Hassani Dotson stole the show this past week in Minnesota United FC's victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, while Will Seymore and Sligo Rovers returned to action as the League of Ireland First Division got back underway. Read more about their success, as well as performances from other former Reds, below.
HASSANI DOTSON - MINNESOTA UNITED FC (MLS)
Dotson, lined up as a right back for the first time this season, played a vital role in Minnesota’s convincing 4-1 quarterfinal victory over the San Jose Earthquakes in the MLS Is Back tournament, with involvement in three of his side’s goals. On the team’s opener, Dotson played in a gorgeous cross to the far post, where it was headed back across goal to an onrushing Robin Lod to smash home. On their second goal, just 90 seconds later, he cut in from the left and ripped a low shot that forced a save from Daniel Vega, and the rebound was tapped home by Jacori Hayes. To put the cherry on top of his evening, he notched his first career assist by beating a defender on the right flank and sending in a perfect, low cross for Marlon Hairston to side foot into the back of the net. Dotson also completed over 89% of his passes, drew two fouls and had two shots, one on goal.
Dotson’s performance was widely praised by in several online publications, including World Football Index, the Star Tribune (read his postgame quotes in this article), and Zone Coverage. His display earned him both MLS’ Heineken Man of the Match award as well as Minnesota United FC’s Bell Bank Man of the Match award.
Hassani and his MNUFC teammates take on Orlando City SC for a spot in the final this evening at 5pm PST. The match will be broadcast on ESPN2.
WILL SEYMORE – SLIGO ROVERS (LEAGUE OF IRELAND PREMIER DIVISION)
The League of Ireland First Division returned to action last weekend for the first time in months, and midfielder Will Seymore was in the starting eleven for Sligo Rovers FC versus Derry City. He played the full 90 minutes as Silgo earned a much-needed 2-0 victory for their first points of the season.
Sligo’s scheduled match with Waterford FC on Tuesday was postponed after a Waterford player tested positive for COVID-19. Rovers' next match is this Saturday against Shelbourne FC.
You can read Seymore’s recent interview with The Irish Sun about returning to play here.
JOHN GALAS & AJ VALENZUELA – FC TUCSON
After last week’s thriller, in which Galas earned his first professional win as manager and Valenzuela scored the last-minute winner in his professional debut, the pair weren’t able to replicate the result as FC Tucson fell 1-0 to Chattanooga Red Wolves SC in a tightly contested match. After falling behind early in the second half, Tucson had a chance to equalize from the penalty spot in the 68th minute, but Jack Coan’s attempt was saved. Valenzuela came on as a substitute in second half stoppage time and did his best to play hero once again, but his header in the waning moments was gobbled up by goalkeeper Alexander Mangels.
FC Tucson will look to get back into the win column in their home opener on Saturday against Union Omaha.
AKEEM WARD – NORTH CAROLINA FC (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Ward and his NCFC teammates returned from a two-week break to earn all three points in a 1-0 win over Birmingham Legion FC. Ward earned his first start with North Carolina FC against his former club at left back and played the entire 90 minutes, completing over 90% of his passes and creating four chances in attack. He was a rock in defense with two tackles won, two blocked shots, two interceptions, and a clearance.
Head Coach Dave Sarachan had positive words for Ward after the match, stating, “I think Akeem had a really good night. He did a good job defensively, got forward in spots that were dangerous. As a two player tonight, I thought his performance was very solid… One of the reasons we picked him up is he is young, but an experienced player and I think he showed that tonight.”
Ward recently made a guest appearance on the My 3 Subs podcast, which you can listen to here. Up next for North Carolina FC is Memphis 901 FC this coming Saturday at 2pm PST. You can watch the match live on ESPN Deportes.
NICK MOON – INDY ELEVEN (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
In a rematch between these two teams from two weeks ago, Sporting Kansas City II got their revenge with a 1-0 victory last Saturday. It was Indy Eleven’s first home loss in two years, ending their undefeated streak at 28 games. Moon played the first half for Indy Eleven, winning five duels and creating a chance. He’ll be back at it on Saturday against Louisville City FC.
JARET TOWNSEND – SPORTING KANSAS CITY II (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
In the aforementioned rematch against Indy Eleven, Townsend came on as a second-half sub for Sporting Kansas City II in the 61st minute and completed 100% of his passes. He again started on the bench on Wednesday, as SKC II drew 1-1 against Saint Louis FC. The forward came on in the 62nd minute, completed 92% of his passes, created two chances, and had one cross and one tackle. Townsend nearly had an assist in the 86th minute as he slotted in Dominik Resetar with a clever pass to leave him alone on the keeper, but Resetar's shot went wide of the near post. Kansas City were unlucky not to come away with all three points, as they conceded a 96th-minute goal.
KYLE COFFEE – REAL MONARCHS SLC (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
The striker got the start for the Monarchs this past Saturday and helped his team earn a 2-1 victory over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, as teammate Taylor Peay scored a 93rd-minute winner. Coffee was subbed off in the 86th minute as Real Monarchs earned its first win of the season. They’ll look for number two this Saturday against El Paso Locomotive FC.
Goalkeeper Luis Barraza was again the reserve netminder behind Sean Johnson during NYCFC’s 3-1 loss to the Portland Timbers this past weekend, while fellow goalkeeper Matt Bersano did not make the team sheet for the San Jose Earthquakes in their loss to Minnesota United FC.
Khiry Shelton missed out on Sporting Kansas City’s quarterfinal defeat to the the Philadelphia Union in the MLS Is Back tournament due to an adductor injury. We wish the forward a speedy recovery!