With MLS and the USL Championship back in full swing, plus USL League One kicking off again following its long break, we had plenty of former Reds in action. Read on below and click on the hyperlinks for highlights.
KHIRY SHELTON - SPORTING KANSAS CITY (MLS)
Shelton was instrumental in Sporting Kansas City’s wild 3-2 win over the Colorado Rapids last Friday, with the striker playing the entire match and being name the Heineken Man of the Match. In the 15th minute, he had a shot saved for a corner and on the ensuing corner, his shot was headed off the line by Rapid’s defender Jack Price.
In the 58th minute, Shelton provoked the sending off of defender Danny Wilson for denial of a clear scoring opportunity. Just seven minutes later, Shelton would grab the equalizer, volleying home a cross with his left foot from a tight angle. Teammate Graham Zusi would end up scoring a stoppage time winner, while Shelton finished with 5 total shots, 4 of them on goal.
Khiry and Sporting KC punched their spot in the MLS is Back Tournament’s knockout stages on Wednesday with a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake, clinching first place in Group D. Shelton was in the starting XI once again, this time playing 84 minutes and tallying two shots, one on goal. They’ll now wait to find out their opponent in the Round of 16, which will be a 3rd-place finished from Group B or F.
HASSANI DOTSON - MINNESOTA UNITED FC (MLS)
Dotson came off the bench and played 25 min as substitute, replacing Ethan Finley, in Minnesota’s nil-nil draw with Real Salt Lake last Friday. The midfielder got a decent look on goal in the 83rd minute, but his left-footed strike from about 25 yards out went wide of the far post.
On Wednesday, Minnesota United sealed their place in the Round of 16 with a 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rapids. Dotson played the full match this time and had one off-target shot while drawing three fouls. He did very well to set up teammate Jan Gregus in the 88th minute for a possible winner, but Gregus’ shot was tipped over by Rapid’s goalkeeper William Yarbrough. The Loons will now take on the red-hot Columbus Crew next Tuesday, with the match airing on ESPN and kicking off at 5pm PST.
KYLE COFFEE - REAL MONARCHS SLC (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Coffee opened the scoring for Real Monarchs SLC in their 3-3 barnburner against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks last weekend. He received the ball with his back to goal, spun and on the half-volley struck a laser past the keeper and into the back of the net. The striker also created two chances and his side was up 3-1 when he was subbed off in the 81st minute. Unfortunately, the lead didn’t hold as a valiant 10-man Switchbacks squad fought back with two late goals to snatch a point. The Monarchs will have to wait until August 1st for another chance at their first win of the season against these same Colorado Springs Switchbacks, this time on the road.
NICK MOON – INDY ELEVEN (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
The converted forward started in both wins for Indy Eleven this week, 2-1 against Sporting Kansas City II and 1-0 over Pittsburgh River Hounds SC. In the former, he faced off against fellow former Red Jaret Townsend, and was directly involved in the opening goal. He beat a defender on the break and his long-range shot was parried into the path of an onrushing teammate, Tyler Pasher, who tapped in. After SKC levelled, Moon was incredibly unlucky not to tally the go-ahead goal, as his powerful header off a corner kick was deflected onto the underside of the crossbar by SKC keeper Brooks Thompson (the save is actually up for USL Championship Save of the Week). and cleared away by a defender. Indy would take the lead minutes later and hold on to win. Moon played the full match and in addition to those two shots on goal won 10 total duels, created 3 chances, and blocked a shot.
Moon also started the match against Pittsburgh, coming off in the 90th minute with the score knotted at 0-0. Teammate Tyler Pasher would end up snatching his side the three points with a stunning last-minute winner. Moon won 13 total duels and had two shots, one of which was off target and the other was blocked, also winning three fouls for his squad. Indy Eleven will take their perfect 3-0 record to Missouris to face Saint Louis FC on Sunday.
JARET TOWNSEND – SPORTING KANSAS CITY II (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Townsend made his professional debut against Indy Eleven and Nick Moon last weekend, coming in as a substitute in the 85th minute. He won two duels and earned his side a free kick, while completing 75% of his passes. He’ll look to earn more playing time in SKC’s upcoming match on Saturday against Louisville City FC.
AKEEM WARD - NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Ward started the match against Tampa Bay Rowdies on the bench but came on as a substitute in the 70thminute with his side down 2-1. He displayed great energy as he helped North Carolina fight back for a 2-2 draw. He had one shot blocked by a defender and his immediate follow-up missed the target. The midfielder completed 90% of his passes and was particularly active on the defensive end, blocking two shots, intercepting three passes, and adding one clearance and one tackle. North Carolina has the week off and will return to action next Wednesday the 29th, travelling to take on the Charlotte Independence.
RICKY LOPEZ-ESPIN - FORT LAUDERDALE FC (USL LEAGUE ONE)
In the season kickoff for USL League One, Lopez-Espin started up top for Fort Lauderdale FC in their 0-2 defeat to Greenville Triumph SC, playing the full 90 minutes. He had a great chance to open the scoring in the 22ndminute on a rebound, but Greenville goalkeeper Dallas Jaye made a phenomenal kick-save to deny him. Lopez-Espin and will next face his former head coach at Lane United FC, John Galas, when Fort Lauderdale FC takes on FC Tucson on Saturday.
XIMO MIRALLES – AD ALCORCÓN (SPANISH 2a DIVISIÓN)
Rather than featuring for AD Alcorcón B in their Tercera División, Group 7 Promotion Playoff win over AD Unión Adarve on Sunday, Miralles was an unused substitute for the Alcorcón first team’s final regular season game in Spain’s 2nd Division, a 2-0 win over Girona FC.
AD Alcorcón finish the campaign a respectable 10th out of 22 clubs. The B squad, after their 3-1 victory over AD Unión Adarve, will face off against C.D.A. Navalcarnero on Saturday with the winner earning promotion to Spain’s Segunda B Division.
Goalkeeper Luis Barraza was on the bench again behind Sean Johnson for NYCFC’s 1-0 win over Inter Miami CF on Monday, while fellow netminder Matt Bersano made the team sheet for the San Jose Earthquakes for the first time this year but did not see the field in the Quakes’ 2-0 win over Chicago Fire FC on Sunday evening. Goalkeeper Ben Willis was not on the matchday roster for USL Championship side Rio Grande Valley FC Toros in their 1-1 draw against San Antonio FC.