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Charleston Battery's Leland Archer (left) and Indy Eleven's Neveal Hackshaw (right)

Trinidad and Tobago internationals, Leland Archer and Neveal Hackshaw and  have been named among the top 10 defenders in the USL Championship ahead of the 2022 season.

The 2020 season served as a breakthrough of sorts for the Charleston Battery’s Leland Archer. The 6-foot-4 center back earned his first USL Championship All-League selection in his third campaign with the Battery, and that resulted in his senior international debut for Trinidad and Tobago the following January against the United States. Last year – as for the Battery as a whole – things didn’t go quite as smoothly for the 26-year-old center back, but despite that his individual numbers continued to impress. Over the past three campaigns, Archer ranks 10th in the Championship with 249 clearances while over the same span he’s recorded a 67.1 percent duel success rate, a 67.1 percent tackle success rate, and a 68.8 percent aerial duels success rate. Add in his consistency at the back – in 55 appearances, he has committed only two errors that have led to shots according to Opta data – and you have a player that should be a key figure as the Battery look to battle back into playoff contention under new Head Coach Conor Casey this season.

Having earned consecutive USL Championship All-League selections in 2019 and 2020, the past campaign saw Neveal Hackshaw’s numbers drop marginally as he missed almost 1,000 minutes of the season due to injury and international duty. While that was the case, the consistency the Trinidad and Tobago international has brought to Indy Eleven over his three seasons at the club is hard to overlook going into the 2022 campaign. Hackshaw has recorded 492 recoveries over that span, the most of any defender in the league, while also notching 96 interceptions and 170 clearances. His duel success mark of 61.4 percent is solid, as is his tackle success rate of 73.1 percent. Put it all together and since the start of the 2019 campaign Hackshaw’s Goals Added Above Replacement mark sits at +9.45, the third highest among center backs in the Championship over that span. As new Head Coach Mark Lowry arrives, Hackshaw figures to play a main role in Indy’s turnaround this season.