What a week for our former players! Khiry Shelton and Hassani Dotson went head-to-head in the MLS Western Conference Semifinal, Will Seymore helped Sligo Rovers qualify for European competition, Álex Pantoja tallied an assist in CD Guadalajara's win, and Ximo Miralles made three saves in CD Numancia's draw.
KHIRY SHELTON – SPORTING KANSAS CITY & HASSANI DOTSON – MINNESOTA UNITED FC (MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER)
The two former Reds and Oregon State standouts faced off in the MLS Western Conference Semifinals on Thursday night. Shelton started and played the full 90 minutes for Sporting Kansas City as they fell to Dotson and Minnesota United FC 3-0. The striker nearly had an assist in the first half after a splendid turn and through ball to Johnny Russell, but the Scotsman was unable to finish. Shelton completed 17 accurate passes, including two key passes to go along with his aforementioned chance created, but it wasn’t enough for KC to break through the stout Dayne St. Clair in goal. Khiry also won four of five aerial duels and drew two fouls.
After a phenomenal season that saw SKC finish first in the Western Conference, Peter Vermes’ side will have to regroup for next year after this crippling home loss. Shelton’s five goals in 20 starts was tied for fourth-most on the squad.
Dotson, for his part, started on the bench while his team put up three goals in 12 minutes in the first half. Replacing Osvaldo Alonso in the 72nd minute, Dotson contributed six passes and three interceptions on just 13 touches. His defensive presence helped seal the deal for MNUFC as they soared into the conference final with a clean sheet.
Hassani and the Loons will take on the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference Final on Monday at 6:30pm on FS1 for the chance to go to the MLS Cup Final!
WILL SEYMORE – SLIGO ROVERS (LEAGUE OF IRELAND PREMIER DIVISION)
It was an up-and-down week for Will Seymore and Sligo Rovers and things started on a high note as they knocked off Derry City in the FAI Cup quarterfinals last Wednesday. After two hours of scoreless soccer, Rovers prevailed 3-1 on penalties. Seymore played the entire match at holding midfield, doing his part to keep the Derry City attack at bay.
In the ensuing semifinal against league champion and perennial Irish powerhouse Shamrock Rovers over the weekend, Sligo succumbed by a score of 2-0. Seymore started the game on the bench but came on in the 68th minute with his squad already facing a two-goal deficit and was unable to lead them on a comeback.
Despite their season coming to an end, Sligo were rewarded for their brilliant second half with qualification to the brand-new UEFA Europa Conference League set to kick off in 2021. If Seymore remains on the Rovers’ roster next season, he will become the first former Lane United FC player to participate in European competition!
ÁLEX PANTOJA – CD GUADALAJARA (SPANISH TERCERA DIVISIÓN)
After tallying his first goal with Guadalajara last week, Pantoja notched an assist this past Sunday in Dépor’s 2-0 victory over Tarancón in new manager Gonzalo Ónega Sobrino’s first match in charge. With his side up 1-0, Pantoja played Success Makanjuola into space on the right flank and the winger cut inside before looping a shot over the visiting goalkeeper's head for the team’s second goal in the 63rd minute.
The victory moves CD Guadalajara up to second place in the table and they’ll take on undefeated leaders UB Conquense on the road this Sunday.
XIMO MIRALLES – CD NUMANCIA (SPANISH SEGUNDA B DIVISION)
CD Numancia picked up a point with a 2-2 draw against Valladolid B last Sunday. It seemed like they had the three points in the bag, but a goal in the final minute levelled things for the visitors. Miralles again played the full match and made three saves. While a win would have pushed Numancia up into first place, the club now sits in a three-way tie for fourth in a tight division as they travel to face Burgos CF on Sunday.