40 days remain until the USL Championship season kicks off, and that means USL clubs have ample time left to make big additions to their roster. Last year, players like Cal Jennings (a 19-goal scorer in Tampa Bay) and Carlos Harvey (so good in Phoenix’s midfield that he earned an MLS move) didn’t even sign until preseason camps had broken out around the league.
So, what does every team in the league need to do to get better or find an identity before opening day?
Today, we’re diving into one big question for each club.
Big Question: Who starts at striker?
Last year, the Legion got a combined 17 goals and seven assists from Neco Brett and Juan Agudelo at the striker spot, but neither player will be back for 2024. Using a winger like Preston Tabortetaka as a speedy alternative or relying on Enzo Martinez as a false No. 9 could do the trick, but Birmingham likely need to make a signing to complete their squad.
Big Question: How do you balance minutes in the midfield?
Charleston’s strong suit in their East-winning 2023 campaign was a versatile and deep midfield, the entire core of which – Emilio Ycaza, Arturo Rodriguez, Nick Markanich, Robbie Crawford, and Chris Allan – is back for the new year. Adding Aaron Molloy, arguably the best No. 6 in the USL, is a great move, but it muddies the waters in the rotation when you have seven players vying for three starting spots.
Ben Pirmann will have to walk a tightrope of tactical necessity and man-management to keep the Battery at the top of the table.