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USL Eastern Conference Best XI - Week 9

Check out the Eastern Conference Best XI for Week 9 here!

As May draws to a close, the heart of the season approaches as the summer months looms. Good results now will bear benefits come time for clinching spots in the playoffs. Here are the players that lead their clubs’ in the Eastern Conference for week 9!

Read up on our methodology here, and you can read last week’s Best XI here.

Goalkeeper: Tim Dobrowolski, Louisville City: 2870 pts

Tim Dobrowolski earned his third clean sheet of the season with a 1-0 result against Pittsburgh on Saturday. Dobrowolski is currently tied for the most shutouts in the Eastern Conference among goalkeepers.

Defender: Tarek Morad, Louisville City: 1866 pts

Louisville’s leader in clearances, Tarek Morad has become a pillar of the Kentucky club’s back line. The solid play by Louisville defenders has the club giving up the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference.

Defender: Harrison Delbridge, FC Cincinnati: 1779 pts

Delbridge, a long time defensive anchor for FC Cincinnati, has since became a regular feature for the Eastern Conference Best XI. He leads FCC in clearances, blocks and interceptions, and has started all ten matches for the club, missing only two minutes all season.

Defender: Darnell King, Tampa Bay Rowdies: 1698 pts

Leading Tampa in tackles, King makes another appearance among our Eastern Conference Team of the Week. King’s stellar defensive play is another reason why the Rowdies lead the Eastern Conference in clean sheets.

Midfielder: Jose Seoane, Ottawa Fury FC: 2870 pts

Seoane has led Fury FC in shots for a while, so he was due for a goal. He found the back of the net for the first time this season in the 51st minute of Ottawa’s win over the New York Red Bulls II.

Midfielder: Joe Cole, Tampa Bay Rowdies: 2817 pts

The Rowdies captain leveled the match against Toronto FC II, by scoring his third goal of the season in the 68th minute, eventually leading the way for a 3-1 win for the second place club in the East. Cole is also tied for the most shots on target for Tampa Bay this season.

Midfielder: Kenardo Forbes, Rochester Rhinos: 2552 pts

Kenardo Forbes opened the scoring for Rochester in a match that ultimately resulted in a draw. The Rhinos captain leads the club in shots and shots on target through six matches this season.

Forward: Luke Spencer, Louisville City: 2892 pts

Scoring the night’s lone goal in the 8th minute, Spencer lead the way for another three points for Louisville City. His 19 shots on the year leads the club, and is in the top ten of shots in the East.

Forward: Danni Konig, FC Cincinnati: 3906 pts, Player of the Week

FC Cincinnati’s trade for Konig is already reaping benefits, as the former OKC Energy forward scored twice for FCC in a win over Bethlehem on Saturday. Through two starts for the club this season, Konig already has more goals for Cincinnati than any of the non-suspended players on the roster.

Forward: Tucker Hume, Ottawa Fury FC: 3212 pts

If Ottawa does one thing well, it is sharing the goal scoring efforts. Tucker Hume added his name to the growing list of Fury goalscorers, which is now at eight, with a goal in the 14th minute.

Forward: Michael Salazar, Ottawa Fury FC: 3042 pts

Like his teammate above, Michael Salazar found his first goal of the season this Saturday in a 4-3 win over NYRB II. Salazar’s tying goal in the 87th minute was only his second shot on target all season, and paved the way for the Fury’s go-ahead goal in stoppage time to take all three points.

Honorable Mentions

Goalkeeper: Mitch Hildebrandt, FC Cincinnati: 1885 pts

Defender: Oscar Jimenez, Louisville City: 1692 pts

Midfielder: Brian Ownby, Louisville City: 2543 pts

Forward: Darwin Jones, Tampa Bay Rowdies: 2817 pts

Thoughts

After both clubs lost last week, Ottawa and Louisville rebounded with big road wins and sent three players each to this week’s Best XI. Ottawa’s Tucker Hume and Michael Salazar are two of the top three players in the East this week. Two Rowdies players make repeat appearances on the Team of the Week as well.

After starting the season with OKC Energy of the Western Conference, FC Cincinnati’s Danni Konig quickly earns the East’s top honors after only two starts for his new club. With play like this from Best XI members, Konig and Delbridge, FC Cincinnati may be able to turn around their early season struggles.

What are your thoughts on this week’s Best XI? Is there a player not listed that you think deserves a spot? Let us know in the comments below!