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 Spokane Velocity FC

Spokane Velocity FC Signs Five Players

January 5, 2024 - United Soccer League One (USL1)
Spokane Velocity FC News Release

Spokane Velocity FC continues filling its inaugural roster with the signings of three players with USL League One and Championship experience, and two promising college players.

Striker Josh Dolling, goalkeeper Carlos Merancio, midfielder Grayson Dupont, right back Javier Martín Gil, and center midfielder Jack Denton all will don the Velocity kit when USL League One action begins in March, pending league and federation approval. Three have at least two years of experience in the professional soccer ranks in the United States, and two boast shining collegiate careers.

Josh Dolling

Position: Striker

Jersey: 9

Hometown: Hillingdon, London

Age: 26

Raised in London, England, striker Josh Dolling played with Manchester United and Burnley's academy teams. He moved to the United States in 2017 to play at Missouri State University, where he was named to the Hermann Trophy watch list ahead of his senior season. A three-time All American, Dolling was named to the All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team four consecutive seasons.

Dolling made his professional debut with St. Louis City 2 of the MLS Next Pro league, scoring eight goals in regular season play, and one in the playoffs. In 2023, he signed with New Mexico United of USL Championship, where he played for half a season before being loaned to Las Vegas Lights FC. In 27 matches for New Mexico and Las Vegas, he played more than 1,100 minutes and is credited with four assists. Three of those came on April 29, 2023, when New Mexico United faced Orange County FC, making him the first player in United history to make three assists in a single game. Dolling has also made 5 U.S. Open Cup appearances, scoring a total of 4 goals.

Carlos Merancio

Position: Goalkeeper

Jersey: 1

Hometown: Hermosillo, Mexico

Age: 25

Goalkeeper Carlos Merancio, who hails from Hermosillo, Mexico, made his professional debut in 2018, playing in a match for the Monarcas Morelia Premier of the Mexican Football League. He moved to the United States in 2019, signing on with Tucson FC of USL One. In 2019 and 2020 with Tucson FC, Merancio played in 22 matches and recorded 1,980 minutes, three clean sheets and had save success rates of 67.2

(2019) and 65.8 percent (2020). After a year with Hartford of USL Championship, Merancio returned to Tucson, where in 2022 he started in 29 matches, played 2,600 minutes, and recorded five clean sheets.

In 2023, Merancio returned to USL Championship to play with the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. He played in six matches and recorded one clean sheet.

Grayson Dupont

Position: Midfielder

Jersey: 23

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Age: 25

Grayson Dupont, a midfielder from Birmingham, Alabama, spent the 2022 and 2023 seasons with his hometown club, the Birmingham Legion FC of USL Championship. He played in a total of 21 matches over both seasons, scoring one goal. Before that, he spent a year in Spain, playing for CD Almuñécar City. He started his college career at the University of New Mexico before transferring to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During his senior season at UAB, he played in 13 matches, and led the team with shots (13), with one goal. He was named Conference USA's All-Conference Third Team that season. His high school team, Montverde Academy of Florida, won a national championship in 2016.

Jack Denton

Position: Center Midfielder

Jersey: 19

Hometown: London, England

Age: 25

Javier Martín Gil

Position: Right Back

Jersey: 2

Hometown: Madrid, Spain

Age: 23

Spokane Velocity FC also signed two European players and teammates who competed at Missouri State University, center midfielder Jack Denton and right back Javier Martín Gil. Denton, from London, England, was the Missouri Valley Conference MVC Midfielder of the Year in 2022 and 2023 and leaves the school with the second most career starts (82) in program history. Martín Gil, from Madrid, Spain, was named All-MVC first team in 2022 and second team in 2023. He started in all 19 matches in 2023, logging 1,634 minutes for the third most on the team.

Velocity Head Coach Leigh Veidman said a key component to building a solid foundation for a new club is finding quality players who are eager to prove themselves.

"We are thrilled to have players with USL Championship quality and experience joining us with Josh, Carlos, and Grayson. Jack and Javier bring high levels of quality with fantastic experience and careers in the college game that will drive our competitive environment daily," Veidman said. "Each bring their own qualities on and off the field and we are excited to have them a part of Spokane Velocity FC."

The five new players join midfielder Morgan Hackworth and defender Derek Waldeck on the first Spokane Velocity FC roster. The team will kick off League One action with an away game on March 9, and

will play its first game at ONE Spokane Stadium on March 16. More roster announcements will follow in the coming weeks. Fans can watch for news on the Velocity social media channels, the team website and the club's newsletter (subscribe here.)

Spokane Velocity FC will begin play in 2024 as a Division III team in USL League One, with the home opener at the new ONE Spokane Stadium on March 16. USL Spokane will also field Spokane Zephyr FC, a women's USL Super League team expected to be sanctioned as a first division team beginning play in August 2024. A pre-professional women's team made up of elite college athletes will play in the USL W League in 2025. USL Spokane is owned by Aequus Sports LLC; its principals are Katie Harnetiaux, the club president, and Ryan Harnetiaux, both of whom are originally from Spokane.

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