The Chattanooga Red Wolves Soccer Club have retained the contract options of Chevone Marsh, Richard Rentería, Yahir Paez, Mayele Malango, Omar Gómez, and Ropapa Mensah.
“Since our inception, the Red Wolves have worked diligently to build a strong player foundation each year with the hopes of advancing us to a title,” said President and GM Sean McDaniel. “We feel we have done just that by bringing back the players that Scott feels he can now create a competing roster around. We have very high expectations in 2024 and the optioned players show the club’s commitment to winning.”
Chevone Marsh led the Red Wolves’ offense in 2023, scoring 12 goals in ten matches with consecutive braces against South Georgia Tormenta on July 15th and One Knoxville SC on July 22nd and ending the season as a top ten goal scorer. Marsh was named as the USL League One’s Player of the Month for his performance in the month of August having scored goals in four consecutive matches and a 90% pass completion rate. He also had three nominations to the league’s Team of the Week honors in addition to numerous club recognitions for Man of the Match.
Ropapa Mensah made up the second part of the Red Wolves first tandem of Chattanooga players in the club’s five-year history to score more than ten goals, ending the season with 12 goals and three nominations for League One’s Goal of the Week. Mensah provided late match heroics frequently for the club in 2023 with four goals in added time, three of which were the sole tallies that helped the Red Wolves force draws and pick up points against Northern Colorado Hailstorm, Central Valley Fuego, and South Georgia Tormenta.
A midseason signing, defender Omar Gómez joined the first team in June from the USL League Two Park City Red Wolves and became an impactful part of the Chattanooga backline for the remainder of the season. He provided a pivotal assist to Chevone Marsh in the Red Wolves’ final match against intrastate rival One Knoxville SC to help secure the series win and collected his first goal for the team in the Red Wolves’ 5-1 win over Lexington SC in late September.
Mayele Malango made 12 starts across 25 appearances for the Red Wolves in 2023 and scored three goals in that time, two of which coming in back to back matches on October 7th and September 30th. He was nominated for League One’s Team of the Week in Week 29 and was recently called up to the national team training camp for his home nation of Malawi.
Rentería, who signed with the Red Wolves just before the start of the 2023 season, finished the year with 38 clearances, ten tackles won, and a 90.9% tackle success rate. The defender also had one goal and ten starts across 914 minutes played. Prior to Chattanooga, he played for Alianza Petrolera FC, a historic club in his home country of Colombia.
After becoming the second Red Wolves player to sign to the first team from the club’s academy, Yahir Paez will return in 2024. A local native from Dalton, Georgia, the young midfielder helped lead the Chattanooga Red Wolves USL Academy team to one of the best records in the nation and a first place division finish. Paez scored his first professional goal in the 2023 preseason against fellow League One club Lexington SC. During the regular season, he appeared four times for the Red Wolves.