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USL Western Conference Best XI - Week 10

Defense shines through and one team continues to be represented well in this week’s Western Conference Best XI

In a week that saw three high scoring games, many teams that had been underrepresented in the previous weeks worked their way back into the Team of the Week.

Goalkeeper: Diego Restrepo – San Antonio FC, 2500 pts

Restrepo logged a four save shutout victory over Swope Park Rangers as San Antonio continued their unbeaten run to start the season.

Defender: Taylor Peay – Real Monarchs SLC, 2890 pts

Peay scored the opening goal against Vancouver, won five duels, and added six clearances as Monarchs won their sixth straight game. The Salt Lake City club is continuing to pull away from the majority of the pack.

Defender: Jimmy Ockford – Reno 1868, 3095 pts

Ockford played two games this week, first midweek against Tulsa and then against Colorado Springs over the weekend. He scored against the Roughnecks to help Reno to a 4-0 win and won thirteen duels. Across both games he was credited with eight clearances and seven interceptions, helping Reno to earn four points in one week.

Defender: Jordan Burt – Colorado Springs Switchbacks, 3288 pts – Player of the Week

Burt won a majority of his duels, had multiple clearances and interceptions, and recorded a second half brace, including a last minute equalizer as the Switchbacks ended the Reno winning run at three games.

Midfielder: David Olsen – Seattle Sounders 2, 2416 pts

Olsen scored what looked to be a winning goal late against Sacramento and won five of his six aerial duels as Seattle rebounded from its rough loss to Reno.

Midfielder: Daniel Gonzalez – Oklahoma City Energy, 2711 pts

Gonzalez completed over 90% of his passes, won nine duels, and scored the opening goal of the game to help Energy take a solid step back towards the right path.

Midfielder: Nick Besler – Real Monarchs SLC, 2846 pts

Besler scored a goal and helped out on the defensive end with six interceptions as the Monarchs won their sixth straight game.

Midfielder: Charlie Adams – Real Monarchs SLC, 3010 pts

Adams cracked the 3000 point mark despite not recording even a single shot on goal. He did this by playing a near perfect support rold with nine successful crosses, six created chances, and one assist.

Midfielder: Jason Johnson – Phoenix Rising, 3063 pts

Johnson won eight duels, recorded an assist, put three shots on target and scored the go-ahead penalty kick as Phoenix responded well to injury setbacks to win against Los Dos.

Forward: Dane Kelly – Reno 1868 FC, 3081 pts

Kelly recorded seventeen shots this week, but only scored two and had a penalty kick saved. If he can continue the level of production that he has been putting up during Reno’s recent run, he will be squarely in the MVP conversation by the end of the year.

Forward: Antoine Hoppenot – Reno 1868 FC, 3181 pts

Hoppenot was a perfect three for three in converting his shots into goals to lead the team in scoring this week. He also threw in six created chances for good measure. This performance left him just short of Player of the Week, despite him being the highest scoring offensive player in the West.

Honorable Mentions:

Goalkeeper: Stefan Cleveland – Tulsa Roughnecks, 1280 pts

Defender: Mickey Daly – Oklahoma City Energy, 2172 pts

Midfielder: Eric Avila – Phoenix Rising, 2236 pts

Forward: Ian Svantesson – Tulsa Roughnecks, 2023 pts

Thoughts:

The Monarchs have now earned 20 Team of the Week spots as a club. This accounts for 18% of total spots this season. However, this week saw the most appearances by a wide range of teams, as six separate clubs saw at least one player come away with a spot.

We also had a first this week, as Jordan Burt became the first ever defender to win our Player of the Week award. He joins goalkeeper Calle Brown of Rio Grande Valley as the second non-attacking players to come away with the reward.

Reno’s Dane Kelly continued his dominance as well, having appeared of three of the four Team of the Week lists this month.

Will the defenders continue to make runs at the Player of the Week award? Will Kelly continue his dominance? Will anyone challenge the Monarchs for the team with the most appearances? Let us know your predictions below!