Milan Iloski (Orange County SC, 2022) – 6 (5 two-goal games, 1 hat trick)
T-2. Sebastian Guenzatti (Tampa Bay Rowdies, 2021) – 6 (6 two-goal games)
T-5. Hadji Barry (Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, 2021) – 5 (5 two-goal games)
T-5. Luke Vercollone (Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, 2015) – 5 (5 two-goal games)
T-5. Solomon Asante (Phoenix Rising FC, 2019) – 5 (5 two-goal games)

QUARTET OF GOALKEEPERS TAKE AIM AT SINGLE-SEASON SHUTOUT RECORD


Birmingham Legion FC goalkeeper Matt VanOekel currently leads the USL Championship with 11 shutouts this season, four back of the single-season record held by current Canadian international Maxime Crepeau. | Photo courtesy Birmingham Legion FC

For a second consecutive season, the single-season shutouts record in the USL Championship appears it could be challenged with four goalkeepers having reached double-digit clean sheets to move within range of current Los Angeles FC and Canadian Men’s National Team goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau’s record of 15 set in the 2018 season at Ottawa Fury FC.

Leading the group is veteran shot-stopper Matt VanOekel, who recorded his 11th clean sheet of the season this past Saturday night and now has 10 potential regular season appearances remaining to record the five shutouts needed to surpass Crepeau’s mark. Louisville City FC’s Kyle Morton, Miami FC’s Connor Sparrow, and San Antonio FC’s Jordan Farr all currently sit on 10, with current Golden Glove leader Morton having 11 potential games remaining to record six shutouts to set the new mark.

TAMPA BAY STYMIED FOR FIRST TIME IN ALMOST TWO YEARS
The Tampa Bay Rowdies were held without a shot on target for the first time in a regular season game for the first time in 65 games on Saturday night – a span of almost two years – in their contest against Louisville City FC at Lynn Family Stadium. The last time that occurred was on September 11, 2020 in a 1-0 defeat against the Charleston Battery, with the Rowdies becoming the 14th different team to be held without a shot on target in a game this season.

Since the start of the USL Championship’s partnership with Opta prior to the 2017 season, only two teams have recorded at least one shot on target in every regular season game – the New York Red Bulls II and Phoenix Rising FC. 

Upcoming Player Milestones


Louisville City FC's Brian Ownby is on course to make his 200th regular season appearance in the USL Championship on Saturday night when the side visits Detroit City FC. | Photo courtesy Eric Glemser / Memphis 901 FC

Appearances
Approaching 200 regular-season appearances

Brian Ownby (LOU) – 199

Approaching 150 regular-season appearances
Jason Johnson (MB) – 149
Oscar Jimenez (LOU) – 148
Conor Donovan (SAC) – 146
Hadji Barry (COS) – 146

Approaching 100 regular-season appearances
Kevaughn Frater (NM) – 97
Joe Kuzminsky (CHS) – 97
Arun Basuljevic (MB) – 97
Alexis Souahy (NM) – 97
Jake Areman (TBR) – 97

Minutes
Approaching 15,000 regular-season minutes

Phanuel Kavita (BHM) – 14,877
Emrah Klimenta (OAK) – 14,861
Danny Barrera (HFD) – 14,829
Kyle Greig (TBR) – 14,745

Approaching 10,000 regular-season minutes
Amadou Dia (LOU) – 9,961
Chris Cortez (MB) – 9,929
Thomas Vancaeyezeele (TBR) – 9,905
Kyle Adams (SD) – 9,819
Kyle Murphy (MIA) – 9,814
Jimmy Ockford (COS) – 9,794
Malik Johnson (COS) – 9,777
Seth Casiple (OC) – 9,774

Goals
Approaching 75 regular season goals

Cameron Lancaster (LOU) – 73

Approaching 50 regular season goals
Alex Dixon (PIT) – 48
Christian Volesky (MB) – 48
Chris Wehan (NM) – 47

