After a near seven-month off-season, FC Tucson makes its long-awaited return to USL League One regular season play in today’s season opener against South Georgia Tormenta FC at Erk Russell Park in Georgia. The Men in Black enter their third season in the professional ranks with a much different roster that led the team to a win 1-0 victory the last time they faced Tormenta FC. With 16 new additions ready to don the FC Tucson crest this season, let’s take a look at the current roster as it stands and the players that fill it.
Giovanni Calixtro #91
Calixtro brings four years of USL Championship experience to FC Tucson by way of his time with Portland Timbers 2. The Cornelius, Oregon native made his professional debut at 16-years-old for the Portland Timbers 2 on June 11, 2017, against Real Monarchs. The forward made a total of 55 appearances for the Portland Timbers reserve side from 2017-2020, logging a total of 3,463 minutes, scoring nine goals and tallying five assists. Calixtro has settled in quickly, scoring three goals in the club’s last three preseason matches and earning USL League One’s Top 10 Young Player to Watch honors.
Franco Perez #37
A native of Cordoba, Argentina, Perez began his playing career with Newell’s Old Boys, making his professional debut with the club in the Argentine Primera Division in September 2015 in an away victory against Club Estudiantes. Following his professional debut season, Perez joined Liga MX side Morelia from 2016-2018, where the forward made 30 appearances and scored nine goals between the first-team and reserve team before returning to Newell’s Old Boys in 2018. Internationally, Perez has represented Argentina’s National team at the Under-17 level, making nine appearances and netting two goals. The forward appeared at the 2013 South American U-17 Championship and the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup, featuring twice at the World Cup in matches against Canada and Mexico.
Shak Adams #17
In his professional debut season with FC Tucson, Adams featured in 12 matches with 9 starts in 2020. The Nashville, TN, native led the club with 4 goals and was tied for the 9th spot in USL League One for goals scored. FC Tucson signed forward Shak Adams in February 2020, following his release after participating in the preseason with MLS club Nashville SC. Before being drafted 54th overall of the MLS SuperDraft by Nashville SC, Adams played four seasons at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), scoring 23 goals and adding 16 assists in 71 matches.
Kevin Rodriguez #11
Rodriguez, 24, joins FC Tucson following two seasons with Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (RGV FC), where he started 24 matches, scored 2 goals and tallied 1 assist. Prior to signing with RGV FC, Rodriguez was selected 75th overall in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft by Minnesota United FC.
Deri Corfe #9
Corfe was selected by the New York Red Bulls with the 41st overall pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. The 23-year-old played the 2020 USL Championship season with NYRB II, starting in four of the 11 total matches played. Corfe played a total of 455 minutes during the season, finishing with two goals and two assists on the season, putting him as the sixth-highest goalscorer for NYRB II. Before joining NYRB II, Corfe played for the 2019 season with the Ocean City City Nor’easters of USL League Two, where he was named the USL League Two Most Valuable Player.
Charlie Dennis #10
Dennis, 25, re-signs with the club following a 2020 season that saw the Brighton, England native tally a team-leading five assists in 15 appearances. In his debut season with the Men in Black, Dennis led the league with the most chances created in 2020 (36), tying with South Georgia Tormenta FC’s Marco Micaletto. Dennis ranked third in the league in assists, second in key passes per match, and finished in the top ten in dribbles completed during the 2020 season. Dennis, a product of the Southampton FC Academy, was one of four players nominated for FC Tucson’s 2020 Most Valuable Player of the Year Award.
Jared Odenbeck #42
Odenbeck began his professional career in 2017 after signing his first contract with the Charlotte Independence of the USL Championship. During his first season with the North Carolina club, Odenbeck made the move to Gothenburg, Sweden to join Lindome GIF of the Swedish fourth division, where he made 12 appearances. Following his half-season with Lindome GIF and a brief stint with South Georgia Tormenta FC, Odenbeck continued his play abroad in 2018 with Swedish club IK Kongahälla and in 2019 with Wellington, New Zealand based team Western Suburbs Football Club.
Danny Bedoya #8
Bedoya began his professional career with New York Red Bulls II of the USL Championship, making his professional debut in April of 2015. Bedoya, born in Medellin, Colombia and raised in Queens, NY, played for the New York Red Bulls for two seasons, making 27 appearances before making an April of 2017 move to the Long Island Rough Riders of USL League Two. The midfielder made 21 appearances, notching four goals and three assists before signing for NYCFC in August of 2018 after catching the eye of then Head Coach Domènec Torrent in a scrimmage between NYCFC and the Rough Riders.
Joao Delgado #20
Delgado played the 2019 season with Reading United AC of USL League Two. The Portuguese midfielder played in a total of eight matches with the club, recording 573 minutes played. In those eight games, Delgado scored one goal and helped lead the club to a USL League Two Mid Atlantic Division best record of 10-1-3. The 26-year-old’s USL League Two experience also includes a 2018 season with the Myrtle Beach Mutiny. Delgado made a total of 14 appearances for the Mutiny, scoring five goals and adding four assists.
Gerard Lavergne #14
Dominican Republic National Team midfielder Gerard Lavergne has made nine appearances and logged 636 minutes of play for his senior national team through CONCACAF Nations League play and international friendlies. Lavergne, 22, began his playing career in the Dominican Republic, making his professional debut at 16-years-old for Cibao FC. The central midfielder’s experience in the Carribean includes captaining the Atlético San Cristóbal side and helping lead Atlético Pantoja to the club’s first-ever Liga Dominicana de Fútbol Super Cup title, playing alongside FC Tucson 2021 signee Daniel Bedoya.
