Welcome back to our Eastern Conference Best XI, presenting the Team of the Week for Week 6!
Read up on our methodology here, and you can read last week’s Best XI here.
Goalkeeper: Angelo Cavalluzzo, Toronto FC II: 4680 pts, Player of the Week
With an 11-save outing in his third clean sheet of the season, Angelo Cavalluzzo is an easy pick for player of the week after 0-0 result versus Louisville. His 18 saves on the season is third-most in the Eastern Conference, behind Earl Edwards Jr (Orlando City B) and Devala Gorrick (Saint Louis FC).
Defender: Wal Fall, Rochester Rhinos: 3819 pts
Fall’s goal at the 27th minute opened the scoring for Rochester’s dominating 4-0 win over Charlotte. Fall has recorded two goals through five matches and is second on the team in shots with nine.
Defender: Hugh Roberts, Bethlehem Steel FC: 3417 pts
Leading Bethlehem to another shutout win over FC Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon, Hugh Roberts notched his first goal from his first shot on the year. Bethlehem have had FC Cincinnati’s number through their first two meetings this year. In fact, FCC has accumulated more red cards (2) in these two matches vs Steel than they have goals (0).
Defender: Mitchell Taintor, Toronto FC II: 3313 pts
The TFC II captain makes his first appearance on the Eastern Conference Best XI. His eleven interceptions on Saturday were a significant reason why the points were shared at Louisville Slugger Field.
Defender: Oscar Jimenez, Louisville City FC: 2571 pts
After taking three shots on target versus Toronto FC II on Saturday, Oscar Jimenez makes his debut on the Eastern Conference Team of the Week. Jimenez also leads Louisville in interceptions this year, with 19.
Midfielder: Ryan Williams, Ottawa Fury FC: 3018 pts
Ryan Williams began the scoring in South Carolina with a free kick goal at 22’, that eventually saw the match ending level at two goals each. Williams’ three shots on target this year is tied for the most on the Fury.
Midfielder: Mike Garzi, Rochester Rhinos: 2683 pts
Even a yellow card could not take away from another Team of the Week performance from Mike Garzi, who returns to the list after making his debut here last week. With his second goal of the season, Garzi joins fellow Team of the Week members Darius Madison and Wal Fall, in leading the Rhinos in goals.
Forward: Darius Madison, Rochester Rhinos: 2692 pts
Darius Madison found the back of the net for the second time this year with a goal on 52 minutes. Madison has scored a goal on a third of all shots he has taken this year.
Forward: Romario Williams, Charleston Battery: 3262 pts
Romario Williams rescued a point for the leaders of the Eastern Conference by completing the brace with a goal in the final ten minutes of play. Williams sits atop the league’s Golden Boot race alongside the suspended Djiby Fall and San Antonio’s Billy Forbes.
Forward: Corey Hertzog, Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 2864 pts
Hertzog’s fourth goal of the year was the difference maker on Saturday, as Pittsburgh took all three points over their Keystone Derby rivals, Harrisburg. The Riverhounds striker remains in the top five in goals in the Eastern Conference, only two goals off Romario Williams’ pace.
Forward: Christiano Francois, Rochester Rhinos: 2819 pts
With two assists on the night, Christiano Francois provided a crucial impact on the Rhinos’ four goals. Francois leads the clubs in assists and is in the top five of the most accurate passers in Rochester.
Goalkeeper: Jake McGuire, Bethlehem Steel FC: 3000 pts
Defender: Damion Lowe, Tampa Bay Rowdies: 2488 pts
Midfielder: Maikel Chang, Charleston Battery: 2258 pts
Forward: Deshorn Brown, Tampa Bay Rowdies: 2484 pts
Rochester are the big winners this week, sending four players to the Best XI. Toronto FC II make the first appearances on the Team of the Week since Ryan Telfer appeared here in week 1. Angelo Cavalluzzo’s Player of the Week honors is the second time this year that a goalkeeper takes the highest rating of the week.
Corey Hertzog makes his third appearance on the team of the week, and his first showing since week 3. He is tied with a pair of Tampa Bay players, Georgi Hristov and Damion Lowe, who have both been listed on the East’s Best XI three times.
As had been the trend over the past few weeks, more and more players make debuts on the Eastern Conference’s Best XI, with seven new players on this week’s list. Every East club has made at least two appearances on the Team of the Week through the first month of the season.
What are your thoughts on this week’s Eastern Conference Best XI? Which player not listed do you think is most deserving of a spot? Let us know in the comments below!