With a quarter of the season complete, many players have settled into a groove for the season. We’re seeing both hot starts and consistency bodes well from quite a few players. To see which players stood out from the rest last week, here is the Best XI of the Eastern Conference Week 8!
Goalkeeper: Jake McGuire, Bethlehem Steel FC: 3600 pts
Posting his third shutout on the season, Jake McGuire has been a wall for Bethlehem all year in goal. McGuire also sits in the top five of saves in the league, with 22 on the season.
Defender: Joseph Greenspan, Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 2645 pts
Greenspan has been a major reason for Pittsburgh’s consistent defensive play so far this season. He sits in the top five in tackles, interceptions, blocks and clearances for club.
Defender: Forrest Lasso, Charleston Battery: 3326 pts
Lasso added another goal to his season tally, which was enough to lead Charleston to another win, preserving the club’s five match unbeaten run. The defender is second on the club in goals. Only April’s player of Month, Romario Williams has scored more.
Defender: Neill Collins, Tampa Bay Rowdies: 2476 pts
Tampa Bay avenged their loss to Louisville from April with a 2-0 win last week. Collins helped anchor the defense en route to a clean sheet, leading the team in clearances on the night with nine. Collins also leads the Rowdies in blocks, with seven.
Midfielder: Jorge Herrera, Charlotte Independence: 3586 pts
Jorge Herrera opened the scored in the 39th minute to tie the match vs NYRB II, but this was only the beginning. Charlotte pushed four more goals past the Baby Bulls. When he was not scoring, Herrera led the attack for the Independence, creating six chances on the evening.
Midfielder: Joe Cole, Tampa Bay Rowdies: 2711 pts
The Rowdies captain makes his debut on the Eastern Conference Best XI with a match that earned him his highest rating of the season. His two assists and four chances created proved to be a difference-maker in a win vs Louisville.
Midfielder: Enzo Martinez, Charlotte Independence: 4610 pts, Player of the Week
Charlotte’s leading goal scorer added another one to his tally in the 51st minute during a win over NYRB II. Jorge Herrera created many chances and Martinez benefited from them the most, taking six shots in the match, while still creating four chances of his own.
Midfielder: Pierre da Silva, Orlando City B: 2429 pts
Pierre da Silva’s PK goal in the 75th minute opened the scoring for Orlando City B in a stadium-silencing win over FC Cincinnati. Da Silva leads the Baby Lions in assists this year with four, and is second in the league in that category.
Midfielder: Callum Ross, Charlotte Independence: 2418 pts
Scoring the second goal in a 5-1 rout of NYRB II, Callum Ross helped provide the statement win that Charlotte has been looking for to start the season. That goal was also his first shot on target all season.
Forward: Cory Burke, Bethlehem Steel FC: 2647 pts
Cory Burke finally broke through to find the back of the net, off a PK in the 8th minute against Ottawa, leading Bethlehem to another shutout win. Burke is second on the Steel in shots with 12.
Forward: Corey Hertzog, Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 2532 pts
Hertzog’s goal in the 52nd minute was enough for the Riverhounds to extend their unbeaten streak to a third straight match. Pittsburgh’s leading goal scorer is also in the top ten of the Golden Boot race for the USL.
Goalkeeper: Earl Edwards Jr., Orlando City B: 2900 pts
Defender: Darnell King, Tampa Bay Rowdies: 2369 pts
Midfielder: Richie Laryea, Orlando City B: 2406 pts
Forward: Georgi Hristov, Tampa Bay Rowdies: 2406 pts
Charlotte cruised to victory on Thursday night over NYRB II, and as a result, send a conference-high three players to this week’s Best XI. Enzo Martinez, Jorge Herrera and Callum Ross each scored a goal in the win over the Baby Bulls. Bethlehem, Pittsburgh, Tampa, each sent two players to the Team of the Week as well.
While the Florida clubs they sent three players combined to the Best XI this week, they dominated the Honorable Mentions. If recent weeks are any indication, those on the Honorable Mentions will very soon find themselves in the Best XI.
What do you think of this week’s Best XI? Which player not listed do you think is most deserving of a spot? Let us know in the comments below!