Nick Moon scored an early goal to lead Indy Eleven to victory and Hassani Dotson tallied an assist and was pivotal in Minnesota United FC's two wins this past week, while we had plenty other alums in action.
HASSANI DOTSON – MINNESOTA UNITED FC (MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER)
While Dotson didn’t get the start on Sunday, he came on early for an injured Osvaldo Alonso in the 18th minute and played a pivotal role as Minnesota United FC thrashed Real Salt Lake, 4-0, to end their three-match losing streak. After contributing the opening goal by winning the ball in midfield prior to the build-up, he added a very sweet assist on the fourth goal to round out the blowout.
Minnesota made it two on-the-trot with an exciting 3-2 victory over FC Dallas. Dotson started as one of two holding midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 formation and played the full 90 minutes. He did attempt one of his patented long-range, left-footed rips from outside the box in the 43rd minute, but it was gobbled up by FC Dallas goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck. Dotson led his team with 87 touches and also was phenomenal with his defensive duties, leading the team with six blocks and four tackles, while adding four clearances and two interceptions.
KHIRY SHELTON – SPORTING KANSAS CITY (MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER)
Sporting Kansas City fell 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, as Shelton played the entire match up front on the left side of a 4-3-3. The forward did play a vital role in his side’s only goal, as the rebound from his saved shot was blasted home by Erik Hurtado. Despite the loss, SKC remain in first place in the Western Conference and will be back it this Sunday as they face off with Hassani Dotson and Minnesota United FC.
NICK MOON – INDY ELEVEN (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Nick Moon was used as a second half substitute during Indy Eleven’s 3-1 loss to Louisville City FC last Saturday night. All four goals came in the first half of this one, but Moon still managed to contribute 11 accurate passes as he tried to pull the hosts back in it.
On Wednesday night, Moon started and scored in the fifth minute to give Indy an early fifth minute lead over SKC II. Nick’s goal was a beautiful lefty turn-and-strike with two defenders on him in the box. Moon also blocked two shots, won four duels, and created two chances for Indy Eleven in their 2-1 win.
JARET TOWNSEND – SPORTING KANSAS CITY II (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Townsend came on as a substitute in SKC II’s 3-2 loss to Saint Louis FC on Friday, September 4th. Trailing 2-1 in the 82nd minute, SKCII manager Paulo Nagamura sent Townsend on to replace Jacob Davis and give the team an attacking boost. That boost came, but not before Saint Louis went up 3-1 just seconds after Townsend trotted on. Jaret finished with four completed passes on the night and provided some important attacking width along the right wing.
Townsend and SKC II met Nick Moon and Indy Eleven on Wednesday, September 9 in Indianapolis. Townsend came on in the 67th minute to provide an attacking spark, and he did. Townsend created a chance, won a corner, and provided a key pass and a long ball to boot. SKC II scored and nearly equalized, but the final goal was called back for a questionable foul.
KYLE COFFEE – REAL MONARCHS SLC (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Kyle Coffee started and played 89 minutes for Real Monarchs SLC in their 1-0 win over the Tacoma Defiance last Saturday. Coffee completed 16 passes at 84.2% accuracy, including 80% accuracy in the attacking half. He also contributed one shot, one tackle, drew one foul, and won two duels.
Once again, Coffee started and played a pivotal role in a win—this time a 4-1 dismantling of Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC—on Wednesday night. Coffee completed 24 passes at a 92.3% clip, drew two fouls, and finished with two shots in 84 minutes for an all-around solid performance on the night.
RICKY LOPEZ-ESPIN – FORT LAUDERDALE CF (USL LEAGUE ONE)
After earning goal of the month honors for this wonderstrike that lifted Fort Lauderdale CF to its first-ever win, Lopez-Espin and FLCF earned a point from Chattanooga Red Wolves at home on Saturday, September 5th. Ricky tallied nine accurate passes, including 100% of his long balls, during 79 minutes of play in the 1-1 draw.
JOHN GALAS & AJ VALENZUELA – FC TUCSON (USL LEAGUE ONE)
In a re-match with former head coach Darren Sawatzky, manager John Galas led FC Tucson to a 2-2 draw against the red-hot Richmond Kickers at home last Saturday. Richmond came in winning their last four matches, but Tucson earned and converted an early penalty before Azaad Liadi doubled the lead 15 minutes in with the help of a goalkeeper assist.
Liadi nearly had his brace in the 22nd minute, but his shot slammed off the crossbar. Unfortunately, Tucson couldn’t hold on for all three points—conceding a questionable penalty and a 93rd minute equalizer—but a result against one of USL One’s best is nothing to be ashamed of.
Galas was not too pleased with the result, telling the Tucson Sentinel, “It wasn’t an issue of momentum as much as we didn’t play very well. We gave them too much time and space and allowed them to play too much.” He then added, “…we gave up a goal in the 90th minute on a set piece. We talked about it all week: set pieces will kill us. Look what happened. We need to hold them accountable. They should feel horrible about this one.”
Defender AJ Valenzuela was back on the bench for this one, but did not get any game action.
WILL SEYMORE – SLIGO ROVERS (LEAGUE OF IRELAND PREMIER DIVISION)
Will Seymore was once again an unused substitute as Sligo Rovers defeated Finn Harps, 3-1, and jumped up to third place in the League of Ireland Premier Division.