While last week highlighted the best offensive skills of the Eastern Conference, this week was the complete opposite, as many clubs put on a defensive showcase. This week’s nine matches saw four shutouts, including two from Louisville, the first of many accomplishments for the club this week. Below are the players who stood out in Week 12!
You can find last week’s Best XI here, and an explanation of our player rating methodology here.
Goalkeeper: Greg Ranjitsingh, Louisville City: 3581.6 pts*
Providing two shutouts for Louisville City this week, Greg Ranjitsingh has helped the Kentucky club improve their recent form. His nine saves on the week were a big reason Louisville were able to extend their unbeaten run to a fourth straight match.
Defender: Kyle Smith, Louisville City: 4322.67 pts*, Player of the Week
Kyle Smith has been a stalwart defender for Louisville City this year, sitting in the top five of clearances, blocks and tackles on the club. On Sunday, Smith proved he can be just reliable on offense, scoring his first goal and recording an assist in a 3-0 road win over NYRBII.
Defender: Onau Obasi, Ottawa Fury FC: 2689 pts
Onau Obasi has proved that he is the anchor of the Fury defense, leading the club in tackles. With three tackles, interceptions and clearances on Saturday, not even a yellow card could take away from a fantastic performance.
Defender: Oscar Jimenez, Louisville City: 2323.75 pts*
Leading the club in interceptions, Oscar Jimenez, alongside his player-of-the-week teammate, is one of the reasons why Louisville’s backline is one of the strongest in the Eastern Conference.
Midfielder: Richard Ballard, Louisville City: 2626.25 pts*
Scoring twice in the past two matches, Richard Ballard was responsible for half the goals Louisville scored this week, his first goals of the season as well.
Midfielder: Brian Ownby, Louisville City: 2592.7 pts*
With a goal at 55 minutes in the Eastern Conference finals rematch on Sunday, Brian Ownby added on to the win over the defending champs. Ownby now leads Louisville in shots on the year with 20.
Midfielder: Tsubasa Endoh, Toronto FC II: 2484 pts
Ending Toronto FC II’s recent goalless streak, Tsubasa Endoh found the back of the net for the first time this season in the 59th minute during a draw with Pittsburgh.
Midfielder: James Chambers, Bethlehem Steel FC: 2369 pts
Chambers earned Bethlehem their fifth win of the season with a go-ahead goal in the 74th minute, defeating Saint Louis FC on the road. Chambers has now scored on 66% of his shots on target this season.
Midfielder: Sito Seoane, Ottawa Fury FC: 2353 pts
Seoane scored his fourth goal in four matches in a win over Harrisburg on Saturday. The Fury midfielder leads the club in shots, and is at the forefront of their methodical climb up the Eastern Conference table.
Forward: Seku Conneh, Bethlehem Steel FC: 3141 pts
Adding another goal to his team-leading tally, Seku Conneh scored his seventh of the season in a 2-1 win over Saint Louis on Sunday. With seven goals on fourteen shots on target this season, Conneh has an impressive 50% shots on target conversion rate this season.
Forward: Romeo Parkes, Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 2787 pts
Romeo Parkes - yes, that Romeo Parkes - has returned to the scene in the Eastern Conference, rescuing a point on the road for the Riverhounds. In just five appearances on the season, Parkes is already in the top 3 of shots on the season for the club.
Goalkeeper: Callum Irving, Ottawa Fury FC: 2660 pts
Defender: Tarek Morad, Louisville City: 2131.69 pts*
Midfielder: Paolo Delpiccolo, Louisville City: 2328.7 pts*
Forward: Cameron Lancaster, Louisville City: 1860.65 pts*
- Denotes their rating is an average of multiple games this week, calculated by: Average Rating= 1.1*((0.7*max)+(0.3*min)).
The big winners of the week were Louisville City, sending five players to the Best XI, including three more who more received honorable mentions. After two shutouts in the week, Louisville has become one of the hottest clubs in the Eastern Conference.
Bethlehem and Ottawa each sent a pair of players to the Best XI, after crucial wins this past weekend. After starting the season outside the top half of the conference, both Fury and Steel have found themselves in the heart of the playoff race and looking to retain the momentum built up over the past few matches.
What do you think of this week’s Best XI? Which players not listed do you think deserve a spot on this list? Halfway through June, which players have impressed you the most this month? Let us know in the comments below!