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Legion FC Announces Year-End Roster Updates

December 1, 2020 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Birmingham Legion FC News Release

BIRMINGHAM, AL - Birmingham Legion FC today announced the return of key players ahead of the 2021 USL Championship season.

Matt VanOekel, Mikey Lopez, and Alex Crognale have all signed new contracts with the club, joining Bruno Lapa on the list of players returning in 2021 with new deals.

Neco Brett, Anderson Asiedu, and Bolu Akinyode will return on their existing contracts, while the club exercised options on Jonny Dean, Eli Crognale, Marcos Ugarte, and Ford Parker.

"We are excited about the return of a strong group of our core players," said Legion FC President and GM Jay Heaps. "And while we had difficult roster decisions to make, we also have created flexibility to add players that can make us stronger in 2021."

Options were declined on Brian Wright, Prosper Kasim, Razak Cromwell and Rudy Mensah, while Josh Bauer and Mathieu Laurent are out of contract.

Negotiations are also ongoing for a possible return for Daigo Kobayashi, Trevor Spangenberg and Jake Rufe.

Returnees include BHM's first-ever USL All-League First Team selection, team MVP, Fan's Choice Award Winner and leader in shots and chances created in Lapa, as well as the team's first-ever USL All-League Second Team selection, team Defender of the Year and leader in passes, clearances, tackles, and duels in A. Crognale.

The club also brings back Golden Boot award winner Brett, who led the team with nine goals in 2020, as well as Newcomer of the Year, Dean, who tied for the team lead in assists and starts, and 2019 Fan's Choice Award winner VanOekel, who finished ninth in the league this year in shutouts.

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