The end of the USL’s player registration window is fast approaching, but teams are still adding key contributors down the stretch.
Most leagues in the soccer world don’t allow changes so late in the season, but with the USL Championship barely 30 days away from the end of the regular season, 10 clubs have added players in the last two weeks. Many of the new faces are going to be difference-makers; Memphis and San Antonio made signings this week that immediately slotted in and won valuable points in the table.
Between new additions and fresh gameplans, it was yet another week of intrigue and playoff jostling across the board. Who made the changes that mattered? Let’s dig in.
1.) Orange County (No change)
Result: D 0-0 v. El Paso
18-year-old goalkeeper Juan Santana made his debut two weeks ago, keeping a clean sheet in Sacramento. He got another nod this weekend with El Paso in town, but he didn't face much danger. In truth, Orange County's team defense always limits chances. The tandems of full backs and central midfielders on either side of the 4-3-3 were very good in particular, clamping down against the Locomotive's wing backs. You'd regularly see a defender like Owen Lambe burst high with the support of a centerman like Seth Casiple to halt all opposing progress, thereby making it an easy go for Santana.
In the other direction, Orange County didn't have their final ball, and the opposing 5-3-2 was quite compact in limiting the Californians to just two shots on net. It wasn't the prettiest way to snap a long winning streak, but this club still hasn't lost since July 9, and they were the better team on the night. They're deep, and they'll be fine.