It was a busy week for former Reds, as Hassani Dotson and Khiry Shelton had a mini Lane United FC reunion in Major League soccer, Will Seymore returned to the pitch across the pond in Ireland, John Galas and FC Tucson got back to winning ways, and Kyle Coffee and Ricky Lopez-Espin found the net in USL play.
HASSANI DOTSON – MINNESOTA UNITED FC & KHIRY SHELTON – SPORTING KANSAS CITY (MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER)
Two of our former stars faced off as Khiry Shelton and Sporting KC hosted Hassani Dotson and Minnesota United FC on Sunday evening, and these two wasted no time in getting into the action. Just one minute in, Dotson shot over the bar from inside the box. Two minutes later, Khiry responded with his own chance after being played into the right side of the box with a ball over the top of the defense. His low shot from a tight angle was blocked by goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair. He had another opportunity 20 minutes later after controlling a high bouncing ball inside the area, but his shot was deflected by a sliding Michael Boxall at the last minute for a corner kick. Shelton’s third chance of the half came after a nice run that saw him beat a defender into the left side of the box, but St. Clair closed him down well and was able to block his shot.
Shelton was subbed off in the 54th minute while Dotson played the full match. Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell ended up scoring the only goal of the match in the 80th minute to lead SKC to a 1-0 victory.
WILL SEYMORE – SLIGO ROVERS (LEAGUE OF IRELAND PREMIER DIVISION)
The midfielder worked his way back into the starting lineup after fully recovering from his hamstring strain and played 75 minutes in the midfield in Sligo Rovers nil-nil road draw with St. Patrick’s Athletic. The result has Sligo sitting in fifth place and the Bit O' Red will take on second-placed Bohemians on Friday.
KYLE COFFEE – REAL MONARCHS SLC (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Coffee had a blocked shot, successful dribble, and eight accurate passes in 45 minutes of play for the Monarchs in their 2-0 loss to New Mexico United last Saturday.
Kyle got the start against Portland Timbers 2 in a 2-1 defeat on Wednesday night and made the most of it despite missing a chance off a difficult cross in the 18th minute. Ten minutes later, Coffee found his redemption, pouncing on the end of a low cross and stabbing it past the goalkeeper for the opener. Coffee’s third goal of the season is a team-high for the Monarchs this year.
Unfortunately, the Real Salt Lake defense couldn’t keep T2 from mounting a second-half comeback. Marcus Epps scored a brilliant solo equalizer at the hour mark before Coffee was subbed off two minutes later — T2 got their winner in the 78th minute.
AKEEM WARD – NORTH CAROLINA FC (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Ward started and played 90 minutes for NCFC in a 2-3 loss against Memphis 901 last Thursday, completing 42 of his 47 passes and winning four duels and two tackles from the left back position. North Carolina fell on a 98th-minute stunner from Matt Hundley, but they would get their revenge a few days later with a three-goal comeback from a 2-0 halftime deficit.
Once again, Ward started and played the full 90, completing 87.1% of his passes and adding two tackles. Ward nearly provided the game-winning assist in the 88th minute, but Dre Fortune’s shot went wide of the post. NCFC would score the game-winner just one minute later.
RICKY LOPEZ-ESPIN – FORT LAUDERDALE CF (USL LEAGUE ONE)
Lopez-Espin started and scored in Fort Lauderdale’s 2-0 win over Orlando City B. Ricky found
space between the back line, took a smooth touch past the goalkeeper, and finished cleanly with a pair of defenders closing in on him.
Lopez-Espin nearly opened the scoring in the third minute, but his shot was saved well by the Orlando goalkeeper. He also won four aerial duels and registered four shots on target before coming off in the 69th minute. This was Ricky’s sixth goal of the season for Fort Lauderdale, bringing him up to second in the league for this year, just one goal behind Emiliano Terzaghi of the Richmond Kickers.
NICK MOON – INDY ELEVEN (USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Nick Moon started and played a full 90 in Indy Eleven’s 2-0 loss to Louisville City FC in Indianapolis on Wednesday night. Moon nearly tied the match just before halftime by getting his head on the end of a corner kick, but the glancing shot was lifted just over the bar right before halftime.
Moon’s header may have been his best chance, but it wasn’t the only one for Indy. Moon continued to make ambitious runs and passes to try and pull Indy Eleven back into the match, but Louisville doubled their lead in the 76th minute and never looked back.
Galas and FC Tucson were able to redeem themselves Wednesday night with a 1-0 win over New England Revolution II. Elivelton’s header from a corner kick in the 8th minute set the tone for a sturdy defensive performance by Galas’ side, which nearly capitalized on more chances in the second half.
Valenzuela did not see the pitch in either match but will hope to get in on the action as Tucson has four games over the next two weeks.