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USL Top Five – Super Subs

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 08/24/18, 3:56PM EDT


When their team needs a boost off the bench, here are five players who deliver

Photo courtesy John Wilkinson III / Nashville SC

The goal for every player across the USL is to be part of that Starting 11 every week when their Head Coach posts the team sheet prior to the next contest, but the ability to change a game after coming on as a substitute is certainly a valuable attribute for sides as they look to either make tactical adjustments or make that one move that could turn a defeat into a draw, or a draw into a win in the final stages of the game.

Here are five players who have been a key part of their club’s success when coming off the bench to provide an impact substitution late in games.

Brian Brown, Reno 1868 FC

Photo courtesy David Calvert / Reno 1868 FC

As Reno’s leading scorer this season with 11 goals, Brian Brown has had a major impact on the side’s fortunes as part of the starting lineup, but with four of those tallies having come after his introduction from the substitutes bench the Jamaican has the versatility to make an impact even when he’s not part of Head Coach Ian Russell’s starting lineup.

2018 SUPER-SUB MOMENT: Brown came on at halftime of Reno’s trip to face Sacramento Republic FC on May 12 and scored the second goal in a turnaround that saw the visitors score three times in five minutes to take a 3-2 victory after training by two goals at the break.

Giovanni Ramos Godoy, Orange County SC

Photo courtesy Liza Rosales / Orange County SC

The headliners for Orange County’s attack this season have been current USL Golden Boot-leader Thomas Enevoldsen and Michael Seaton, but Giovanni Ramos Godoy has been an impact player for the side coming off the bench in 18 of his 22 appearances this season, scoring all four of his goals this year after being introduced as a substitute while also adding two assists.

2018 SUPER-SUB MOMENT: Godoy was part of one of the wilder 10 minutes of the 2018 season when Orange County visited Saint Louis FC on July 21, putting the visitors back ahead in the 76th minute before STLFC equalized three minutes later through Pierre Da Silva.

Marios Lomis, North Carolina FC

Photo courtesy Rob Kinnan / North Carolina FC

Lomis is the second-leading scorer this season for NCFC with five goals, but four of those have come in his 12 substitute appearances for the club with the forward having recorded just 754 minutes of action this season. With Daniel Rios leading the line for North Carolina as the club’s regular start, Lomis has shown a keen eye for goal in his opportunities.

2018 SUPER-SUB MOMENT: Lomis came on as a halftime substitute against Indy Eleven on August 15 at Lucas Oil Stadium with his side down by a goal and produced an equalizer with 13 minutes to go, only for the Eleven to strike in the 90th minute through Juan Guerra to grab all three points.

Ropapa Mensah, Nashville SC

Photo courtesy John Wilkinson III / Nashville SC

Ropapa Mensah has become a cult figure for Nashville this season, and with 13 of his 21 appearances for the club coming off the bench he’s been able to provide an impact for the side regardless of his role with two of his four goals and two of his four assists having come after entering the game as a substitute. The young Ghanaian is certainly a great option to have in your pocket as Nashville makes its push for a postseason berth.

2018 SUPER-SUB MOMENT: Mensah provided what might have been the most memorable moment of Nashville’s season so far after coming on as a substitute in the 68th minute against North Carolina FC on June 16. After waves of pressure from the hosts at First Tennessee Park, Mensah bundled home a 94th-minute game-winner that sent the crowd of 9,047 into massive celebrations.

Amando Moreno, New York Red Bulls II

Photo courtesy New York Red Bulls II

The former U.S. U20 international leads the Red Bulls II with nine goals this season, but three of those have come in appearances off the bench and two have been key moments to earn New York points as it pushes toward the postseason once again. The 22-year-old has made only six substitute appearances out of his 20 this season, but he’s made it count when asked to have an impact off the bench.

2018 SUPER-SUB MOMENT: Moreno came on in the 62nd minute to a tied game with Bethlehem Steel FC at MSU Soccer Park, and with 12 minutes to go produced an outstanding finish that proved the winner in the Red Bulls II’s 2-1 victory.

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