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USL League One alumni to watch in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16

By ETHAN TRIEBSCH -, 05/21/24, 5:30PM EDT


Some League One legends are shining on the U.S. Open Cup stage

Molloy, Amann, Hurst, Firmino | Image Credit: Charleston Battery, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, New Mexico United, Atlanta United FC

While no USL League One teams managed to advance beyond the Round of 32 this year, there are still 16 teams and 15 matches remaining in the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Just about every team and every match remaining will feature a large contingent of players who made their mark on USL League One.

Check out some of the most impactful players remaining in the U.S. Open Cup and how their past in League One impacted where and how they play today.

Each Round of 16 U.S. Open Cup match will be streamed at

Aaron Molloy - Charleston Battery

Aaron Molloy | Image Credit: Forward Madison FC, Charleston Battery

Molloy spent a season in Wisconsin with Forward Madison FC, racking up four goals and three assists across 27 league matches in 2021. Earning a spot on the 2021 USL League One All-League First Team, the former Portland Timbers 2 midfielder returned to the USL Championship with Memphis 901 FC (2022-23) and earned 2023 USL Championship All-League First Team honors before reuniting with Head Coach Ben Pirmann in Charleston in 2024. In his first season with the Battery, Molloy has accumulated two goals and one assist in 11 USL Championship matches.

Watch Charleston Battery vs. Atlanta United FC from Patriots Point Soccer Stadium on Tuesday, May 21 at 7 p.m. ET at

Trevor Amann - Sacramento Republic FC

Trevor Amann | Image Credit: Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

Fresh in the minds of USL League One fans, the reigning USL League One Player of the Year and Golden Boot winner has proven he has what it takes to do it at the next level. The northern Colorado native burst onto the scene in his first two seasons as a professional with local side Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC. In a pair of seasons in Windsor, Colo., the 26-year-old recorded 32 goals and eight assists across all competitions. Before moving to Sacramento in 2024, Amann shattered a league record with his 23 regular season goals a season ago. 10 matches into his USL Championship career, Amann has already netted five goals and one assist for Republic FC.

Watch Sacramento Republic FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes from Heart Health Park on Tuesday, May 21 at 10 p.m. ET at

Greg Hurst - New Mexico United

Greg Hurst | Image Credit: Union Omaha, New Mexico United

One of just two players who have netted 10 or more goals for multiple League One teams (Christian Chaney; CV, MAD), Hurst made the move from his native Scotland in 2019 when he joined Chattanooga Red Wolves SC. In two seasons with the Red Wolves, Hurst scored 10 goals and registered four assists, earning All-League First Team recognition in 2020. Hurst saw continued success in League One in 2021, claiming a USL League One title and a USL League One Players' Shield in his lone season with Union Omaha through his 14 regular season and postseason goals. In 2022, Hurst became one of Omaha's many USL Championship exports, signing with Phoenix Rising FC in 2022 before a move to New Mexico United in 2023. Through his two-and-a-half seasons in the USL Championship, Hurst has found the back of the net on 14 occasions. 

Watch New York City FC II vs. New Mexico United from Belson Stadium on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET at

Maxi Rodriguez - Detroit City FC

Maxi Rodriguez | Image Credit: Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

Before Rodriguez became one of four 'City Centurions' with his 113 appearances and counting for Detroit City FC, the 28-year-old midfielder was a member of the Richmond Kickers' inaugural 2019 USL League One side. The former San Antonio FC man made 24 appearances and scored one goal across both league and U.S. Open Cup play for the Kickers before signing with then-NISA side Detroit. This season, Rodrguez has scored five goals and tallied three assists across all competitions.