Assists
Approaching 40 regular season assists

Rodrigo Lopez (SAC) – 39
Antoine Hoppenot (DET) – 38

Approaching 30 regular season assists
Santi Moar (PHX) – 29
Oscar Jimenez (LOU) – 29
Lewis Hilton (TBR) – 27
Niall McCabe (LOU) – 27
Justin Portillo (NM) – 27

Saves
Approaching 300 regular season saves
CJ Cochran (TBR) – 291

Shutouts
Approaching 60 regular-season shutouts
Evan Newton (ELP) – 58

Approaching 40 regular-season shutouts
Matt VanOekel (BHM) – 38
Alex Tambakis (NM) – 37

Approaching 30 regular-season shutouts
Joe Kuzminsky (CHS) – 29
CJ Cochran (TBR) – 29
Connor Sparrow (MIA) – 28

Discipline Report – Week 24

TAMPA, Fla. – The following is the USL Championship’s discipline report for Week 24 of the 2022 USL Championship season:

The New York Red Bulls II’s Caden Clark has been suspended for one game following his red card for violent conduct during his side’s contest against the Charleston Battery on August 12. Clark will be unavailable for selection in New York’s contest against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on Saturday night.

Atlanta United 2’s Noah Cobb has been suspended for one game following his red card for denial of a goalscoring opportunity during his side’s contest against Miami FC on August 13. Cobb will be unavailable for selection in Atlanta’s contest against Loudoun United FC on Saturday night.

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Head Coach Brenden Burke has been suspended for two games following his red card for two cautionable incidents during the side’s contest against El Paso Locomotive FC on August 12. Burke will be unavailable for Colorado Springs’ contests against Sacramento Republic FC on Wednesday night, and the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday night.

El Paso Locomotive FC’s Yuma has been suspended for one game for caution accumulation following his eighth yellow card of the season against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on August 12. Yuma will be unavailable for selection in El Paso’s contest against San Diego Loyal SC on Saturday night.

Atlanta United 2’s Efrain Morales has been suspended for one game for caution accumulation following his eighth yellow card of the season against Miami FC on August 13. Morales will be unavailable for selection in Atlanta’s contest against Loudoun United FC on Saturday night.

San Antonio FC’s PC has been suspended for one game for caution accumulation following his eighth yellow card of the season against Las Vegas Lights FC on August 13. PC will be unavailable for selection in San Antonio’s contest against Rio Grande Valley FC on Saturday night.

Las Vegas Lights FC’s Alex Lara has been suspended for one game for caution accumulation following his eighth yellow card of the season against San Antonio FC on August 13. Lara will be unavailable for selection in Las Vegas’ contest against Orange County SC on Wednesday night.

Monterey Bay F.C.’s James Murphy has been suspended for one game for caution accumulation following his eighth yellow card of the season against Sacramento Republic FC on August 13. Murphy will be unavailable for selection in Monterey Bay’s contest against New Mexico United on Saturday night.

The New York Red Bulls II’s Michael Knapp was suspended for one game following his red card for denial of a goalscoring opportunity during his side’s contest against Atlanta United 2 on August 9. Knapp served his suspension during New York’s contest against the Charleston Battery on August 12.

San Antonio FC’s Mitchell Taintor was suspended for one game for caution accumulation following his eighth yellow card of the season against Loudoun United FC on August 10. Taintor served his suspension during San Antonio’s contest against Las Vegas Lights FC on August 13.

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

  • Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (2): Dennis Erdmann, Cam Lindley

  • Indy Eleven (1): Sam Brown

  • Memphis 901 FC (1): Leston Paul

  • New Mexico United (1): Will Seymore

  • New York Red Bulls II (1): Curtis Ofori

  • San Diego Loyal SC (1): Kyle Adams

  • 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:

  • Oakland Roots SC (1): Jose Hernandez

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  • USL Championship News & Notes | Week 24

  • By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com 08/17/2022, 9:50am EDT
  • Reviewing Friday’s eight-goal thriller, Augustine Williams’ half-century, Milan Iloski continues a remarkable run
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