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USL Championship Team of the Week – Week 14

By Staff, 06/11/24, 2:30PM EDT


Phoenix Rising FC forward Dariusz Formella earns Player of the Week after recording two goals in victory against Orange County

TAMPA, Fla. – The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week for Week 14 of the 2024 regular season on Tuesday, with Phoenix Rising FC forward Dariusz Formella voted the Championship Player of the Week presented by Konami eFootball after he scored both goals in Rising’s 2-1 victory against longtime rival Orange County SC on Saturday night.

Acquired last July in a transfer deal from Oakland Roots SC, the Polish forward played a notable role last season in Phoenix’s run to its first USL Championship title. On Saturday night he marked his return to the starting lineup with a pair of goals, including the 87th-minute winner after Rising had been reduced to 10 players, having spent much of the past month at home in Poland with his wife and newly-born daughter.

“We were very happy that the boss and coach let me go for a little bit to Poland to spend time with my wife and daughter,” said Formella. “Every single day I was training in Poland and that work paid off today, so I’m very happy.”

Formella has recorded seven goals since his arrival in Phoenix last July, the most goals of any active player at the club. He has recorded 36 goals in 133 games in the USL Championship overall across the regular season and playoffs, having previously competed for Sacramento Republic FC before his stint in Oakland.

Formella earned 67 percent of the ballot to claim the award. Sacramento Republic FC goalkeeper Danny Vitiello and Oakland Roots SC’s Memo Diaz finished tied for second on 17 percent after Vitiello recorded a four-save shutout including a brilliant penalty save in his side’s 2-0 victory against Monterey Bay F.C., while Diaz recorded the assist on Roots’ game-winning goal to cap a stellar all-around display in a 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

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.

USL Championship Team of the Week – Week 14
GK – Danny Vitiello, Sacramento Republic FC:
The reigning Championship Goalkeeper of the Year posted a four-save shutout including a penalty kick save late on as Sacramento took a 2-0 victory on the road against NorCal rival Monterey Bay F.C.

D – Memo Diaz, Oakland Roots SC: The versatile right back provided the assist on Oakland’s winner against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and recorded six interceptions, six recoveries and four clearances defensively in his side’s 1-0 win.

D – Sean Totsch, Louisville City FC: The veteran center back put in a sterling all-around display, winning 7 of 7 duels and 2 of 2 tackles while making five clearances and blocking three shots before converting his 11th consecutive penalty kick to seal LouCity’s 2-1 win against North Carolina FC.

D – Owen Damm, FC Tulsa: The 20-year-old recorded his first professional assist in Tulsa’s 2-1 victory against San Antonio FC and won 8 of 10 ground duels and 2 of 3 tackles while also recording two interceptions and three clearances at ONEOK Field.

M – Diogo Pacheco, FC Tulsa: The Portuguese winger scored his first two goals in the Championship to lead Tulsa to a 2-1 victory against San Antonio FC and had four shots overall while also winning 2 of 2 tackles defensively.

M – Valentin Noël, Las Vegas Lights FC: The French midfielder notched his sixth goal of the season to cap an impressive all-around performance that saw him complete 49 of 55 passes and record two chances created in the Lights’ 3-1 victory against Miami FC at Cashman Field.

M – Maxi Rodriguez, Detroit City FC: The veteran midfielder scored the opening goal in DCFC’s 2-0 victory against Rhode Island FC and was impressive on and off the ball otherwise, completing 32 of 37 passes and winning 6 of 8 duels while making seven recoveries at Beirne Stadium.

M – Jorge Hernandez, San Antonio FC: In a tough week for SAFC, Hernandez continued to shine as he recorded a standout long-range finish, hit the woodwork once, and notched eight chances created across two games while also winning 3 of 4 tackles defensively.

F – Ben Morris, Detroit City FC: The English forward notched one assist and had two shots in Le Rouge’s 2-0 victory against Rhode Island FC and was consistently active defensively, winning 2 of 2 tackles and making 14 recoveries as part of the side’s defensive pressure.

F – Dariusz Formella, Phoenix Rising FC: The Polish forward scored both goals – including a late winner with three minutes to go – as Rising took a 2-1 victory against Orange County SC while recording five shots on target and completing 21 of 22 passes overall.

F – Khori Bennett, Las Vegas Lights FC: The 26-year-old scored a pair of goals to lead Las Vegas to a 3-1 victory against Miami FC while also winning a penalty kick, recording three shots overall and completing 16 of 21 passes.

Coach – Dennis Sanchez, Las Vegas Lights FC: Sanchez’s squad broke an eight-game winless streak with a 3-1 victory against Miami FC that saw the hosts control the majority of the game and win the individual battles to take all three points.

Bench: Tim Syrel (OAK), Chris Gloster (NM), Carson Vom Steeg (MEM), Gennaro Nigro (LV), Jeciel Cedeño (OAK), Aiden McFadden (LOU), Kieran Phillips (SAC)

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