Sacramento Republic FC and goalkeeper Danny Vitiello have conceded only one goal in six games to start the current USL Championship season, with the club's current shutout streak at 428 minutes. | Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC
Sacramento Republic FC has conceded only once in its first six games of the 2023 USL Championship season. In this week’s edition of the News & Notes we provide historic context for that achievement, and where the side sides currently in the all-time list of shutout streaks in the regular season.
We also look at undefeated Las Vegas Lights FC, which equaled a Championship record with its draw at Memphis 901 FC on Saturday night, plus a look ahead to a landmark moment for the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Yann Ekra and a potential milestone for Louisville City FC’s Wilson Harris this season.
All of that, plus upcoming individual landmarks for players across the Championship and the Week 7 Discipline Report.
Let’s dig in.
REPUBLIC FC MAKES LIGHTS OUT DEFENSIVE START
Sacramento Republic FC and goalkeeper Danny Vitiello continued their remarkable defensive start to the 2023 USL Championship season on Saturday night with Vitiello’s six-save shutout the fifth for the side in its opening six games of the regular season.
Sacramento’s defensive record is the second-best start in league history, with only the 2012 Rochester Rhinos having gone six games without conceding a goal to open a season. That year, Rochester concluded the campaign with 11 shutouts in 24 contests, all recorded by 2012’s Goalkeeper of the Year Kristian Nicht.
With four consecutive league shutouts, Republic FC’s current streak stands at 428 minutes, dating to March 18 when AJ Paterson scored for the Charleston Battery in the 22nd minute of a 1-1 draw at Heart Health Park. Sacramento would move just outside the Top 10 of the longest shutout streaks in Championship regular season history were it to hold Detroit City FC scoreless on Saturday on its home turf.
Longest Shutout Streaks in USL Championship Regular Season History
1. Tampa Bay Rowdies (2021) – 891 minutes
2. Rio Grande Valley FC (2016) – 759 minutes
3. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (2019) – 698 minutes
4. San Antonio FC (2017) – 672 minutes
5. Ottawa Fury FC (2018) – 636 minutes
6. Birmingham Legion FC (2019) – 624 minutes
7. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (2018) – 575 minutes
8. Rochester Rhinos (2012) – 568 minutes
9. Monterey Bay F.C. (2022) – 558 minutes
10. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (2020) – 519 minutes
VIVA LA PARITY!
Las Vegas Lights FC is one of three remaining undefeated teams in the USL Championship this season, but after its 2-2 draw with Memphis 901 FC last Saturday night at AutoZone Park it is now the second to have recorded four consecutive drawn contests to start a Championship regular season.
Lights FC joins Phoenix Rising FC’s 2019 squad, which drew its first four games of the campaign before taking victory against El Paso Locomotive FC in its fifth outing of the season. That victory provided the launchpad for what is currently the highest regular-season points total in Championship history (78) a mark that came courtesy of Phoenix’s North American record 20-game winning streak later in the campaign.
Las Vegas is two draws short of the longest overall streak of drawn contests in the Championship’s history, which was recorded by Orlando City B when it posted six consecutive drawn contests between July 1 and August 5 in the 2017 season.
Most Consecutive Draws in a USL Championship Regular Season
6 – Orlando City B (July 1 to Aug. 5, 2017)
5 – New Mexico United (July 24 to Aug. 23, 2021)
5 – Rio Grande Valley FC (May 1 to May 23, 2018)
5 – FC Tulsa (April 4 to May 9, 2018)
5 – Ottawa Fury FC (Aug. 26 to Sept. 23, 2017)
YANN EKRA SET FOR REGULAR-SEASON APPEARANCES MARK
Tampa Bay Rowdies midfielder Yann Ekra will become the USL Championship's all-time leader in regular season appearances when he next takes the field, potentially on Sunday against San Diego Loyal SC. | Photo courtesy Matt May / Tampa Bay Rowdies
The Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Yann Ekra is on course to become the all-time leader in regular season appearances in the USL Championship this Sunday when his side visits San Diego Loyal SC at Torero Stadium. The veteran midfielder has made 251 regular season appearances after his start against the Charleston Battery on April 12, moving into a tie with Dane Kelly for the all-time lead.
Ekra is currently in his 12th season in the Championship. He made his debut in the league for the Harrisburg City Islanders on May 4, 2012 against the Charlotte Eagles and has faced 46 different teams during his tenure with the City Islanders, Charlotte Independence and the Rowdies. The Charleston Battery are his most faced opponent, with last week’s contest the 26th time he has played against Charleston in the regular season. That mark also stands as the most individual appearances against one club in league history.
