With the announcement of Todd Wharton’s retirement, the Riverhounds SC responded swiftly to fill a spot in the midfield for the 2022 campaign with another experienced and durable USL Championship veteran.
On Monday, the club announced its has signed midfielder Angelo Kelly-Rosales to a one-year deal with a team option for 2023, pending USL and U.S. Soccer Federation approval.
Kelly-Rosales, 28, has spent the past four seasons patrolling the middle of the field for the Charleston Battery. Last season, he was the leader in games played (29), minutes played (2,532), tackles (70) and interceptions (47) for the Hounds’ Eastern Conference rivals.
“Angelo is a versatile player who competes well, has a good feel for the game and has been a consistent performer for Charleston over the past few seasons. We are looking forward to working with Angelo in 2022,” Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley said.
Born in Honduras and raised in Iowa, Kelly-Rosales went to college in his home state and was a standout for NAIA William Penn University. He came up through the USL ranks, first playing the Premier Development League with the Thunder Bay Chill (2015), Midland/Odessa Sockers (2016) and Mississippi Brilla (2017), before making the jump to the Championship with the Battery before the 2018 season.
Kelly-Rosales made a total of 90 appearances over four seasons for the Battery. Charleston made the playoffs in each of his first three seasons, including an appearance in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2020.
PSN Takeaways: Signing of Angelo Kelly-Rosales
This now means the Hounds enter 2022 with three midfielders who each logged more than 2,500 minutes a season ago — all-USL second teamer Kenardo Forbes, Danny Griffin and Kelly-Rosales.
The departure of Todd Wharton left a void — but the Hounds didn’t waste too much time filling — as Kelly-Rosales should fill in quite adequately.
The Battery ran a lot of its midfield play through the former NAIA standout. Now, he’ll get to pair up with a veteran group that includes Griffin, Forbes, wingers Alex Dixon and Russell Cicerone.
Expect Kelly-Rosales to complement Griffin in doing a lot of dirty work in the center of the field. Lilley’s thinking behind this addition to the roster is likely that he could be a great complement for Griffin, who is looking to continue to evolve as a box-to-box man, whereas Kelly-Rosales could contribute in the mold of some defensive midfielders like Mohammad Dabo and Danny Earls.
AKR is definitely not a player who is afraid to mix it up and challenge for 50/50 balls. In 32 games in 2021, he earned a career high 11 yellow cards. Not necessarily an attack-minded player, Kelly-Rosales doesn’t take a lot of shots and has added a few assists to his stats each of his previous four seasons at this level (with a high mark of three assists in 2020).
Hounds 2022 roster (players announced as of Jan. 24)
- Goalkeepers (0) — None
- Defenders (7) — Ezra Armstrong, Robby Dambrot, Jelani Peters, Dani Rovira, Shane Wiedt, Jesse Williams, Mekeil Williams
- Midfielders (3) — Kenardo Forbes, Danny Griffin, Angelo Kelly-Rosales
- Forwards/Wingers (5) — Russell Cicerone, Albert Dikwa, Alex Dixon, William Eyang, Dane Kelly
The Hounds begin preseason camp a week from today on Monday, Jan. 31.
Here’s a very early look at the latest Hounds depth chart.