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USL Review: Sebastián Velásquez returns to Championship with El Paso

Sebastián Velásquez returns to the USL Championship after playing in South Korea. The Colombian previously played in MLS with Real Salt Lake and NYCFC.

After a brief stint with a club in South Korea, Sebastián Velásquez is back in the United States. He has returned to a league where he has slotted home many goals.

On Tuesday, El Paso Locomotive FC announced that they had signed the Columbian midfielder for the remainder of the 2019 USL Championship season.

“Sebastian is a proven winner and a top attacking player. His experience in MLS and as one of the most creative players to ever play in the USL will be a huge influence on us in the second half of the season,” El Paso coach Mark Lowry said in a statement. “He is exciting to watch. His energy and ability will get people out of their seats and without a doubt allows us to evolve and take the necessary steps in our progression as a team.”

Velásquez, 28, came to the U.S. at a young age from Columbia. He played high school soccer in Greenville, South Carolina and then played junior college ball at Spartanburg Methodist College before he was selected in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft by Real Salt Lake.

He’d spend parts of four season in MLS, notching two goals and two assists in 61 appearances with RSL and NYCFC. He also scored twice across 16 appearances for Rayo OKC, a now-defunct NASL club.

But Velásquez really found his footing in the USL, with RSL’s affiliate Real Monarchs SLC. From 2017 through 2018, he appeared in 47 matches, scoring 16 goals and assisting on 10 others. In 2017, he made the Championship’s All-League First Team and helped the Monarch’s capture the regular season title.

He most recently played for Suwon FC, scoring once across nine appearances in the second-tier South Korean league.

The addition of Velásquez should provide a boost to El Paso’s offense. The club is in fifth place in the Western Conference table with a 7-4-7 record and a goal differential of plus-five.

Things to know

  • When Loudon United’s stadium opens in August, it will be called “Segra Field.” D.C. United – the MLS parent of Loudon, a USL Championship expansion side – agreed to a 10-year deal with the technology and communications company for the naming rights to the 5,000-seat stadium in Leesburg, Virginia, according to the Washington Post. The stadium will open Aug. 9 and the playing surface will be turf.
  • In USL League One, the Chattanooga Red Wolves broke ground Tuesday on a $125 million development in East Ridge, Tennessee that includes a soccer-specific stadium. The surrounding development will feature housing, shops, restaurants, a hotel and greenspace. The stadium will be used by the Red Wolves, USL League Two’s Dalton Red Wolves and the Lady Red Wolves of the WPSL.
  • After Martin Vasquez resigned, Real Salt Lake has appointed assistant coach Jamison Olave to be the interim head coach of the Real Monarchs.

Transactions

  • The Real Monarchs have acquired 19-year-old Cristian Calix on-loan from Liga MX side Atlas for the remainder of the USL Championship season. The forward recently featured with Honduras at the U-20 World Cup in Poland, where he played in two matches.
  • About a week after loaning him to the Las Vegas Lights, Nashville SC has recalled midfielder Vinnie Vermeer. The 24-year-old Dutchman did not appear in a game with the Lights. He has only played 29 minutes with Nashville this season.
  • Last week, Memphis 901 FC loaned midfielder Louis Bennett and forward Oliver White to Forward Madison FC of USL League One.
  • El Paso Locomotive FC and the Tulsa Roughnecks completed a trade last week that sends defender Moses Makinde to El Paso and midfielder Calvin Rezende to Tulsa. Makinde had 11 appearances for Tulsa, while Rezende had scored twice in nine appearances for El Paso.

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