Manu Ferriol #21
Ferriol made nine appearances for FC Tucson after signing with the club in February of 2020. Due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, the 22-year-old was unable to join the club until September, after which he became an integral part of Head Coach John Galas’ squad. Prior to signing with FCT, Ferriol was selected 40th overall by FC Dallas in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. Born in Valencia, Spain, the central midfielder developed within the Levante UD academy of La Liga for four years, from 2010 to 2016 before joining NCAA Division 1 soccer program James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Alex Knox #3
A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Knox played one year of NCAA Division I Soccer at Wake Forest for the 2016 season and three seasons for UCLA from 2017-2019. During his time with Wake Forest, Knox started 19 out of 25 games in his freshman season, helping the Demon Deacons to a 19-3-3 overall record. At UCLA the defender appeared in 36 matches scoring two goals and tallying four assists in 1,504 minutes of play.
Kaelon Fox #5
Fox, 25, most recently played for Þór Akureyri of the Inkasso-deild karla (The Inkasso League), the second-highest professional level in the Icelandic football league system. The Kentucky native helped Þór finish fifth on the league table for the 2020 season. Fox, a versatile center-back and defensive midfielder began his professional career by signing with Völsungur, of the Icelandic third division, for the club’s 2019 season.
Dakota Barnathan #24
Barnathan brings four years of USL Championship experience to the Men in Black. The Massapequa, New York native was drafted by FC Dallas with the 59th pick in the third round of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, later joining Sporting Kansas City II on February 24, 2017. Barnathan would play 25 games with the club from 2017-2018, helping the squad reach the 2017 USL Championship title match. The defender joined Canadian side Ottawa Fury FC for the 2019 USL Championship season, playing a career-high 28 games and recording two assists.
The 26-year-old most recently played for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for the 2020 USL Championship season, appearing in eight matches at the center back position, finishing the season with three clearances, two blocks and five interceptions.
Maxi Schenfeld #19
Schenfeld, 28, joined FC Tulsa in December of 2019, although did not make a regular-season appearance during the 2020 USL Championship season. The Chilean native spent the 2019 season with Miami FC, helping the Florida club to its 2019 East Coast Championship win. Prior to joining Miami FC, Schenfeld spent the 2018 season with Miami United FC, playing 270 minutes in the club’s fourth-round US Open Cup run.
Luca Mastrantonio #4
Mastrantonio joins FC Tucson following one season with UC Irvine’s NCAA Division I Men’s soccer program. A pivotal member of UC Irvine’s backline in 2019, Mastrantonio played in 17 matches, logged 1,540 minutes of play and earned All-Big West First-Team honors. Prior to joining UC Irvine, Mastrantonio played the 2017 season for Rockhurst University of NCAA’s Division II, helping lead the team to become Conference regular season and tournament champions with a 12-1-1 record.
Jordan Pena #27
FC Tucson announced the signing of midfielder Jordan Pena on January 12, 2021, following the completion of his season-long loan from USL Championship club Real Monarchs. Pena, 20, joined the Men in Black on loan on September 15, 2020, midway through the club’s USL League One campaign. The Payson, Utah native joined following a 2019 season where he logged 830 minutes across 11 matches leading into the Real Monarchs 2019 USL Championship Title win.
Noah Franke #15
Franke began his professional career after signing with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in 2018. The 26-year-old made 25 appearances for the club through the 2018 and 2019 seasons, starting 13 of those games and playing a total of 1204 minutes. The versatile midfielder and defender was drafted with the No. 80 overall pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft by FC Dallas, however, did not appear for the club. Franke played collegiately for Creighton University from 2014 to 2017, scoring four goals and adding 10 assists in his 71 appearances for the NCAA Division I side.
Sam Biek #6
2021 will mark the Marburg, Germany native's second season with FC Tucson. Biek signed with FC Tucson in July 2020, following a season with NCAA Division 1's Western Michigan University (WMU) and made his league debut on July 25, 2020, against Fort Lauderdale CF.
Biek is coming off a rookie season in the Men in Black backline where he started in all 12 games he appeared in during the 2020 season. In those 1,062 minutes of play, Biek led the team in interceptions with 26 and was second in clearances with 35 and blocks, 12.
Wallis Lapsley #1
The 6-foot-4-inch goalkeeper began his professional career after being selected as the No. 36 pick in the 2020 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by the New York Red Bulls. Lapsley spent one season in the USL Championship with New York Red Bulls II (NYRB II), where he made 11 appearances, and led the team in saves (25) and in save percentage (56.8). Lapsley participated in both preseason camps with the first team in Bradenton, Florida and in Tucson, Arizona for FC Tucson’s 2020 Visit Tucson Sun Cup.
Ryan Shellow #12
Shellow joins Tucson following four years of NCAA Division I play with Cornell University. An essential piece of Cornell men’s soccer program for four seasons, Shellow made 46 starts in goal for a total of 47 appearances from 2016 - 2019. The Miami, Fla. native led the Ivy League in total saves in two of his four seasons of play, making 70 saves in his freshman and junior seasons. For his senior year campaign, Shellow started in 12 games, only allowing 13 goals, making 31 saves, finishing the season with a .705 save percentage.
Rafael Guerrero #13
Guerrero, 19, is the youngest player from the 2020 roster. The Tucson native began his soccer career playing for the local youth soccer club FC Tucson Youth, formerly known as Tucson Soccer Academy. Guerrero also developed within the Real Salt Lake Development Academy, logging 17 career starts, and playing alongside former FC Tucson defender Tommy Silva.