New Mexico United's Josh Suggs could become just the second player to record 20,000 regular season minutes in the USL Championship on Saturday night, sitting at 19,913 minutes played entering the side's game with San Antonio FC. | Photo courtesy Brandino
Josh Suggs played in the first game of Orange County SC’s history in April, 2011.
Now, 12 years and one month later, the New Mexico United veteran is on the verge of becoming just the second player to reach a historic individual landmark in the league’s history.
Welcome to this week’s edition of the USL Championship’s News and Notes, where we’ve got more on that, details on the second goalkeeper to record an assist and a shutout in the league this season, and why May might be the favorite month of the year for Tampa Bay Rowdies fans since Neill Collins became Head Coach.
We’ve also got your regular trackers for upcoming individual landmarks across the league, as well as the Week 12 Discipline Report.
Let’s dig in.
NEW MEXICO’S JOSH SUGGS APPROACHES 20,000 MINUTES
New Mexico United defender Josh Suggs could become just the second player to record 20,000 regular season minutes in the USL Championship’s regular season when his side visits San Antonio FC on Saturday night at Toyota Field.
Suggs currently ranks second in the Championship’s history with 19,913 minutes of play, with his introduction as a halftime substitute against Loudoun United FC last Wednesday night moving him within range of the landmark this weekend.
Only former Charleston Battery and Tacoma Defiance defender Taylor Mueller has previously reached 20,000 minutes in the Championship’s regular season, but a trio of other players could also reach the mark this season. Monterey Bay F.C.’s Hugh Roberts (19,347), Indy Eleven’s Aodhan Quinn (19,286) and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC’s Kenardo Forbes (19,280) are also within 1,000 minutes of reaching the landmark going into this weekend’s games.
DETROIT’S STEINWASCHER JOINS ASSIST, SHUTOUT GROUP
Detroit City FC’s Nathan Steinwascher became the 10th goalkeeper in the USL Championship’s history to record a shutout and an assist in the same game on Saturday night as he played a key role in his side’s 1-0 victory against San Antonio FC. Steinwascher was voted the Championship’s Player of the Week for Week 11 of the regular season for his efforts as he became the second goalkeeper this season to achieve the feat.
Steinwascher joined El Paso Locomotive FC goalkeeper Benny Diaz, who recorded an assist and a shutout in Locomotive FC’s 3-0 win against Louisville City FC on March 25. The Championship has not previously seen three goalkeepers record a shutout and assist in the same regular season game in the same season, with this year matching the 2021 and 2019 seasons.
Overall, Steinwascher is the 20th goalkeeper to record an assist in a USL Championship game, with current Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Tomas Gomez the lone goalkeeper to have achieved the feat on two occasions.
Goalkeepers to Have Recorded an Assist and Shutout in a Regular Season Game
Nathan Steinwascher, Detroit City FC – vs. San Antonio FC, 5/20/23
Benny Diaz, El Paso Locomotive FC – vs. Louisville City FC, 3/25/23
Joe Kuzminsky, Charleston Battery – vs. Charlotte Independence, 7/23/21
Matt VanOekel, Birmingham Legion FC – vs. Memphis 901 FC, 5/15/21
Parfait Mandanda, Hartford Athletic – vs. New York Red Bulls II, 7/17/20
Tomas Gomez, Saint Louis FC – vs. Philadelphia Union II, 7/27/19
Thomas Olsen, Las Vegas Lights FC – vs. Tacoma Defiance, 4/13/19
Matt Pickens, Nashville SC – vs. Charlotte Independence, 4/7/18
Travis Worra, Richmond Kickers – vs. Rochester Rhinos, 9/23/17
Josh Ford, Orange County SC – vs. OKC Energy FC, 5/10/14
TAMPA BAY’S CONNOR SPARROW REACHES 300 REGULAR SEASON SAVES
The Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Connor Sparrow became the 11th goalkeeper in the USL Championship’s regular season history to reach 300 saves on Saturday night with a superb seven-save shutout against Rio Grande Valley FC. Sparrow now ranks tied for 10th in the Championship’s history in saves and tied for ninth with 34 regular season shutouts in 99 regular season appearances.
Sparrow’s seven saves in his shutout against the Toros was the third-most individually he had recorded in a shutout in his Championship career. Two seasons ago, the 29-year-old posted a nine-save shutout for Miami FC in a 2-0 victory against Memphis 901 FC at AutoZone Park on Sept. 11, 2021.
Most Regular Season Saves in USL Championship History
1. Evan Newton – 573
2. Alex Tambakis – 489*
3. Brandon Miller – 414
4. Carl Woszczynski – 393
5. Nick Noble – 387
6. Cody Laurendi – 370
7. Matt VanOekel – 344*
8. Matt Williams – 334
9. Matt Cardone – 323
T-10. CJ Cochran – 300
T-10. Connor Sparrow – 300*
* - Currently Active in USL Championship
TAMPA BAY’S MAY DAYS
Since Neill Collins' appointment as Tampa Bay Rowdies Head Coach five years ago, the side has not lost a league game in May. | Photo courtesy Matt May / Tampa Bay Rowdies
Tampa Bay Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins celebrated his fifth anniversary at the helm of the club last Thursday, having been appointed on May 18, 2018. Two days later, the club celebrated in what’s become customary fashion during the month of May with its 3-0 victory against Rio Grande Valley FC.
