The first weekend in June started off right, as many octane offenses clashed with a total of 21 goals scored this week in the Eastern Conference. But it was defensively where individual performances stood out. Below are the players who were above and beyond from the rest of the conference for week 11!
Goalkeeper: Earl Edwards Jr., Orlando City B: 3120 pts
An eight save effort earned Earl Edwards Jr. another appearance on our Eastern Conference Best XI. The Baby Lions keeper now leads the league in saves on the year with 37.
Defender: Ken Tribbett, Bethlehem Steel FC: 3176 pts
Providing an assist and shutout defense all afternoon, Ken Tribbett earned a point for Bethlehem on Sunday. Tribbett was the sixth different player to record an assist for Steel, who do an excellent job at sharing the ball when mixing up their attack.
Defender: Dennis Castillo, Charlotte Independence: 3377 pts, Player of the Week
Scoring two goals in the span of five minutes, Dennis Castillo was a big part of the Independence offense in a 2-2 draw versus Tampa Bay. Castillo accounted for a quarter of Charlotte’s shots on Sunday, and has scored on 66% of his shots on target this year.
Defender: Bradley Kamdem Fewo, Rochester Rhinos: 3167 pts
Coming off the bench in the 22nd minute, Bradley Kamdem Fewo provided Rochester’s lone goal in a shutout win over FC Cincinnati on Saturday evening. Fewo’s first goal of the year extended the Rhinos unbeaten run to a fifth straight match.
Defender: AJ Cochran, Saint Louis FC: 3116 pts
Scoring his first goal of the season, AJ Cochran helped Saint Louis FC snap a five match winless run with a 2-0 win against Toronto FC II. Cochran also scored off his first shot on target all season.
Midfielder: George Davis IV, Louisville City FC: 2200 pts
Louisville’s leader in goals this year added another one to his tally, scoring in the 60th minute in Charleston. Interesting fact: Louisville City have not lost when George Davis IV has scored.
Midfielder: Maikel Chang, Charleston Battery: 2178 pts
Chang’s third goal of the season was also Charleston’s third goal on the night in a 4-4 draw with Louisville. The Battery midfielder is also second in the team in chances created, proving again why he deserves to be considered among the best players of the Eastern Conference.
Midfielder: Emir Alihidivoc, Saint Louis FC: 2068 pts
Alihidivoc makes his debut on the Eastern Conference Team of the Week after recording his first assist of the year against Toronto FC II this week.
Forward: Hadji Barry, Orlando City B: 2937 pts
Barry’s tying goal in the 42nd minute eventually paved the way to a hard-earned three points on the road for Orlando City B. Barry was also responsible for three of the seven shots on the night for an Orlando team who are unbeaten in four of their last five matches.
Forward: Romario Williams, Charleston Battery: 3029 pts
Netting a brace in the first half on Saturday versus Louisville, Romario Williams moved to a tie atop the league’s Golden Boot race with ten goals on the year. Williams’ ten goals this year is more than eight other clubs have scored in the USL through over two months of play.
Forward: Christian Volesky, Saint Louis FC: 2458 pts
Scoring his first goal since April 12th, Christian Volesky added his fourth goal of the season in the 49th minute on Friday night. Volesky has scored on 44% of his total shots, and 80% of his shots on target this season.
Goalkeeper: Rafael Diaz, New York Red Bulls II: 3070 pts
Defender: Zachary Ellis-Hayden, Orlando City B: 2633 pts
Midfielder: Michael Nanchoff, Tampa Bay Rowdies: 1947 pts
Forward: Corey Hertzog, Pittsburgh Riverhounds: 2320 pts
Saint Louis walk away as this week’s big winners, sending three players to the Best XI, a forward, midfielder, and defender. Charleston and Orlando City B each sent two players to the Team of the Week as well. Charleston has become a regular occurrence on Eastern Conference Best XI, another perk of leading the Eastern Conference.
Defense was put on display, as eight of the top ten highest rated players in the East were either defenders or goalkeepers. In a conference known for their prolific scoring threats, it is always surprising to see excellent defense being honored.
What are your thoughts on this week’s Best XI? Which players not listed do you think are most deserving a spot? Let us know in the comments below!