May 14, 2013

Hat Trick earns Ngwenya Player of the Week honor

TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO named its Team of the Week for Week Eight of the season on Tuesday, with the Richmond Kickers’ Joseph Ngwenya earning Player of the Week honors after recording a hat trick in the Kickers’ 4-1 victory against Antigua Barracuda FC on Saturday night. The victory allowed the Kickers to remain undefeated this season, while giving Ngwenya five goals.

Ngwenya teamed with fellow Team of the Week selection Nate Robinson on a pair of goals, including the Kickers’ opener in the 18th minute. Robinson, who had three assists, found space down the left before sending a low ball across the top of the six-yard box that Ngwenya met at the far post.

Five minutes later Ngwenya added a second, heading home a finish after Brian Ownby kept an attack alive with a looping overhead cross that found the midfielder near the right post. Ngwenya then completed his hat trick in the 44th minute, finishing a free kick by Robinson to give his side a 3-1 halftime lead.

Robinson, who also assisted on Luke Vercollone’s second-half goal, and Ngwenya were joined in the Team of the Week’s midfielder by Dayton’s Joel DeLass, who had a pair of goals in the Dutch Lions’ 4-3 victory against Phoenix FC. DeLass’ 77th-minute penalty kick proved to be the game-winner as the Wolves rallied late. Completing the midfield quartet was Charleston’s Nicki Paterson, who had a goal and an assist in his side’s 4-2 win against the Wilmington Hammerheads.

Paterson’s teammate John Wilson was also named to the team after scoring his second goal of the season, while Harrisburg’s Greg Jordan and Orlando’s Yann Songo’o also earned defensive berths after helping their team’s record shutouts against Antigua and the Seattle Sounders Reserves. Rochester’s Kristian Nicht earned the nod in goal after an excellent performance against Wilmington last Friday as the Rhinos took their first win of the season with a 1-0 victory.

Orlando City’s Dom Dwyer earned his third consecutive selection to the Team of the Week as he reached double-digits for the season with a pair of goals against the Sounders Reserves. He was joined in attack by two others who struck twice over the weekend, with Harrisburg’s Sainey Touray recording two goals and an assist in the City Islanders’ win against Antigua, and Pittsburgh’s Jose Angulo scoring both goals as the Riverhounds won their first game of the season, 2-1 against Phoenix.

The 2013 USL PRO season continues tonight as the Charlotte Eagles host the Charleston Battery at 7 p.m. ET in a clash that sees the undefeated Eagles aiming to end the Battery’s five-game winning streak. Friday night brings a pair of big games, with league-leader Orlando City visiting the third-place Harrisburg City Islanders at Skyline Sports Complex at 7 p.m. ET. The fourth-place Richmond Kickers and fifth-place Los Angeles Blues also meet on Friday at 7 p.m. ET at City Stadium.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Dayton Dutch Lions, both of whom begin U.S. Open Cup play tonight, meet on Saturday night at Highmark Stadium at 7 p.m. ET. Orlando and Los Angeles also completed their weekend road trips, with the Lions visiting the Rochester Rhinos at Sahlen’s Stadium at 7:05 p.m. ET and the Blues visiting the Wilmington Hammerheads at 7:30 p.m. ET. The weekend concludes on Sunday as the Charleston Battery visit the Houston Dynamo for an interleague clash at BBVA Compass Stadium at 11 a.m. ET.

Every game of the USL PRO season can be seen on, with live updates also available via Twitter (@USLPRO), Facebook and Google+.

USL PRO Team of the Week

Kristian Nicht
Made three saves as Rhinos earned first victory with shutout
John Wilson
Scored good goal as Battery took victory against Hammerheads
Greg Jordan
Curtailed aggressive Antigua attack in City Islanders’ victory
Yann Songo’o
Solid performance as Lions shut out Sounders Reserves
Joel DeLass
Pair of goals, including game-winner, in Dutch Lions’ victory
Nicki Paterson
Had a goal and assist in Battery’s win against Hammerheads
Nate Robinson
Three assists moved Robinson into tie for league-lead
Joseph Ngwenya
First-half hat trick led Kickers past Antigua
Dom Dwyer
Continued hot streak with two goals against Sounders Reserves
Jose Angulo
Had both goals in Riverhounds’ win against Phoenix
Sainey Touray
Two goals and assist in City Islanders’ win against Antigua

Honorable Mention: Antigua – Tamorley Thomas, Molvin James; Charleston – Zach Prince, Dane Kelly; Dayton – Gibson Bardsley, Shintaro Harada; Harrisburg – Leo Fernandes, Morgan Langley; Los Angeles – Shay Spitz, Allan Russell; Orlando – Dennis Chin; Phoenix – Aaron King; Pittsburgh – Kevin Kerr, Hunter Gilstrap; Richmond – William Yomby; Rochester – Matt Horth; Wilmington – Paul Nicholson.