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Pasher Rejoins Indy After Injury-Hit Campaign

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 11/30/18, 6:07PM EST

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LouCity re-signs Matsoso; Fresno brings in Cochran after prior loan stint; Awako, Mala return to Rising FC

INDIANAPOLIS – On Friday, Indy Eleven announced the re-signing of midfielder Tyler Pasher to its 2019 roster pending league and federation approval. Per club policy, terms of player contracts will not be released.

Pasher, a USL standout and former Sporting Kansas City midfielder, enters his second season with the Eleven after an injury-hit campaign limited him to just nine starts and 10 regular-season appearances. The Elmira, Ontario native scored one goal, registered an assist and boasted a nearly perfect tackle record in his first season with the club.

“We’re very excited to have Tyler back for the 2019 season,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Martin Rennie. “He’s one of the most dynamic and exciting players in the USL. We look forward to seeing him.”

LOUISVILLE BRINGS BACK MATSOSO: Louisville City FC also added to its 2019 roster on Friday as the back-to-back USL Cup champions announced the re-signing of midfielder Napo Matsoso, pending league and federation approval. Terms of the deal will not be disclosed, per club policy.

Matsoso originally joined LouCity ahead of the roster freeze on September 14, 2018 after a stint with USL League Two’s Mississippi Brilla FC, the same club Louisville standout Oscar Jimenez joined from ahead of the 2017 USL season. During his time with Brilla FC, Matsoso netted four goals and registered one assist in 10 games played. 

Though the Lesotho-born midfielder did not register an appearance with LouCity in the 2018 season, Head Coach John Hackworth expressed his excitement in having Matsoso return and stressed his belief in the player’s ability to bring even more to the group in 2019.

“We’re excited to bring Napo back and believe he’ll again be an important part of this team,” Hackworth said. “He performed well with the group during the final months of last season and we’re expecting him to play a bigger role now. What we’ve seen so far has led us to confidently believe he will be more impactful next season.”

Matsoso becomes the 16th player from the 2018 USL Cup-winning squad to commit his future to the club. The 24-year-old highlighted his eagerness to continue to learn from the experienced squad around him and contribute in the 2019 season.

“I’m delighted to be back with the back-to-back champions. There are a significant number of guys coming back from last year so that’s a positive for me because I can always learn more from the older guys. I’m already looking forward to starting preseason with the team.”

FRESNO ADDS COCHRAN ON PERMANENT BASIS: After bringing back 10 players from its 2018 squad on Wednesday, Fresno FC added to its 2019 roster by announcing the signing of goalkeeper CJ Cochran, pending league and federation approval. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“We’re extremely pleased to welcome back CJ to Fresno,” Fresno Head Coach Adam Smith said. “He did a great job for us while here on a short loan and we’re excited to have him for a full season this time.”

Cochran made five appearances for the Foxes in June on loan from fellow USL Championship club Nashville SC. The 27-year-old recorded 12 saves across those five matches and kept a clean sheet in the club’s Highway 99 Derby Victory over Sacramento Republic FC on June 30.

“It’s a great feeling to know I’ll be coming back to Fresno and rejoining the guys next year,” Cochran said. “The fans and city are passionate soccer fans, and I’m excited for the opportunity to represent the crest once again.”

PHOENIX ADD PAIR OF RETURNEES: A day after bringing back goalkeeper Zac Lubin and midfielder Devin Vega, Phoenix Rising FC announced that midfielder Gladson Awako and defender Doueugui Mala would return for the 2019 season. Per club policy, the details of the contract will not be made public.

In his second season with Rising FC, Awako played 1,833 minutes over 30 appearances, scoring a goal, recording five assists and creating 30 chances. Among players with at least 600 passes, Awako was the most accurate passer on the team, completing passes at an 84.4 percent clip.

In 2017, Awako played 710 minutes in 11 appearances for Rising FC, collecting a goal and two assists. Prior to joining Phoenix, Awako had a five-year stint with TP Mazembe of the Congolese first division where he won four league titles and one African Champions League title.

This past season, Mala played 1,295 minutes over 16 appearances for Rising FC, finishing fourth amongst Phoenix players in clearances (74), second in blocks (12), and fifth in tackles won (22). The Ivorian defender joined Rising FC from Ivorian side Williamsville Athletic Club in August 2017 and played 855 minutes in 10 appearances in his debut season, finishing tied for third in the team in clearances (54).  

Awako and Mala become the eighth and ninth players from Phoenix’s Western Conference championship-winning squad to commit to the club for the 2019 USL Championship season.

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