Las Vegas Lights FC has added veteran defender Zach Carroll ahead of the 2023 USL Championship season. | Photo courtesy Memphis 901 FC
LAS VEGAS – Former USL Championship title winner Zach Carroll is among six new arrivals for Las Vegas Lights FC ahead of the 2023 season as the club prepares for its sixth campaign this spring. The center back is joined by fellow veterans Jacob Bushue and Lucas Stauffer, with Lights FC also adding young midfielder Pablo Soares, and forwards Andrew Carleton and Eric Oteng to its squad.
The transactions are pending league and federation approval.
Carroll joins Las Vegas having most recently competed in the USL Championship for Memphis 901 FC, where he spent the past three seasons while providing a veteran presence during the club’s rise in the Eastern Conference. A Championship All-League selection in 2016 during his first year in the professional with the New York Red Bulls II, Carroll has made 170 regular season appearances in the Championship in his career, logging 12,451 minutes of action and recording nine goals and four assists.
Bushue returns to the United States after spending the past six years in Finland, where he played for clubs in the top two tiers. After initially signing with Bollklubben 46 in 2017, Bushue made his debut in the second tier a year later after joining Ekenas IF. The following year he signed with FC Haka and helped the side win the division and earn promotion to the Veikkausliiga, where he made 39 appearances over two campaigns. Bushue had began his career in the Championship, playing two seasons for Saint Louis FC in 2015 and 2016 and making 50 appearances.
Stauffer will return to the Championship for the first time since 2018, when he made 20 appearances for the New York Red Bulls II as the side reached the Eastern Conference Final of the USL Championship Playoffs. Since that season, the 27-year-old full back has been competing in Germany, and recorded 11 assists in 60 appearances in the Regionalliga Northeast over stints with a pair of clubs.
Soares arrived from Germany, where he most recently was part of Borussia Mönchengladbach II having previously come through the Bundesliga club’s Academy system. A native of New York City, the 20-year-old previously made one appearance apiece for the United States U-17 Men’s National Team and the Germany U-18 Men’s National Team, and now comes to the United States for the first time in his career.
Carleton makes the move to Las Vegas after last season competing for fellow USL Championship club San Diego Loyal. A former United States U-17 international, the 22-year-old has made 74 appearances in the Championship since making his debut on loan with the Charleston Battery as a 16-year-old during the 2016 season. Carleton has recorded nine goals and nine assists in the Championship so far in his career, also competing for Atlanta United 2 and on loan with Indy Eleven.
Oteng joins Lights FC after also previously having competed in Finland, with the 21-year-old signing after making 36 appearances in the top flight over the past two seasons. A native of Accra, Ghana, Oteng made 50 appearances overall for Ilves Tampere during his time with the club, having initially joined Danish club FC Nordsjaelland’s youth system from the Right to Dream Academy in his home country.