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USL Championship Team of the Week – Week 31

By Staff, 10/10/23, 2:30PM EDT


Miami FC’s Joaquin Rivas voted Player of the Week for second time this season after leading key win in Charleston

TAMPA, Fla. – The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week for Week 31 of the 2023 regular season on Tuesday, with Miami FC forward Joaquin Rivas voted the Championship Player of the Week presented by Konami eFootball after the El Salvador international led a key comeback victory against the Charleston Battery to keep Miami above the playoff line going to the final day of the regular season.

The award is Rivas’ second this season, having previously earned Player of the Week honors in Week 24 after recording the club’s first hat trick in the USL Championship. The veteran forward played a key role this past Saturday as he first converted from the penalty spot for his 10th goal of the season and then provided the assist on Michael Salazar’s game-winner with 10 minutes to go as Miami took a 2-1 victory against the Battery. The result was Miami’s fourth consecutive victory – a season high for the side – and kept the club one point ahead of Detroit City FC in the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference going to the final Saturday of the regular season this week.

Rivas earned 43 percent of the ballot to claim the award. Indy Eleven’s Solomon Asante and Detroit City FC’s Maxi Rodriguez finished tied for second on 21 percent as Asante scored the game-winning goal in his side’s 2-1 victory against FC Tulsa on Saturday night while also recording four chances created and three shots, and Rodriguez recorded a pair of goals to lead Le Rouge to a 3-0 win against Loudoun United FC, keeping the side’s postseason hopes alive.

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 – Nathan Steinwascher, Detroit City FC: The local standout recorded a five-save shutout as Le Rouge took a 3-0 victory against Loudoun United FC at Segra Field to keep the side in contention for a postseason berth with one game to play.

D – Lucas Turci, Memphis 901 FC: The Brazilian center back scored once and had a strong overall performance in his side’s 4-0 win against El Paso Locomotive FC, completing 53 of 66 passes and 3 of 3 dribbles while making four clearances, two interceptions and 11 recoveries defensively.

D – Collin Smith, Birmingham Legion FC: The 19-year-old had a stellar all-around performance, completing 34 of 37 passes, recording two chances created, and winning 4 of 7 duels before scoring a standout finish to cap Legion FC’s 2-0 victory against Monterey Bay F.C. at Protective Stadium

D – Junior Etou, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: The Congolese defender provided the assist on the Hounds’ opening goal against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and put in a stellar defensive display, winning 7 of 7 duels and 2 of 2 tackles while making two interceptions and two clearances as Pittsburgh won the Players’ Shield.

M – Maxi Rodriguez, Detroit City FC: Rodriguez scored a pair of goals and had two chances created in Detroit City’s 3-0 win at Loudoun United FC while completing 18 of 25 passes overall and making four recoveries defensively.

M – Solomon Asante, Indy Eleven: The Ghanaian scored the game-winning goal in Indy’s 2-1 win at FC Tulsa to cap a strong all-around display in which he recorded three shots and four chances created, won 2 of 3 tackles and 5 of 7 duels and made 11 recoveries defensively.

M – Jack Gurr, Sacramento Republic FC: Gurr notched two assists and recorded three big chances created overall in Sacramento’s 3-2 victory against Rio Grande Valley FC while making seven recoveries and one interception as the side secured first place in the Western Conference.

M – Laurent Kissiedou, Memphis 901 FC: Kissiedou recorded a goal and assist in Memphis’ 4-0 victory against El Paso Locomotive FC and completed 23 of 27 passes overall while recording three chances created at AutoZone Park.

F – Milan Iloski, Orange County SC: Iloski scored in both of Orange County’s victories over the week, including the decisive goal in its 1-0 win against San Antonio FC on Saturday night, while recording two chances created and completing 32 of 49 passes overall across the two contests.

F – Keko, Sacramento Republic FC: The Spaniard recorded one assist as well as a game-high six chances created in Sacramento’s 3-2 comeback win against Rio Grande Valley FC while also completing 3 of 3 dribbles and 29 of 34 passes and winning 5 of 8 duels.

F – Joaquin Rivas, Miami FC: Rivas recorded a goal and assist as Miami rallied from a halftime deficit to take a 2-1 victory on the road against the Charleston Battery while completing 11 of 12 passes and recording two chances created to keep his side above the playoff line.

Bench – Jahmali Waite (PIT), Akeem Ward (MEM), Lucas Stauffer (LV), Brian Iloski (OC), Prosper Kasim (BHM), Prince Saydee (HFD), Ronaldo Damus (SD)

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