Former NC Fusion U23 midfielder Bruno Lapa in action for the Championship's Birmingham Legion FC against Atlanta United FC this preseason. | Photo courtesy Birmingham Legion FC
The USL Championship returns to play on Saturday after nearly four months, and though the season looks much different, there are still plenty of young players across the league looking to prove themselves as professionals for the first time.
Championship rosters are filled with veterans who cut their teeth in League Two years ago, and that steady stream of League Two products has shown no signs of slowing down. Here are five Championship rookies who played in League Two during the 2019 season to keep your eye on:
Rogers is a tremendous pickup for Hartford: cut from the cloth of the modern central midfielder, the Englishman is calm on the ball and skilled at breaking opposition lines with either his passing or his dribbling. In the 2019 League Two season with Corpus Christi FC, he notched four goals and a league-wide second-best assist tally of 10. Look for Rogers to do a little bit of everything for Hartford as the Championship season gets into gear.
The Brazilian attacking midfielder showed consistent quality on the ball both in League Two with North Carolina Fusion U23 and SIMA Aguilas, and in college with Wake Forest. Lapa was a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist and a United Soccer Coaches and College Soccer News First Team All-American, and should be tasked with making an immediate impact for Legion FC.
A Charlotte native, Dutey should be an important part of the Independence defense after a standout career at Liberty University. He was right at home last summer with Charlotte Eagles in League Two, making seven appearances and scoring three goals on his way to earning a spot on the 2019 Southern Conference Team of the Season. His high soccer IQ and positioning ability will make him a valuable asset to the Queen City club.
The 2019 USL League Two MVP, Corfe bagged 14 goals and three assists in 12 games with Ocean City Nor’easters last season. After wrapping up an impressive collegiate career at Wright State, the Chester, England native was selected 41st overall by New York Red Bulls in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, and like many NYRB draft picks before him, he’ll get the chance to prove himself with Red Bulls II in his rookie professional season.
A product of both the Timbers academy and Timbers U23 in League Two, Bodily excelled at the University of Washington and was named Pac-12 Player of the Year last season. A gifted player both tactically and technically, Portland signed Bodily to an MLS Homegrown contract in January, and will allow the 22-year-old the opportunity to continue his development in a stint with Timbers 2 this season.