skip navigation

8 gifts for USL Championship clubs and players this holiday season

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 12/24/22, 8:00AM EST


Who’s getting a new smoking pit, a guidebook to Indonesia, or a case of wine? Find out here

Ah, the holidays.

It’s a time for family and friends to come together and unwind after a long year, and time for presents that will hopefully delight those we hold dear.

Since it remains true that it is better to give than receive, we thought of eight presents we’d like to pass on to clubs and individuals within the USL Championship that will hopefully make their holiday and new year a little bit brighter.

We also hope all of you have a great holiday season. Have your own present suggestions for a favorite USL Championship player or club? Let us know on social media.

1. Birmingham Legion FC – A Chemistry Set

Club President Jay Heaps & Co. have already put together what, on paper, is the strongest side in club history. The recent addition of Tyler Pasher makes Legion FC offseason title frontrunners in the USL Championship. Will it all work on the field? In 2022, Head Coach Tom Soehn’s squad had plenty of talent, but ultimately lacked the cohesion and finishing touch to break through. Here's to them unwrapping something special in 2023.

2. Charleston Battery – A Whole-Hog Smoking Pit

New Charleston Battery Head Coach Ben Pirmann contemplates which sides he'll get with his pulled pork at the club's holiday celebration. | Photo courtesy Ben Clemens / Charleston Battery

2022 Championship Coach of the Year Ben Pirmann is going from one barbecue tradition in Memphis to another in Charleston this offseason, so what better way to welcome him to his new city than a full-size smoking pit in one of the corners at Patriots Point. It’ll definitely be useful for team-building and post-game food for players, staff and fans, especially if you can get legendary local pitmaster Rodney Scott to come help out.

3. Hartford Athletic – Three Matching Holiday Sweaters

With the club’s acquisition of 2022 Championship assists leader Antoine Hoppenot this offseason, Hartford Athletic has two of the top five assist-men in league history with Danny Barrera returning to Trinity Health Stadium for Head Coach Tab Ramos’ first full season in charge. As they all look to get on the same page – and help the Athletic to a postseason berth – we’ve got three matching holiday sweaters to be worn as they share hot chocolate and get to know one another properly.

4. Indy Eleven – A Family Reunion Photoshoot

2022 Championship All-League selection Cam Lindley’s acquisition by the Boys in Blue for the 2023 season is set to have a major impact on the field, but there’s also a great second part to the story. With the Carmel, Ind. native’s wife expecting their first child in March, bringing the whole family – including Indy W League player and Cam’s sister Cassidy – together for a new collection of photos is the move.   

5. Korede Osundina and Joshua Wynder – A Guidebook to Indonesia

Orange County SC's Korede Osundina (20) and Louisville City FC's Joshua Wynder (4) will both be hoping for a place on the United States U-20s squad to play in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in May. | Photo courtesy U.S. Soccer

Orange County SC winger Osundina and Louisville City FC’s 2022 Championship Young Player of the Year finalist Wynder were both part of a U.S. U-19s side that went undefeated this year. Could they both book a place in the United States U-20s squad that will head to Indonesia in May for the FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup? Here’s hoping.

6. New Mexico United – 12 Bottles of Bagoa Do Mino Albarino

This white wine originates from the Rías Baixas region of Galicia in Spain, and isn’t far from Ordas, the hometown of Santi Moar. As the 2021 Championship All-League selection and one of United’s original cult heroes three years ago returns to New Mexico for the new campaign, here’s hoping for a vintage bottle to toast a vintage season from one of the Championship’s most exciting forwards. 

7. Sacramento Republic FC – A Tin Man Art Installation

The 2023 season marks the 10th for Republic FC, and with Tin (or Aluminum) the traditional material for 10th anniversaries, we thought an art installation of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz would be a good daily reminder for Sacramento’s players. After all, if you’ve got heart, there’s no telling how far you might go. Maybe, all the way to a something else with a nice shine to it at the end of the season.

8. San Antonio FC – A Deluxe Trophy Case

San Antonio FC will try to become the first repeat USL Championship title winners since Louisville City FC in 2018 when they return to defend their crown next spring. | Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC

With all the silverware Head Coach Alen Marcina’s side hauled in during the past 12 months – as well as its USL Championship trophies, there was also the Copa Tejas’ USL Championship trophy and overall shield – they deserve something nice to present all of them in. And, given the players they’ve already announced as coming back in 2022, you’ll probably want to make it big enough for more additions during the 2023 campaign.

Follow the USL Championship

Most Recent News

Most Read News

Latest Videos