ST. LOUIS – On Tuesday, Saint Louis FC announced that 11 players were set to the return to the club for the 2019 USL Championship season after helping it reach the USL Cup Playoffs for the first time in 2018.
Forward Albert Dikwa and midfielder Lewis Hilton lead a group of eight players that had their contract options exercised for the upcoming campaign, adding to the group of three players – headlined by leading scorer Kyle Greig – that were already under contract for the 2019 season.
Greig and Dikwa combined for 16 goals and five assists, which accounted for nearly 50 percent of STLFC’s offensive production during the 2018 season. Greig led the team in scoring with 13 goals over 1,940 minutes played to finish second in STLFC history for goals scored in a single season, falling a goal shy of Irvin Herrera’s 2016 tally of 14. Dikwa scored three goals and provided three assists over 29 appearances and moved up two spots to No. 9 on the 2018 USL 20 Under 20 list after earning the No. 11 spot as a member of Orlando City B in 2017.
Hilton played a team-high 3,059 minutes played over 34 appearances, scoring three goals and leading the team with 59 chances created and a franchise-record six assists in his first season with the club.
Saint Louis also picked up contract options on midfielders Kadeem Dacres, Austin Martz and Audi Jepson, defenders Sean Reynolds and Phanuel Kavita and goalkeeper Jake Fenlason. Defender Sam Fink, who led the team with 148 clearances, and goalkeeper Tomas Gomez will also return for the 2019 season as STLFC looks to build on the progress it made this past season.
"We are really pleased to be bringing back a good core of players that understand our culture and expectations of what we want to build here at Saint Louis FC,” said STLFC Head Coach Anthony Pulis. “I would like to thank all of the players that are moving on for all their hard work and wish them the very best of luck in their future endeavors. We are working extremely hard right now to find the right pieces that fit our culture, our ‘team-first’ mentality, and style of play to improve our squad for 2019.”
GOALKEEPERS (2): Tomas Gomez, Jake Fenlason
DEFENDERS (3): Sam Fink, Sean Reynolds, Phanuel Kavita
MIDFIELDERS (4): Lewis Hilton, Audi Jepson, Austin Martz, Kadeem Dacres
FORWARDS (2): Kyle Greig, Albert Dikwa