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Three clubs that could be a fit for free agent Zeiko Lewis

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 11/28/23, 5:00PM EST


After Republic FC departure, talented playmaker could see promise in return to Eastern Conference

Zeiko Lewis has recorded 45 goals and assists in 148 appearances in the USL Championship during his career. | Photo courtesy Irina Filenko / Sacramento Republic FC

Sacramento Republic FC announced its first roster moves of the offseason on Tuesday, which included the departure of attacking midfielder Zeiko Lewis after the club declined his contract option for the 2024 USL Championship season.

Lewis has been a solid performer in the USL Championship as he approaches 150 appearances in the league across the regular season and playoffs. He has recorded 25 goals and 20 assists, and posted a combined 36 goals and assists in 71 appearances for the Charleston Battery before heading to Sacramento.

His cumulative numbers are also strong with 195 chances created and 28 Big Chances Created while averaging a 46.1 percent shooting accuracy rate and 16.2 percent shot conversion rate over his career. Add to that a base +22.9 Goals Added mark per American Soccer Analysis, and you have a solid resume for the 29-year-old.

Here are three potential clubs that could prove good fits for Lewis in the next step of his career.

1. Rhode Island FC

Building an expansion roster is always a complicated task. Rhode Island FC has begun smartly, acquiring players who have experience in the league such as goalkeeper Koke Vegas and versatile midfielder Conor McGlynn and overseas additions like forward Mark Doyle whose background is similar to others who have found success in the league.

In Lewis, RIFC could bring aboard a player that the club’s attack would be able to form around as a second striker or attacking midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 set-up. His creativity in tight spaces and quality from set pieces would potentially unlock the sort of form that saw him star while with the Battery. As a Bermuda international, there would also be a potential connection with fellow countryman and Head Coach Khano Smith that could help Lewis reposition himself as a top playmaker.

2. Memphis 901 FC

With the departures the club is anticipating this offseason, Memphis already made one necessary addition to its forward contingent with the return of Kyle Murphy for his second stint at the club. In Lewis, 901 FC would add a great potential partner for its No. 9 that could fit into the lineup either as a No. 10 underneath Murphy, or as a winger opposite Luiz Fernando.

The conundrum here for Head Coach Stephen Glass might be how to best accommodate Lewis and Fernando, who are both naturally left-sided. Twenty-two of Lewis’ 25 goals in the USL Championship have come via his left foot, alongside 17 of Fernando’s 20 goals in the league. That might make a move to a three-man line below Murphy the logical step with Lewis playing centrally. With Nighte Pickering as the third man in the supporting line, that set-up would seem to offer potential.

3. Detroit City FC

There’s no getting around the fact that Detroit City FC did not get to its second consecutive postseason because of its attack. Le Rouge ranked last in the league with 30 goals and despite a shock victory in the opening round of the postseason there just wasn’t enough up front for the side to progress further as the offseason departures of players like Antoine Hoppenot and Pato Botello Faz weren’t made up for adequately.

Lewis offers at least a chance to fulfill the role that Hoppenot played for DCFC in its first season in the Championship with the versatility to either play on the left wing or as a second striker that can create and finish. After ranking last in the Championship’s regular season in 2023 with a 33.85xG mark, DCFC should be looking for the sort of upgrade that the 29-year-old can potentially offer.

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