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Caffa, Johnson, Ribeiro, Ellis-Hayden Among Returnees for Fresno

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 11/29/18, 1:04PM EST

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Foxes bring back 10 main contributors from 2018 squad for 2019 USL Championship season

FRESNO – On Wednesday, Fresno FC announced that 10 players from the 2018 squad will return for the 2019 USL Championship season, including defender Zachary Ellis-Hayden, midfielder Pedro Ribeiro and top scorers Jemal Johnson and Juan Pablo Caffa.

Johnson joined goalkeeper Sam Howard and forwards Christian Chaney and Renato Bustamante in re-signing with the Foxes for another season, while Caffa, Ribeiro and Ellis-Hayden headline a group of six players that remain under contract for 2019. Defenders Mickey Daly, Ramon Martin Del Campo and Sam Strong will also return for the Foxes next season. All signings are pending league and federation approval.

“I’m excited to have such a strong core of our players return for the 2019 season,” said Foxes Head Coach Adam Smith. “These men have built an incredible foundation for professional soccer here in the Valley and I look forward to continue building towards our goal of a USL Cup.”

Caffa and Johnson led the Foxes with nine goals apiece, while Ribeiro led the club in minutes played with 2,712 across 32 matches. In terms of offensive production, Caffa was the club’s main contributor with nine goals, five assists and 81 chances created. Defensively, the club also retains starting center backs Del Campo and Daly, who helped anchor the club to nine clean sheets while Ellis-Hayden will also return to the right-back position after recording two goals, five assists and 81 successful crosses. 

Veteran goalkeeper Kyle Reynish will not return to the club as he announced his retirement at the end of the 2018 USL Championship season. Other players who have declined their options or saw their contracts end are Danny Barrera, Rony Argueta, Noah Verhoeven, Terran Campbell, Cory Brown, Michael Baldisimo, Myer Bevan, and Mark Pais.

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