Khiry Shelton and Hassani Dotson both helped their team's to big weeks in MLS action, skipper John Galas and FC Tucson continue to earn points in USL1, and we saw several former players wrap up their seasons while others are just getting them underway across the pond in Europe. Read on below!
HASSANI DOTSON – MINNESOTA UNITED FC (MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER)
Dotson completed 41 of his 45 passes and recorded 29 pressures—good for second-most on the team in both categories—in a 2-0 win over FC Cincinnati on Saturday, October 3rd. He also added 2 tackles and 2 blocks in 90 minutes of action.
The Loons were less fortunate in their next outing, a 0-0 draw against Nashville SC, but Dotson did his part. Hassani induced a team-high 44 pressures, completed 90% of his 40 attempted passes, and made six tackles. He also had a shot from distance on target saved by Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis in the 76th minute.
Next Up: Sunday 10/11 @ FC Dallas
KHIRY SHELTON – SPORTING KANSAS CITY (MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER)
Shelton started and played a full 90 minutes against both the Houston Dynamo and Chicago Fire this past week.
In the first match, Shelton contributed a team-high 21 pressures and five blocks in SKC’s 2-1 win over Houston in BBVA Compass Stadium Saturday night. He also made a clever run behind the back line to receive a slip-pass from Alan Pulido, but his shot on frame was saved well by Marko Maric in the 66th minute. Shelton had another intelligent run two minutes later, but Johnny Russell failed to find him on the back post.
On Wednesday, Shelton successfully completed all three of his dribbles and two key passes in a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire. He nearly had a chance to score in the 80th minute, but couldn’t get the ball past Bobby Shuttleworth. Despite not scoring, Khiry also won four out of his six ground duels and three out of four aerial duels, as well as intercepting the ball three times.
Next Up: Sunday 10/11 vs Nashville
XIMO MIRALLES – CD NUMANCIA (SPANISH SEGUNDA B DIVISION)
In their fourth preseason warm-up, Numancia and CD Tudelano completed the 90 minutes at 2-2, with Tudelano winning the ensuing penalty shootout 4-3 in the Trofeo Segura match. Miralles again started and played 60 minutes in goal, making a nice save in the first half off a set piece before conceding twice early in the second on breakaways. He then tipped a nice direct kick over the bar before being substituted. Numancia will have one final preseason test this Saturday before their official season opener on the 18th.
Next Up: Saturday 10/8 vs Osasuna B (preseason friendly)
WILL SEYMORE – SLIGO ROVERS (LEAGUE OF IRELAND PREMIER DIVISION)
Sligo’s run of successful results was brought to a screeching halt in a 4-0 defeat away to league leading Shamrock Rovers. Seymore played the full 90 minutes in midfield. The Bit O’ Red will now enjoy a bit of a break due to international fixtures, returning to action on October 18th against Shelbourne.
JOEL RYDSTRAND – CD SAN ROQUE DE LEPE (SPANISH TERCERA DIVISION)
As CD San Roque de Lepe prepares for its season opener on October 18th, they played two friendlies this past week. On Sunday, the team fell 2-1 to Linares Deportivo. On Thursday, Rydstrand started in San Roque’s 2-0 preseason loss to Cádiz CF B.
Next Up: Tuesday 10/13 vs CD Rociana; Thursday 10/15 vs CD Pinzón (preseason friendlies)
AKEEM WARD – NORTH CAROLINA FC (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Akeem Ward and North Carolina FC had a tough night against Charlotte Independence at home on Saturday, having their playoff hopes buried in the 94th minute after a gritty performance against the eventual group winners. Ward had one of the best chances of the game for North Carolina, cutting inside and sending a curler to the far post from his left side, but it was saved well and Charlotte capitalized in the end. For his part, Ward finished with three interceptions and four clearances, but it wasn’t enough for NCFC to get one in the net. Their season came to a close after finishing third in Group G and missing the playoffs.
NICK MOON – INDY ELEVEN (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Moon completed 30 passes and created three chances for Indy Eleven against Saint Louis FC on Saturday as he attempted to carry Indy to a playoff appearance with a win or draw. Indy were ready to park the bus from kickoff, but a giveaway at the back saw Saint Louis go up 1-0 after a 1v1 with the goalkeeper in the 35th minute.
A 47th minute penalty after a handball was converted to make it 2-0, and Moon immediately launched a shot on goal at the other end. He also nearly scored by sliding to make contact with a free kick at the back post 20 minutes later, but it was just too far ahead. In the 80th minute, Moon took a touch past his man on the edge of the box and was brought down for a penalty, which was converted by Tyler Pasher. Despite his best efforts, Moon and Indy Eleven couldn’t find the tying goal, ending their season in heartbreaking fashion.
KYLE COFFEE – REAL MONARCHS SLC (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Coffee came on as a halftime substitute with the Monarchs down 1-0 and needing a goal against El Paso Locomotive FC on Sunday. He nearly scored on one of the first chances of the second half, but the cross bound for Coffee was intercepted.
As Salt Lake City pressed on, poor giveaways and close down in space led to three more goals for El Paso. Coffee finished with eight completed passes and won two duels in their final match of the season.
RICKY LOPEZ-ESPIN – FORT LAUDERDALE CF (USL LEAGUE ONE)
Ricky Lopez-Espin completed 84.6% of his passes in 90 minutes of action for Fort Lauderdale last Saturday, October 3rd at Globe Life Park against North Texas SC . He added four ground and aerial duels won, but FLCF was unable to find the scoresheet and conceded three second half goals—despite owning 67% possession—in a 3-0 loss.
Next Up: Friday, October 9th @ New England Revolution II
JOHN GALAS & AJ VALENZUELA – FC TUCSON
Galas led FC Tucson to a 0-0 draw against Forward Madison on Saturday before earning a hard-fought 1-0 victory over South Georgia Tormenta FC on the road Wednesday night, with the breakthrough coming in the 33rd minute from a fabulous Gio Godoy goal. The four points move Tucson up to 5th place and keeps them alive in the battle for a championship game spot. Galas summed up the road trip by stating, "Credit to the whole group for two shutouts on the road. It was a massive 180 minutes for us.”
Valenzuela did not feature in either match. Tucson now get a two-match homestand, beginning with their match against Greenville Triumph FC this Saturday.
Next Up: 10/10 vs Greenville Triumph FC
FRANCESCO TIOZZO – USD ADRIESE 1906 (ITALIAN SERIE D)
Tiozzo and USD Adriese 1906 got their Serie D season underway in Italy two weeks ago and have only been able to scratch out one point from three matches thanks to a nil-nil draw against Luparense last Sunday. We haven’t been able to find match reports for the club yet but will keep trying!
Next Up: 10/11 vs AC Virtus Bolzano