Watch Indy Eleven vs. Detroit City FC from Michael A. Carroll Stadium on Wednesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. ET at

Arthur Rogers - FC Tulsa

Arthur Rogers | Image Credit: Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, FC Tulsa

After making his professional debut with Hartford Athletic back in 2020, Arthur Rogers enjoyed an incredibly productive two-year stint with Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC before returning to the Championship with FC Tulsa this season. Rogers became League One's all-time assists leader after just 62 matches in the league, racking up 20 helpers. The versatile fullback was a two-time USL League One Defender of the Year and All-League First Team selection before concluding his Hailstorm career with another accolade - the 2023 USL League One Golden Playmaker award. In eight matches with FC Tulsa this season, Rogers has tallied a pair of assists.

Watch Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Tulsa from Children's Mercy Park on Tuesday, May 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET at

JP Scearce - Phoenix Rising FC

JP Scearce | Image Credit: Union Omaha, Phoenix Rising FC

The two-time USL League One Players' Shield winner and 2021 USL League One champion is Union Omaha's all-time appearances leader across all competitions - at least until goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu makes three more appearances with the club. Scearce earned his first professional contract with the club for its inaugural 2020 season and spent four years with the Owls. The 2022 and 2023 USL League One All-League First Team selection totaled 17 goals and eight assists across all competitions for the Owls before joining defending USL Championship title-winners Phoenix Rising FC over the offseason. 

Watch Seattle Sounders FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC from Starfire Sports Complex on Wednesday, May 22 at 10:30 p.m. ET at

Nick Firmino - Atlanta United FC

Nick Firmino | Image Credit: Union Omaha, Atlanta United FC

Initially signed to a Homegrown contract in 2018 with the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer, Firmino made his professional debut in USL League One with New England Revolution II in August 2020, later earning All-League Second Team honors after notching four goals and two assists with the Revs' reserve team. The Brazilian signed with Union Omaha in 2021, going on to claim the USL League One Players' Shield and USL League One title with the Owls. In 2022, Firmino signed with then-USL Championship side Atlanta United 2 where he has remained since, earning occasional playing time with the Five Stripes' senior team. Since 2022, Firmino has made seven appearances for Atlanta United's senior team, registering a goal in his MLS debut last season and a brace in U.S. Open Cup play against the Charlotte Independence earlier this month.

Watch Charleston Battery vs. Atlanta United FC from Patriots Point Soccer Stadium on Tuesday, May 21 at 7 p.m. ET at

Marco Micaletto - New Mexico United

Marco Micaletto | Image Credit: South Georgia Tormenta FC, Tampa Bay Rowdies

Marco Micaletto was electric for South Georgia Tormenta FC between 2019 and 2021. After spending time with the Ibises during their 2018 USL League Two season, the Italian midfielder signed his first professional contract with Tormenta FC as they moved into the professional ranks in 2019. After three seasons, 22 goals, eight assists and a 2020 All-League Second Team nod, South Georgia transferred Micaletto to Columbus Crew 2 of MLS NEXT Pro. With the Crew's developmental squad for a pair of seasons, Micaletto registered 19 regular season and postseason goals, guiding Crew 2 to the MLS NEXT Pro Cup on two occasions, earning a title and MLS NEXT Pro Cup MVP honors in 2022. Micaletto moved up to the USL Championship ahead of the 2024 season, signing with New Mexico United over the offseason.

Watch New York City FC II vs. New Mexico United from Belson Stadium on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET at

Charlie Dennis - Tampa Bay Rowdies

Charlie Dennis | Image Credit: FC Tucson, Tampa Bay Rowdies

The Southampton FC youth product began his professional career in Statesboro, Ga. with South Georgia Tormenta FC in 2019 and went on to make 67 League One appearances between South Georgia and FC Tucson (2020-21). After earning USL League One All-League Second Team honors in 2021, the midfielder made the jump to the USL Championship with Oakland Roots SC and later signed with the Tampa Bay Rowdies after a season in California. Dennis enjoyed a prolific 2023 season with the Rowdies, recording 11 goals and three assists for Tampa Bay to earn 2023 USL Championship All-League First Team honors.

