USL Championship: T&T Players Showing Out In USL Opening Day; Cato and Williams Contribute in Energy FC Debut

The first week of the newly branded USL Championship saw several Trinidadian footballers in new places, and making immediate impacts in their new homes.

OKC Energy FC

Mekeil Williams during Energy FC training camp via @EnergyFC

OKC Energy FC started off the USL Championship season strong against new outfit, El Paso Locomotive FC with a 3-1 victory.

Mekeil Williams contributed to the win with great defense on the right touchline and an assist to Deshorn Brown, a long ball from his own half to the striker for the first goal of the game:

He also had another long pass to forward Owayne Gordon but Gordon couldn’t find the net:

Finally, former North Carolina FC player Cordell Cato produced the dagger in the 81st minute after receiving a fantastic ball from midfielder Kyle Hyland, sealing the first win of the season for the Energy:

Energy FC will play against this Saturday against the Las Vegas Lights.

Memphis 901 FC

Defender Tristan Hodge, formerly of W Connection and Forward Duane Muckette from Central FC featured in the franchise’s first XI in their inaugural start to the USL season against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Leston Paul came off the bench in the 68th minute.

First XI in Memphis 901 Franchise History via @Memphis901FC

Duane Muckette didn’t get a lot of opportunities in the box but he was still active throughout the match, being in high pressure situations, looking to advance the ball forward and even got a couple crosses into the box for a goal chances.

Tristan Hodge looked a little shaky in his debut. Errand passes out the back and giving up possession at moments but he defended pretty well. Just needs to be smarter with the ball and pick out better passes.

Leston Paul was subbed on in the 68th but just couldn’t find his groove in the game

Tristan Hodge during Memphis 901 Media Day via @Memphis901FC

Hodge, Muckette and Paul are set to be regulars in the team this season. Hodge and Paul also featured in the team’s unveiling of the home jerseys:

Memphis 901 FC look to get their first win this week as they play at home against Loudon United FC on Saturday.

Indy Eleven

Neveal Hackshaw (#15) holding off Albert Dikwa via @IndyEleven

Defender Neveal Hackshaw was the bright spot in the Indy Eleven’s 2-1 loss against St. Louis FC with a headed goal in the 61st minute, the first goal of the game:’s Drew Kamaski had nothing but nice things to say about the man out of La Horquetta:

“Indy Eleven defender Neveal Hackshaw opened his scoring account with the Boys in Blue on Saturday when the Trinidadian international tucked away a header off a corner kick from Kenney Walker. Hackshaw did more than impact the score line during Saturday’s fixture. He had arguably the best performance on the field.
In addition to scoring, the 23-year old completed 86 percent of his 72 passes during the course of the 90 minutes. In addition to displaying his vision, Hackshaw also put on a defensive show. The center back racked up four clearances, three interceptions, and one tackle. Anticipate the stout defensemen to continue to gather appearances in Rennie’s back line as a versatile center back.”

Drew Kamaski,

The Indy Eleven will meet the Charlotte Independence in North Carolina on Friday.

Sacramento Republic FC

Shannon Gomez during training camp (via @SacRepublicFC)

Sacramento Republic’s Shannon Gomez had himself a decent outing against the Real Monarchs on his opening day. Through 77 minutes he was displaying effort and discipline on the right touchline, winning the 50-50 balls and playing the ball forward in transition.

Shannon Gomez (#2) with the start against Real Monarchs SLC (via @SacRepublicFC)

I did a twitter thread highlighting some things I liked while watching the stream. You can check it out on the link below. TL;DR Gomez had him a great defensive game, giving maximum effort going forward and tracking back in transition. He was winning 50-50 balls and almost never made a bad pass, keeping possession and helping to build the attack from the back.

Going forward he has to get better putting a good ball in the box when he’s in the attacking third. If he does that, he’ll be a great two-way player.

Sacramento looking for three points this week as they go into Colorado to play the Colorado Springs Switchbacks.