Legion Announce Initial Roster and North Alabama SC Announce W League and League Two

As announcements to the roster are made, we have to do the hardest thing a human can do: say ‘good-bye.’

Initial Roster

New Contracts With the Club

  1. Alex Crognale (Center Back)
    • Multiyear deal
    • Third year with the club
    • 2021-present (deal to end in 2024)
  2. Mikey Lopez (Midfield/Left Back/Anywhere)
    • Multiyear deal
    • Fifth year with the club
    • 2019-present (deal to end in 2024)
  3. Phanuel Kavita (Center Back)
    • Multiyear deal
    • Third year with the club
    • 2021-present (deal to end in 2024)
  4. Trevor Spangenberg (Goalkeeper)
    • Multiyear deal
    • Fifth year with the club
    • 2019-present (deal to end in 2024)

Club Exercised Option to Extend

  1. Mataeo Bunbury (Winger)
    • Club exercised option
    • 2022-present (deal to end in 2023)
  2. Grayson Dupont (Winger/Wing Back)
    • Club exercised option
    • 2022-present (deal to end in 2023)
  3. Prosper Kasim (Winger)
    • Club exercised option
    • 2019-present (deal to end in 2023)
  4. Jake Rufe (Full Back/Wide Center Back)
    • Club exercised option
    • 2021-present (deal to end in 2023)
  5. Marlon Santos (Winger)
    • Club exercised option
    • 2022-present (deal to end in 2023)
  6. Matt VanOekel (Goalkeeper)
    • Club exercised option
    • 2019-present (deal to end in 2023)

Already Under Contract

  1. Anderson Asiedu (Central Midfield)
    • Under contract
    • 2019-present (deal to end in 2023)
  2. Matthew Corcoran (Midfield)
    • Under contract
    • 2022-present (deal to end in 2023)
  3. Jonny Dean (Full Back)
    • Under contract
    • 2020-present (deal to end in 2023)
  4. Enzo Martinez (Central Attacking Midfield/Winger/Striker)
    • Under contract
    • 2022-present (deal to end in 2023)

Who We Are Losing

  1. Zach Herivaux (Midfield)
    • Signed with Tampa Bay Rowdies as a free agent
    • Legion Player 2019, 2021-22
    • Declined his player option
  2. Bruno Lapa (Central Attacking Midfield)
    • Player 2020-2022
    • Out of Contract
  3. Juan Agudelo (Striker)
    • Player 2022
    • Out of Contract
    • Currently in contract negotiations
  4. Sadik Balarabe (Winger/Striker)
    • Player 2022
    • Club declined option
  5. Ryan James (Left Side Specialist)
    • Player 2021-2022
    • Club declined option
  6. Edi Horvat (Striker)
    • Player 2022
    • Club declined option

My Projected Day One Line Up

With who is CURRENTLY on the roster, this is the expected starting line up come opening day. We could be realistically looking at a 4-2-4 of some sort depending how far AA6 is going to be allowed to roam.

This is still a line up with a crazy amount of talent and has the potential to do big things, but there are clear holes…

Where Does Legion Look to Improve?

There are players that we lost this year that I am emotional about losing, frankly. Bruno Lapa, especially. My first ever player interview. He was our Brazilian Magician and I was never going to be ready to say good-bye. This is why we love sports, right? Like our Birmingham City friends say, for the joys and sorrows, too.

We are once again looking solid at the back, but we are clearly lacking a full back and center back help. With Zach Herivaux, we all knew we could throw him back there in case of emergency. Same with Mikey Lopez, but in Year Five, we can’t do the makeshift line up. It is simply not an option. We should be looking at signing at least one full back and one center back.

We are also left without a single striker on the roster. While Marlon, Enzo, and Prosper CAN play up top, we all know that it won’t work with the current system that Coach Tommy Soehn. So, we are in search of a true #9. We may have that on the way with Juan Agudelo in contract negotiations, but never count your eggs before they hatch.

How Many Players Should We Sign?

If I was given an unlimited budget, I would first off be signing people like Jude Bellingham, Erling Haaland, Mbappe, and every other former wonderkid on FIFA, but I would also be looking to attack every weakness.

  • Goalkeeper: NO SIGNINGS NEEDED
  • Backline: 2 fullbacks and 1 center back needed
  • Midfield: 1 Central Attacking Midfielder needed
  • Striker: 1-2 Strikers needed

In total, we’re looking at 4-5 Signings Needed. Truthfully, we can use some academy players to supplement those positions like full back and center back, but we need to find a CAM or Striker with bonified USL experience.

W League and League Two to Huntsville

December 8th, League Two and W League are announced to be coming to Huntsville, Alabama in 2023. The summer leagues will allow athletes to put their talents on for semi-professional clubs and more scouts. NASC will compete in USL-L2 and W League, almost clearly being beaten out by MLS NEXT for D3 soccer for the men’s side but making a real push for Women’s Soccer in the Rocket City.

Originally tweeted by USL W League (@USLWLeague) on December 8, 2022.

Whether or not that they will make the jump to Super League is yet to be seen, but clearly this North Alabama SC ownership is dedicated to getting the most out of Huntsville.

While people in Birmingham were hoping that Birmingham would be the next W League landing spot, my source stands by that we will have a Legion “semi-professional” women’s squad either this year or next year. To quote them, “It’s not if, it is when.”

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