Watch Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. FC Dallas from Al Lang Stadium on Wednesday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET at

Arturo Rodríguez - Charleston Battery

Arturo Rodríguez | Image Credit: North Texas SC, Charleston Battery

One of the league's first true stars, Arturo Rodríguez shined bright for North Texas SC in 2019. In the FC Dallas reserve side's inaugural campaign, the first-year professional was prolific, scoring seven goals and creating seven assists in the regular season to help North Texas become the first team to claim the USL League One title and USL League One Players' Shield. Following his special 2019 season, Rodríguez was named the Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and USL League One Final MVP and also earned the Golden Playmaker award and All-League First Team honors. Finding his footing in the USL Championship as of late, the 25-year-old midfielder has accumulated 11 goals and 17 assists in 93 appearances for the likes of Real Monarchs, Phoenix Rising FC and the Charleston Battery. 

Watch Charleston Battery vs. Atlanta United FC from Patriots Point Soccer Stadium on Tuesday, May 21 at 7 p.m. ET at

Others to Watch

Akale, Souahy, Tafari, Bell | Image Credit: New Mexico United, FC Tulsa, FC Dallas, Seattle Sounders FC

  • Mukwelle Akale - New Mexico United
    • The Villarreal CF youth product and former United States youth international claimed a League One title with South Georgia Tormenta FC in 2022 and was named to the League One All-League Second Team in 2023.
  • Abdi Mohamed - New Mexico United
    • The Somalia international helped build a League One dynasty, guiding Greenville Triumph SC to the 2020 USL League One title and Players' Shield. Mohamed earned All-League Second Team and All-League First Team honors in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
  • Alexis Souahy - FC Tulsa
    • After spending time with Louisville City FC, New Mexico United and Union Omaha, the 2023 USL League One All-League First Team selection and Defender of the Year runner-up signed with Spokane Velocity FC over the offseason before being transferred to FC Tulsa prior to taking the pitch with the League One expansion team.
  • Damià Viader - Sacramento Republic FC
    • The Barcelona FC and Girona FC youth product claimed the 2021 USL League One title and Players' Shield with Union Omaha, was a two-time USL League One All-League First Team recipient and was named Defender of the Year in 2021.
  • Jonathan Ricketts - Sacramento Republic FC
    • Ricketts kicked off his professional career with Chattanooga Red Wolves SC in 2020 and accumulated four goals and four assists across 42 regular season matches. The defender has since spent time in the USL Championship with Rio Grande Valley FC and Sacramento Republic FC.
  • Nelson Martínez - Loudoun United FC
    • Martínez spent a pair of seasons in Cary, N.C. with North Carolina FC during the club's brief time in USL League One. The former El Salvador national team prospect returned to Loudoun United FC in 2023, the club with which he made his professional debut in 2019.
  • Nick Moon - Tampa Bay Rowdies
    • A great example of the path to pro, Moon progressed from Lane United FC of USL League Two in 2018 to Lansing Ignite FC of USL League One in 2019 before finally signing with Indy Eleven of the USL Championship in 2020. The 2019 USL League One All-League Second Team selection has enjoyed success at the USL Championship level with Indy Eleven, San Diego Loyal SC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
  • Nkosi Tafari - FC Dallas
    • The United States Men's National Team defender made his professional debut in USL League One with North Texas SC in 2020. Tafari's match against the Rowdies on Wednesday will mark his 100th appearance for FC Dallas across all competitions.
  • Yannick Oettl - Indy Eleven
    • After starting his career in the German lower leagues, Oettl made a trio of appearances for New England Revolution II in 2021. Since then, the German goalkeeper has made 49 appearances for USL Championship sides Hartford Athletic and Indy Eleven across all competitions.
  • Jon Bell - Seattle Sounders FC
    • Bell made his professional debut in USL League One with New England Revolution II in 2020. Since then, the Jamaica international has made 38 appearances for the New England Revolution, St. Louis CITY SC and Seattle Sounders FC across all competitions.

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