With the 2017 USL season reaching its halfway point, many players have settled into a groove for the year, leading to repeat appearances on our Best XI. With a goal scored in every match this week in the East, there was no shortage of offense on display. Below are the players who stood out above the rest in the Eastern Conference!
Goalkeeper: Cody Mizell, Charlotte Independence: 3730 pts
Posting his second consecutive clean sheet on Saturday, Cody Mizell had a stellar week in goal, adding another seven saves to his season tally.
Defender: Harrison Delbridge, FC Cincinnati: 3208 pts
Leading three of the four major defensive categories for FC Cincinnati, Harrison Delbridge has become a usual showing on our Best XI, another consistent week for anchor of the Team of the Week defense.
Defender: Justin Bilyeu, New York Red Bulls II: 3177 pts
The Baby Bulls defense begins and ends with Justin Bilyeu, who leads the club in clearances, tackles, and blocks. Sitting in the top three of minutes for the club, Bilyeu has provided consistent play for the NYRB II backline.
Defender: Jordan Scarlett, New York Red Bulls II: 3034 pts
Scarlett did everything for NYRB II on defense against Ottawa on Saturday, recording eight tackles and clearances on the afternoon, helping salvage a point for the visitors.
Defender: Lalas Abubakar, Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 2500 pts
It was Abubakar’s work on defense that led the Riverhounds to their first victory since May 13th. His 12 clearances on the night helped shutout top half club, Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Defender: Joel Johnson, Charlotte Independence: 2439 pts
Johnson recorded his second assist of the year this past weekend, bringing him into a tie for second in assists on the Independence. He is also second on the club in tackles with 19 on the year.
Midfielder: Dante Marini, Charleston Battery: 4187 pts
Marini rattled the net with two second half goals for the Battery in a massive win over Toronto FC II. He has now scored a goal on half of his shots on target on the year.
Midfielder: Enzo Martinez, Charlotte Independence: 3662 pts
Enzo Martinez found the back of the net two more times on Saturday, bringing his team-leading total to o six goals on the year. Martinez is a big part of the Charlotte attack and is responsible for a little under a third for all goals scored.
Midfielder: Justin Portillo, Charleston Battery: 2800 pts
In the Battery’s highest scoring match of the season, it seemed like pretty much the entire team scored a goal. Portillo piled on to the blowout with a score in stoppage time, his fourth goal of the year.
Midfielder: Kenney Walker, FC Cincinnati: 2458 pts
Teammate Harrison Delbridge leads three of four major defensive categories, but Kenney Walker leads the fourth, tackles, with 49 on the year. Walker has shown his versatility on offense, being one of eight different FC Cincinnati players to record an assist this year.
Forward: Romario Williams, Charleston Battery: 4781 pts, Player of the Week
Charleston lead the league in goals (34) and have Romario Williams to thank for that title. Putting in another Player of the Week Performance, Williams scored twice, bringing his season total to 13 goals, in a 6-1 trouncing of Toronto FC II this past weekend.
Goalkeeper: Callum Irving, Ottawa Fury FC: 3289 pts*
Defender: Forrest Lasso, Charleston Battery: 2366 pts
Midfielder: James Chambers, Bethlehem Steel FC: 2359 pts
Forward: Steevan Dos Santos, Ottawa Fury FC: 2380.73 pts*
*Denotes Average Rating, calculated as follows = 1.1*((0.7*max)+(0.3*min))
Week 14 was a big one for the Carolinas, as Charleston and Charlotte each send three players to our Best XI. With both clubs making climbs in our Power Rankings, we may continue see a Southeastern domination in the Team of the Week. It was nearly an all Carolina sweep in the midfielder spot save for Kenney Walker from FC Cincinnati. Romario Williams of Charleston also took home another Player of the Week honor.
New York Red Bulls II and FC Cincinnati, who were both top three clubs last year, sent two players to the Best XI. Pittsburgh rounded out the team with a player of their own making the list. With only five clubs represented, do you think we will continue to see more of the same clubs on the Best XI, or more variety in the coming weeks?
What are your thoughts on this week’s Best XI? Are their any players not listed that you believe deserve a mention on our list? Let us know in the comments below!