The USL Championship’s all-time leading scorer will have a new home for the 2020 season.
On Monday, the Charlotte Independence announced they signed striker Dane Kelly to a contract for the upcoming season. Kelly won the league’s Golden Boot in 2017 and has netted 77 goals over his USL career.
“Dane is one of the premier goal scorers in the league and he has a tremendous acumen to create chances,” Independence head coach Mike Jeffries said in a statement. “He gives our offense a ton of flexibility because not only can he be the focal point but his pace allows to stretch opponents and give a little bit of a different look.”
Kelly, 28, has played in the USL since 2011. He has been named to the All-League team three times, has played in seven postseason campaigns and has posted double-digit goals in six seasons. Kelly spent last season with Indy Eleven, where he tallied 10 goals and four assists in 37 appearances.
A native of Jamaica, Kelly began his USL career with the Charleston Battery in 2011. In five seasons with the club, he notched 39 goals and nine assists in 105 appearances.
In 2017, he had his best season, getting 18 goals and four assists in 28 games with Reno 1868 FC. Kelly not only won the Golden Boot, but was also named as the league’s MVP.
The following season, he earned a contract with MLS side D.C. United, but appeared in just two games with the club.
Kelly has also earned four caps with the Jamaican national team since 2017.
Phoenix extends head coach
Phoenix Rising FC announced last week that it had extended the contract of Rick Schantz, who was named USL Championship Coach of the Year in 2019. Schantz will remain with the club through the 2022 season.
Under Schantz, the club earned a league record 78 points last season and finished first in the Western Conference with a 24-6-4 mark.
Rowdies sign Sheffield product
The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced last Friday they acquired midfielder Jordan Doherty on a permanent deal from English squad Sheffield United FC.
A 19-year-old Irish midfielder, Doherty came up in the academy of the Premier League side, but spent last season on-loan with Tampa Bay, appearing in 20 matches. He was the youngest player to ever debut for the Rowdies at age 18.
Doherty has represented Ireland on the youth national team, playing at the U-19 and U-23 levels.
“We’re really excited to welcome Jordan back to the Rowdies on a permanent basis,” Rowdies technical director Neill Collins said in a statement. “Jordan is a player that really showed his qualities last season despite being the youngest player in the team. We really look forward to watching his development.”
San Antonio gets former MLS player, Haitian international
San Antonio FC announced the addition of midfielder Zach Herivaux on Friday, signing the Haitian international to a deal for the 2020 season.
Herivaux, 23, signed with the New England Revolution as a Homegrown player in 2015. Through 2018, he appeared in 18 matches with the MLS side, tallying two goals and an assist. Last year, Herivaux spent the season on-loan with USL Championship expansion side Birmingham Legion FC, playing in 23 games and scoring once.
He previously played in five matches with San Antonio FC in 2015 while he was at the club on loan.
“Zach, at a young age, boasts MLS and senior international experience with Haiti,” SAFC head coach Alen Marcina said in a statement. “He demonstrates the traits to be a dominant midfielder who is a relentless ball winner and a terrific passer to progress play into finishing action zones.”
Herivaux was eligible to represent the U.S., Japan or Haiti when deciding where to play on the international level. He ultimately opted for Haiti and has been capped 16 times since 2017.