With only five USL West games played in Week 13 due to U.S. Open Cup play impacting the scheduling, it was easier than normal to break into the team of the week. Teams who have had a hard time earning selections took the opportunity to step up and grab their spots. A noticeable lull in defensive play only saw two defensive players make the team of the week, but who else earned spots?
Goalkeeper: Eric Lopez - Los Angeles Galaxy II, 1810 pts
Lopez had the only clean sheet victory in the West this week as Los Dos continued to have strong showings against Rio Grande Valley.
Defender: Chris Christian - Sacramento Republic FC, 1420 pts
Christian won eight on nine overall duels and recorded a quarter of his team’s clearances, as Sacramento earned a win and continues to perform well against Vancouver at home.
Defender: Josh Turnley - Los Angeles Galaxy II, 1673 pts
Turnley was a key participant in a shutout victory as he recorded a created chance on the offensive end and a quarter of the team’s tackles on the defensive end.
Midfielder: Devin Vega - San Antonio FC, 2128 pts
Vega was the super sub that San Antonio needed as he scored one goal on two shots to help San Antonio put away the Roughnecks and break out of a scoring slump at the same time.
Midfielder: Phillip Rasmussen - Oklahoma City Energy, 2221 pts
It took only two shots for Rasmussen to notch the only goal from open play for Oklahoma City against the Timbers. With it, the Energy are trying to make a run back up the table and live up to expectations.
Midfielder: Agustin Cazarez - Sacramento Republic FC, 2316 pts
Cazarez netted a late game-winner against the Whitecaps as Sacramento has now won three of five at home. He added a created chance and nearly fifty completed passes in the victory.
Midfielder: Kris Typrak - San Antonio FC, 3710 pts - Player of the Week
Tyrpak scored a goal of the week contender in the opening minutes and added a second goal in the first half for a brace, as San Antonio broke out of their scoring slump in a big way.
Forward: Sammy Ochoa - Sacramento Republic FC, 2051 pts
Ochoa took things into his own hands after Sacramento went down early, stripping a defender and then beating the keeper one-on-one for an early equalizer in a come-from-behind victory.
Forward: Josh Estrada - Los Angeles Galaxy II, 2203 pts
Estrada scored on one of his two shots on goal, as Los Dos took down a Rio Grande Valley team in what was certainly the greatest upset of Week 13 in the West.
Forward: Andy Craven - Oklahoma City Energy, 2832 pts
Craven only took one shot from open play on goal for the entire match, but he scored both of his penalty kick attempts to record a brace, as Oklahoma City downed Portland on the road.
Forward: Didier Drogba - Phoenix Rising, 2908 pts
The king is still back. Drogba recorded a brace, including the equalizing penalty kick in the final minutes, as they earned a road draw against Swope Park who has been one of the better home teams this season.
Goalkeeper: Diego Restrepo - San Antonio FC, 1650 pts
Defender: Andre Engola - Los Angeles Galaxy II, 1385 pts
Midfielder: Billy Forbes - San Antonio FC, 2006 pts
Forward: Justin Dhillon - Los Angeles Galaxy II, 1901 pts
In a week where we saw fewer games played than normal, and many of those game were high-scoring, the defensive rating suffered, while we had the typical large number of offensive players pushing for the best in the league.
The legend himself, Drogba, once again made a run at the best player in the West for the week, but for his second straight shot, fell a hair short as Kris Tyrpak of San Antonio took the third Player of the Week award home to the Texas team.
With a large slate of games this week, the field is wide open. What team do you think will take over? Which clubs will falter? Let us know your predictions in the comments!