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Which USL Championship players’ stocks are on the rise?

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 06/20/24, 2:10PM EDT


Young standouts Elijah Wynder, Ray Serrano, Bryce Jamison making moves in Transfermarkt’s evaluations

Louisville City FC homegrown midfielder Elijah Wynder has been one of the breakout performers in the USL Championship this season. | Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC

With increasing regularity, top players from the USL Championship have been on the move either overseas or to clubs in Major League Soccer in recent years.

Since the start of 2022, there have been 25 such transfers of players, including the likes of former Championship Award winners and All-League selections like Jonathan Gomez (Louisville City FC to Real Sociedad), Kobi Henry (Orange County SC to Stade de Reims), Diego Luna (El Paso Locomotive FC to Real Salt Lake), Joshua Wynder (Louisville City FC to Benfica) and Fidel Barajas (Charleston Battery to Real Salt Lake).

It's a fertile market, and one USL Championship clubs are looking to be part of more than ever. So, who are the players who might be the next to make a major move be, and how much could they command in the marketplace?

Longtime analysis site Transfermarkt recently updated its evaluations of every player in the Championship, and some notable names saw their potential price-tag rise after stellar starts to the season. Let’s break it down.


Orange County SC's 18-year-old forward Bryce Jamison is among the highest-valued players in the USL Championship currently. | Photo courtesy Liza Rosales / Orange County SC

All five transfers listed above saw teenage talents take their games to the next level. The next wave of potential moves includes players with similar profiles, but also those who are both eligible for the Championship’s Young Player of the Year award but are also having breakout campaigns.

  • LOUCITY DUO: Currently top of the Eastern Conference, Louisville City FC’s strong start to the campaign has been fueled in part by speedy winger Ray Serrano (5 goals, 3 assists) and do-it-all midfielder Elijah Wynder (3 goals, 2 assists). Both saw their stocks rise this term, with 21-year-old Wynder moving up to €400,000 and 22-year-old Serrano to €350,000.

  • NEXT WAVE: The next big prospect in Orange County SC’s ranks is forward Bryce Jamison, who’s broken out this month with three goals. Add in his experience with the U.S. Youth National team program, including at last year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup, and the 18-year-old moved up to a €450,000 evaluation. 

  • BREAKTHROUGH FACES: A handful of teenage players who’ve entered the pro ranks this year have also earned positive evaluation. Orange County SC’s 19-year-old center back Ashton Miles entered at €150,000, while OCSC winger Ben Barjolo saw his value rise to the same mark, and the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ 17-year-old forward Cristian Ortiz landed a €100,000 evaluation following his official signing last month.


Current USL Championship Golden Boot leader Nick Markanich of the Charleston Battery has seen his stock rise this season after a big start to the campaign. | Photo courtesy Michael Wiser / Charleston Battery

As much as young talent has been big for the USL Championship’s growth in the transfer market, it’s now evolved to where some of the league’s veterans are finding their path forward as well. In the past 12 months, 2023 Championship Final winner and call-up for Panama’s Copa América squad Carlos Harvey headed from Phoenix Rising FC to Minnesota United FC, while 2022 Golden Boot winner Milan Iloski went from Orange County SC to Danish Superliga club FC Nordsjælland.

That’s also reflected in Transfermarkt’s evaluations, where players entering their prime are among the league’s highest-valued.

  • SCORING FOR FUN: Louisville City FC’s Wilson Harris became the youngest player to record 50 goals in the Championship’s regular season earlier this year and is now on the verge of reaching the 60-goal mark. The 24-year-old’s valuation is up to an all-time high €500,000.

  • HITTING THE MARK: The Charleston Battery’s Nick Markanich has cooled off since his ridiculous start to the season, but with 12 goals and three assists he still leads the Championship in goals and goal contributions. The 24-year-old saw his value rise by 27 percent to reach €350,000 this term.

  • RAISING THE LEVEL: A new arrival at Sacramento Republic FC this season, 2023 USL League One Golden Boot winner Trevor Amann also saw his stock rise with his move up a level. Currently leading Republic FC with eight goals, the 26-year-old is now at a €400,000 evaluation.

As the summer transfer window opens, so does the possibility of a major deal for a top Championship talent to be struck. Who’s next to step up is going to be fascinating to watch.

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