Most Appearances in the USL Championship’s Regular Season
T-1. Dane Kelly – 251
T-1. Yann Ekra – 251*
T-3. George Davis IV – 242
T-3 Kyle Greig – 242
T-5. Taylor Mueller – 241
T-5. Josh Suggs – 241*
7. Hugh Roberts – 239*
8. Paolo DelPiccolo – 236*
9. Kenardo Forbes – 235*
10. Jorge Herrera – 231
* - Currently Active
LOUCITY’S WILSON HARRIS POISED FOR RECORD HALF-CENTURY
Louisville City FC's Wilson Harris is currently on course to become the youngest player to record 50 regular season goals in the USL Championship's regular season, and could make his 100th regular season appearance on Saturday. | Photo courtesy Em-Dash Ph
Louisville City FC forward Wilson Harris has scored in consecutive league contests going into Saturday’s top of the Eastern Conference clash between visitors LouCity and hosts and current conference leaders the Charleston Battery, continuing his ascent toward 50 regular season goals in the USL Championship.
The 2020 Championship Young Player of the Year with Sporting Kansas City II, Harris has been prolific since arriving in the league as an 18-year-old, scoring his first goal aged 18 years, 201 days old against Fresno FC on June 17, 2018. Now sitting on 42 regular season goals as he prepares for his 100th regular season appearance on Saturday night aged 23 years, 143 days old, he is more than a year younger than the current record holder, 2020 Championship Golden Boot winner Junior Flemmings.
Youngest Players to Reach 50 USL Championship Regular Season Goals
Junior Flemmings – 24 years, 247 days
Augustine Williams – 25 years, 9 days
Cameron Iwasa – 27 years, 39 days
Chandler Hoffman – 27 years, 300 days
Cameron Lancaster – 27 years, 319 days
Louisville City FC's Cameron Lancaster could make his 150th regular season appearance in the USL Championship on Saturday night when his side visits the Charleston Battery. | Photo courtesy Liza Rosales / Orange County SC
Approaching 200 regular-season appearances
Danny Barrera (HFD) – 198
Approaching 150 regular-season appearances
Forrest Lasso (TBR) – 149
Cameron Lancaster (LOU) – 149
Eric Bird (TUL) – 149
Bradley Bourgeois (TUL) – 149
Lucky Mkosana (TBR) – 147
Aaron Guillen (TBR) – 147
Duke Lacroix (COS) – 147
Approaching 100 regular-season appearances
Michael Salazar (MIA) – 99
Wilson Harris (LOU) – 99
Sam Gleadle (MB) – 98
Aidan Apodaca (CHS) – 97
Joe Kuzminsky (COS) – 97
Approaching 20,000 regular-season minutes
Josh Suggs (NM) – 19,624
Approaching 15,000 regular-season minutes
Tarek Morad (OAK) – 14,932
Bolu Akinyode (MIA) – 14,836
James Musa (COS) – 14,639
Brent Richards (OC) – 14,639
Approaching 10,000 regular-season minutes
Mark Segbers (MIA) – 9,761
Approaching 75 regular season goals
Neco Brett (BHM) – 72
Approaching 50 regular-season goals
Lucky Mkosana (TBR) – 48
Approaching 50 regular season assists
Aodhan Quinn (IND) – 48
Solomon Asante (IND) – 47
Approaching 40 regular season assists
Enzo Martinez (BHM) – 39
Approaching 30 regular season assists
Oscar Jimenez (LOU) – 29
Justin Portillo (NM) – 28
Niall McCabe (LOU) – 27
Charlie Adams (SD) – 27
Approaching 300 regular season saves
Connor Sparrow (TBR) – 284
Approaching 40 regular-season shutouts
Matt VanOekel (BHM) – 38
Approaching 30 regular-season shutouts
Joe Kuzminsky (COS) – 29
TAMPA, Fla. – The following is the USL Championship’s discipline report for Week 7 of the 2023 USL Championship season:
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC’s Macauley King has been suspended for one game following his red card for two cautionable offenses against Sacramento Republic FC on April 15. King will be unavailable for selection in Colorado Springs’ contest against New Mexico United this Saturday.
Hartford Athletic’s Triston Hodge has been suspended for one game following his red card for two cautionable offenses against Oakland Roots SC on April 15. Hodge will be unavailable for selection in Hartford’s contest against Birmingham Legion FC on Sunday, April 30.
Tag(s): Features San Antonio FC CO Spring Switchbacks Orange County SC Phoenix Rising FC Rio Grande Valley FC Sacramento Republic FC FC Tulsa Charleston Battery Louisville City FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds Tampa Bay Rowdies Las Vegas Lights FC Birmingham Legion FC 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.