That result marked the continuation of a remarkable run of success for the club during the fifth month of the year, with the Rowdies having yet to lose a league game in May since Collins took over. In his first two games at the helm in 2018, the Rowdies played to a 2-2 draw with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC before earning a first win on May 26 with 4-2 victory against Toronto FC II. Since then, Tampa Bay has gone 12-0-1, including 12 consecutive victories since a 0-0 draw with Indy Eleven on May 1, 2019.
Tampa Bay Rowdies May Results Under Head Coach Neill Collins (May 18, 2018-present)
5/19/18 – D 2-2 vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
5/26/18 – W 4-2 at Toronto FC II
5/1/19 – D 0-0 at Indy Eleven
5/8/19 – W 1-0 at Nashville SC
5/18/19 – W 2-0 vs. New York Red Bulls II
5/25/19 – W 1-0 vs. Sporting Kansas City II
5/1/21 – W 3-0 vs. Charlotte Independence
5/8/21 – W 3-0 vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
5/15/21 – W 2-1 vs. Phoenix Rising FC
5/22/21 – W 2-1 vs. Miami FC
5/15/22 – W 5-1 at Phoenix Rising FC
5/21/22 – W 3-1 vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
5/6/23 – W 2-0 vs. Phoenix Rising FC
5/13/23 – W 5-1 vs. Detroit City FC
5/20/23 – W 3-0 at Rio Grande Valley FC
LOCOMOTIVE FC’S WINNING STREAK ENTERS RECORD TERRITORY
El Paso Locomotive FC earned its sixth consecutive victory in league play on Saturday night with a 2-1 win against Birmingham Legion FC at Protective Stadium. The victory marked a club record, surpassing the five-game winning streak achieved in the abbreviated 2020 regular season, and moved Locomotive FC into a tie for the 10th-longest winning streak in the Championship’s regular season history.
El Paso has a long way to go to match the historic 20-game winning streak recorded by Phoenix Rising FC in the 2019 regular season – a mark that stands as the longest winning streak in outdoor professional soccer in North America – but when it returns to play on June 2 against New Mexico United in the Derby del Camino Real it would join the top five in league history with two additional victories.
Longest Winning Streaks in USL Championship Regular Season History
1. Phoenix Rising FC – 20 games, 2019
2. FC Cincinnati – 10 games, 2018
T-3. Real Monarchs SLC – 9 games, 2017
T-3. Tampa Bay Rowdies – 9 games, 2021
5. Orlando City SC – 8 games, 2014
New Mexico United's Justin Portillo could make his 200th regular season appearance in the USL Championship on Saturday night when the side visits San Antonio FC at Toyota Field. | Photo courtesy Christian Inoferio / Rio Grande Valley FC
Approaching 200 regular-season appearances
Justin Portillo (NM) – 199
Enzo Martinez (BHM) – 198
Brent Richards (OC) – 198
Bolu Akinyode (MIA) – 197
Approaching 150 regular-season appearances
Lucky Mkosana (TBR) – 148
Matt LaGrassa (SAC) – 148
Luiz Fernando (MEM) – 148
Matt Mahoney (COS) – 146
Approaching 100 regular-season appearances
Sam Gleadle (MB) – 99
Connor Sparrow (TBR) – 99
Nick Ross (SAC) – 99
Joe Kuzminsky (COS) – 98
Aidan Apodaca (CHS) – 98
Yuma (ELP) – 97
JJ Williams (TBR) – 97
Napo Matsoso (OAK) – 97
Approaching 20,000 regular season minutes
Josh Suggs (NM) – 19,913
Approaching 15,000 regular season minutes
James Musa (COS) – 14,819
Kalen Ryden (NM) – 14,756
Kai Greene (MB) – 14,747
Approaching 10,000 regular season minutes
Alex Crognale (BHM) – 9,985
Shannon Gomez (SA) – 9,859
Austin Yearwood (NM) – 9,771
Elijah Martin (SD) – 9,766
Approaching 75 regular season goals
Neco Brett (BHM) – 72
Approaching 50 regular season goals
Russell Cicerone (SAC) – 49
Lucky Mkosana (TBR) – 48
Approaching 60 regular season assists
Kenardo Forbes (PIT) – 58
Approaching 50 regular season assists
Aodhan Quinn (IND) – 49
Solomon Asante (IND) – 48
Approaching 30 regular season assists
Oscar Jimenez (LOU) – 29
Justin Portillo (NM) – 28
Niall McCabe (LOU) – 27
Charlie Adams (SD) – 27
Approaching 500 regular season saves
Alex Tambakis (NM) – 489
Approaching 200 regular season saves
Jordan Farr (SA) – 193
Kyle Morton (LOU) – 187
Approaching 40 regular-season shutouts
Matt VanOekel (BHM) – 38
Approaching 30 regular-season shutouts
Joe Kuzminsky (COS) – 29
Danny Vitiello (SAC) – 27
TAMPA, Fla. – The following is the USL Championship’s discipline report for Week 12 of the 2023 USL Championship season:
New Mexico United’s Kalen Ryden has been suspended for one game following his red card for two cautionable offenses against Loudoun United FC on May 17. Ryden will be unavailable for selection in New Mexico’s contest against San Antonio FC on Saturday night.
Sacramento Republic FC’s Arnold Lopez was suspended for one game following his red card for two cautionable offenses against Orange County SC on May 17. Lopez served his suspension during Sacramento’s contest against Oakland Roots SC on May 20, and will be available for selection in the club’s contest against Hartford Athletic on Friday night.
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 New York Red Bulls II 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.