Oakland Roots announced on Thursday that they’ve signed Trinidad and Tobago defender Neveal Hackshaw to a contract.
The blog has been told Hackshaw is expected to fit in as a left center back in Roots’ system. He should be considered starter given his international status, which would push Danny Barbir to the bench.
He marks the seventh international signing for Oakland. They have two applicable slots left.
- Darek Formella (Poland)
- Neveal Hackshaw (Trinidad and Tobago)
- Anuar Peláez (Colombia)
- Trayvone Reid (Jamaica)
- Edgardo Rito (Venezuela)
- Bryan Tamacas (El Salvador)
- Kevin Wright (England, Sierra Leone)
Hackshaw, 27, is a USL veteran with seven years of experience and 161 appearances over the course of his career with Charleston Battery and Indy Eleven. He is also a key member of the Trinidad and Tobago National Team, carrying a Transfermarkt valuation of €250,000.
Although he comes to Roots with a focus on becoming a starter in the center back rotation, Hackshaw’s highlight reel mentions him as a left wingback and central midfielder–showing he has a wide range of capabilities, which is a common trait for Oakland’s roster.
What quickly pops out in his highlights is his ability to attack in the air. He scored both of his goals last season in a five-minute span against Birmingham Legion, both were corner opportunities. In his film, what stood out was Hackshaw’s ability to dribble as a defender and send passes into the attack. He also has an epic long-toss. Below is an example of I think he’ll be expected to supply in Noah Delgado’s back-three.
Back in 2021, analyst John Morrissey described Hackshaw as one of the “best defenders” in the USL Championship with a lot of two-way value going forward as a left back. At the time, Morrissey graded him as an 88 percent in Goals Above Replacement and one of the best players throughout the league in clearances, defensive actions, and long passes completed.
If Hackshaw and Bryan Tamacas’ inclusions at center back is any clue to how Roots will operate in 2023, it could be that Oakland wants an ability to start attacks out of the back with long passes through the lines.
Hackshaw began his professional career with the North East Stars Football Club in the TT Pro League in his home country from 2011-2015. He then made his way to the United States in 2016 with Charleston Battery, making 73 total appearances with the club and was a full-time starter in his final year with the club in 2018.
Hackshaw signed with Indy Eleven in 2019 and quickly earned a starting job. He made 88 appearanes and 78 starts over his time in Indianapolis, playing a total of 7,128 total minutes. He made the USL Team of the Week in September.
For his USL career, he has appeared in 161 and made 137 starts for eight goals and six assists in 12,400 total minutes.
With the Trinidad and Tobago National Team, Hackshaw has become a more frequent member of the international roster with 13 of his 30 appearances and 12 of his 19 starts coming in the past year. He made four starts in World Cup Qualifiers, three CONCACAF Nationas League games in 2022, and played in two 2021 Gold Cup games.
Hackshaw is now the 23rd player on the 2023 roster.
Goal Keepers (2): Taylor Bailey, Paul Blanchette.
Defenders (9): Danny Barbir, Memo Diaz, Neveal Hackshaw, Emrah Klimenta, Tarek Morad, Drew Murray, Edgardo Rito, Bryan Tamacas, Kevin Wright.
Midfielders: (9) Irakoze Donasiyano, Daniel Gomez, Ryan Her, Ethan Kohler, Napo Matsoso, Lindo Mfeka, Joseph Nane, Wolfgang Prentice, Trayvone Reid.
Forwards (3): Darek Formella, Anuar Peláez, Johnny Rodriguez.
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