After a less-than-satisfying conclusion to the 2020 postseason, Legion FC will be looking to prove their worth in this upcoming year. Tommy Soehn will be returning for this third season as manager, but what about the rest of the squad? Continue reading to find out.
A significant number of players have transferred in and out during the offseason.
The Legion enter the 2021 season without the likes of attacking-minded players Brian Wright, and Prosper Kasim, who combined scored 12 goals for their club over the past two years. Alabama native JJ Williams, who spent much of last season on loan with MLS side Atlanta United, is a free agent as of New Years’ Day. 19-year-old Rudolf Mensah, who scored in the friendly against Atlanta United back in March of 2020 with a stunning counterattack goal, is currently without a club after his contract ended in December. Finally, defender Razak Cromwell will not return to the Legion for this season, and center-back Johannes Bergmann has elected to retire from football.
Meanwhile, Birmingham-area native Chandler Hoffman returns to Legion FC after a stint on-loan with USL side Orange County SC of Irvine, CA. Birmingham will bolster their defense with Phanuel Kavita, a transfer from St. Louis FC, and Ryan James from Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC. Kavita was an especially impressive signing, who has definitely proven his superiority in both fitness and stamina. He’s played over 10,000 minutes in his USL regular-season career and also led St. Louis last season in minutes played. These signings are crucial with the loss of Cromwell and the general lack of depth last season on the defensive side of Legion FC. During last season, captain Mikey Lopez was forced to play a fullback role on the left side instead of playing in the midfield where he typically starts. When Mikey does play in the midfield, he makes a huge impact. In the 2019 season playing mainly at CDM, he played a crucial role for the Legion, leading the team in passes (a whopping 1,256) and tackles, not to mention the leadership factor that he brings to the team. Safe to say, the Legion will have a lot more flexibility with the signings of Kavita and James. Last but not least, the Legion, as of today, have acquired Junior Flemmings of the Western Conference’ Phoenix Rising FC. A proven scorer, Flemmings slotted 31 goals just in his past two seasons in Phoenix. Although he brings a bit of a controversial past from last season along with him, he will hopefully be an important piece of the Legion’s offensive strategy this season, perhaps linking up with fellow Jamaican Neco Brett for some excellent finishes.
There has certainly been a lot of transfer activity in the past few months, and the Legion are no exception. With only a few short months until the new season begins, it will be exciting to see how the new signings fit in and contribute to their new club and city. Happy (belated) New Year, and Hammer Down!