With the season in full swing, we once again utilize the bounty that Opta Stats has provided the league to create the best XI for the week. Read up on our player rating methodology here.
Best XI - Week 3
Goalkeeper: Calle Brown, Rio Grande Valley Toros: 4500 pts - Player of the Week
Brown’s impressive performance in RGV’s 1-0 shutout victory included a penalty kick save in the second half. With that, he secured the first win of the season for the Toros and an ICS Player of the Week award for himself.
Defender: Ivan Magalhaes, Rio Grande Valley Toros: 2799 pts
Magalhaes helped in shutting down Oklahoma City to give the Toros their first win. He racked up nine clearances and five interceptions in the derby match.
Defender: Andy Thoma, Vancouver Whitecaps 2: 2723 pts
A late sub, Thoma came in and helped propel Vancouver to their first win of the season in a shutout victory.
Defender: Kyle Curinga, Real Monarchs: 2368 pts
Curinga provided a goal in a high-scoring 5-3 win over Reno. Although he left the match at the half, he was on the field during the team’s incredible four goal first half.
Midfielder: Tyler Blackwood, Sacramento Republic: 2862 pts
Blackwood won over two-thirds of his duels, and recorded a goal on three total shots as Sacramento jumped out to three straight wins to start the season.
Midfielder: Sebastian Velazquez, Real Monarchs: 3161 pts
A goal, an assist, and two created chances helped Velazquez and the Monarchs tally a league-high five goals in a single game, crushing the previous team record of three goals.
Midfielder: Luke Rooney, Phoenix Rising: 3406 pts
Rooney netted a brace, with one of the goal from the spot, as Phoenix got their first win of the season. In addition to his goals, Rooney took three on-target shots, and created a chance.
Midfielder: Ben McKendry, Vancouver Whitecaps 2: 3572 pts
McKendry iced the game for Vancouver in stoppage time with a goal. Leading up to that point, he had also created three chances with three successful crosses for the Whitecaps.
Forward: Gloire Amanda, Vancouver Whitecaps 2: 2029 pts
Reaching double-digit duel victories, Amanda added an assist as the Whitecaps won their first match of the season.
Forward: Dane Kelly, Reno 1868: 2556 pts
Kylle notched a brace with only three shots on goal and 27 minutes on the pitch in Reno’s desperate comeback bid. It is fitting that Kelly make team of the week in the same match he reached 50 career USL goals.
Forward: Chandler Hoffman, Real Monarchs: 2580 pts
Hoffman made the most of his one shot on goal, recording a goal and an assist in a five-goal performance by the Monarchs.
Goalkeeper: Spencer Richey, Vancouver Whitecaps 2: 2200 pts
Defender: Kai Greene, Rio Grande Valley Toros: 2218 pts
Midfielder: Victor Pineda, Orange County SC: 2688 pts
Forward: Jerry van Ewijk, Orange County SC: 1936 pts
This week we saw multiple teams break onto the scene with players who made their first team of the week performance. We also had the first goalkeeper be named Player of the Week in the West thanks to a shutout.
We also saw a total of four players from the high octane Real Monarchs vs Reno 1868 match make the team of the week. The Monarchs predictably have the majority of players from that game included here, but Reno’s Dane Kelly became the first player to make the team of the week in a losing effort.
Sammy Ochoa (SAC) and Francisco Ugarte (TUL) also failed to make the team of the week for the first time in the USL season.
With our formulas tweaked to lower the advantages of coming away with a victory and scoring, we will undoubtedly see the top performers from teams who were unable to seal the deal break into the team of the week on a consistent basis.
Which teams and players will continue their runs at the top of the table? Will we see defensive players continue to make runs at player of the week? Check back next week to see who made the next Best XI.