TAMPA, Fla. – The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week Presented by Cleer Audio for Week 28 of the 2021 regular season on Tuesday, with Rio Grande Valley FC forward Kyle Edwards being voted Player of the Week after recording a pair of goals in the Toros’ 4-1 victory against El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday night at H-E-B Park that clinched the club’s first postseason berth since its inaugural season in 2016.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines forward provided key goals in each of the past two weeks for the Toros as the side recorded a three-game winning streak to close the regular season and claim fourth place in the Mountain Division. Against Locomotive FC, Edwards struck first in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time as he drove onto a through-ball that was deflected by a defender but still allowed him to flick a finish home into the right side of the net. Edwards added his second just before the hour-mark after Juan Carlos Azocar played a give-and-go to get open on the right before delivering a cross that Williams was well-placed to finish at the top of the six-yard area.
Edwards earned 33 percent of the ballot to claim the award. The Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Steevan Dos Santos and Memphis 901 FC’s Laurent Kissiedou finished tied for second on 27 percent after Dos Santos scored both Tampa Bay’s goals in a 2-1 win at Las Vegas Lights FC to clinch the best record in the Championship, while Kissiedou recorded two assists in 901 FC’s 3-0 to close the season against Indy Eleven ahead of the club’s first postseason journey.
The Championship’s Player of the Week is selected by the USL National Media Panel, which is made up of representatives from each media market in the Championship.
GK – Patrick Rakovsky, Orange County SC: The German shot-stopper recorded a five-save shutout in a 1-0 victory against the LA Galaxy II that cemented OCSC’s second-place finish in the Pacific Division to close the season.
D – Bradley Bourgeois, FC Tulsa: The veteran defender had a standout performance as Tulsa claimed the Black Gold Derby series with a 2-0 victory against OKC Energy FC on Saturday as he notched one assist, completed four key passes and 54 of 61 passes overall while recording five interceptions and 10 recoveries.
D – Baboucarr Nije, Rio Grande Valley FC: The Gambian defender started in both the Toros’ victories to seal a playoff place and across the two games won 20 of 26 duels, completed 99 of 109 passes and made five interceptions and 17 recoveries.
D – Kortne Ford, San Antonio FC: Kortne Ford scored the final goal in San Antonio’s 3-0 victory against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and recorded four interceptions and four recoveries while winning the lone tackle and both aerial duels he contested.
D – Mark Segbers, Memphis 901 FC: Mark Sebgers recorded one goal and one assist across two victories for 901 FC while notching two key passes and completing 59 of 74 passes overall and recording three interceptions defensively.
M – Daniel Edelman, New York Red Bulls II: Daniel Edelman put in a fine two-way performance in New York’s 4-1 victory against Loudoun United FC, recording one goal and two key passes as he completed 32 of 38 passes overall. Defensively, he won 8 of 10 duels and 4 of 4 tackles and notched 13 recoveries.
M – Chris Wehan, New Mexico United: Chris Wehan recorded a pair of goals and had three shots and one key pass while completing 19 of 23 passes in New Mexico’s 3-1 victory against Real Monarchs SLC on Saturday evening.
M – Laurent Kissiedou, Memphis 901 FC: Laurent Kissiedou recorded a pair of assists in Memphis’ 3-0 victory against Indy Eleven on Saturday night and finished the week with seven shots and eight key passes over two wins that sent 901 FC to the No. 3 seed in the Central Division.
F – Kyle Edwards, Rio Grande Valley FC: The St. Vincent and Grenadines international notched a pair of goals and had five shots overall in the Toros’ playoff-clinching 4-1 victory against El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday while also winning 5 of 5 duels and completing 4 of 4 dribbles.
F – Steevan Dos Santos, Tampa Bay Rowdies: The Cape Verde forward scored both goals as the Rowdies took a 2-1 victory against Las Vegas Lights FC on Saturday while also notching four key passes and winning 8 of 12 duels as Tampa Bay earned the best record in the Championship’s regular season.
F – Walmer Martinez, Hartford Athletic: The El Salvador international scored his first two goals in the Championship in the Athletic’s 2-0 victory against the Charleston Battery on Tuesday night and completed 22 of 26 passes and one key pass as well.
Bench: Brady Scott (MEM), Akeem Ward (OAK), Rodrigo Lopez (RGV), Steven Sserwadda (NY), Gabriel Obertan (CLT), Christian Sorto (RGV), Jeremy Rafanello (NY)
Tag(s): News Team of the Week San Antonio FC Orange County SC Rio Grande Valley FC FC Tulsa Charlotte Independence New York Red Bulls II Tampa Bay Rowdies Chris Wehan Bradley Bourgeois Steevan Dos Santos Kortne Ford Laurent Kissiedou Memphis 901 FC Mark Segbers Jeremy Rafanello New Mexico United Hartford Athletic Akeem Ward Christian Sorto Kyle Edwards Rodrigo Lopez-Alvarez Oakland Roots SC Brady Scott Daniel Edelman Walmer Martinez Patrick Rokovsky