ST. PETERSBURG, FL – The USL Championship on Tuesday announced the Team of the Week for Week 24 of the season, with Tampa Bay Rowdies forward JJ Williams making the cut for his shift in the club’s 2-1 win at FC Tulsa.
Williams notched a goal and an assist to lift the Rowdies to their first road win since July 1. After a scoreless first half, Williams broke open Tulsa’s defensive line in the 50th minute with a brilliantly weighted pass into the final third for Cal Jennings, who deftly deposited his shot past keeper Michael Nelson.
Williams doubled Tampa Bay’s lead only nine minutes later, swiping a rebounded shot off the feet of a defender and pushing past another defender before chipping a shot over the keeper. The tally is Williams’ 10th of the season, making him the first Rowdies player to reach double digits goals in 2023.
With the win, the Rowdies moved to within three points of Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay has two matches in hand on Pittsburgh and will look to make the most of the advantage starting this weekend as they travel south to face in-state rival Miami FC.
USL Championship Team of the Week – Week 24
GK – Colin Shutler, Orange County SC: Shutler recorded shutouts against both Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and the Charleston Battery while recording four saves across the two games as Orange County defeated both Eastern Conference foes.
D – Devon Amoo-Mensah, Detroit City FC: The center back had a stellar defensive display in Le Rouge’s 1-0 win against Las Vegas Lights FC, winning 11 of 14 duels, 5 of 6 aerial duels and 7 of 9 tackles while making eight recoveries, three interceptions and five clearances.
D – Kyle Colonna, New Mexico United: Colonna scored his first goal in the USL Championship in New Mexico’s 2-2 draw with San Diego Loyal SC and completed 36 of 40 passes while winning 3 of 3 tackles, 5 of 6 duels and 3 of 4 aerial duels defensively.
D – Owen Lambe, Orange County SC: Lambe played the full 180 minutes in Orange County SC’s two wins during the week, scored a superb goal in the club’s 2-0 victory against the Charleston Battery on Saturday, and had four chances created while completing 78 of 94 passes overall.
M – Tyreek Magee, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: The Jamaican international scored a pair of goals to lead the Switchbacks to a 3-2 victory on the road against Oakland Roots SC, had four shots overall, and completed 37 of 42 passes.
M – Justin Portillo, New Mexico United: The veteran playmaker recorded both assists as United rallied twice to take a 2-2 draw against San Diego Loyal SC, had four chances created overall while completing 66 of 77 passes and winning 2 of 3 duels.
M – Enzo Martinez, Birmingham Legion FC: Martinez scored the opening goal in Birmingham’s 2-0 victory against Louisville City FC on Saturday evening and won 4 of 4 tackles, 6 of 9 duels and 3 of 3 aerial duels while recording two interceptions and seven recoveries in a strong midfield display.
M – Memo Diaz, Oakland Roots SC: Diaz put in a strong display in a losing cause against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, scoring in the first half while recording three shots and two chances created overall, winning 7 of 10 duels and making 10 recoveries defensively.
F – Joaquin Rivas, Miami FC: The El Salvador international recorded the first hat trick of his professional career to lead Miami to a 3-0 victory against Hartford Athletic and back into the playoff race in the Eastern Conference.
F – JJ Williams, Tampa Bay Rowdies: The center forward bagged a goal and assist against former club FC Tulsa to lead the Rowdies to a 2-1 victory on Friday night while ending the night with four shots, four chances created and winning 2 of 2 tackles.
F – Juan Tejada, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: The Panamanian notched the assists on Tyreek Magee’s two goals and completed 2 of 2 dribbles while completing 9 of 12 passes overall.
Bench: Carlos Herrera (MB), Marc Navarro (ELP), Alex Lara (MB), Jake Areman (TBR), Adrien Perez (SD), Matt LaGrassa (SAC), Diba Nwegbo (BHM)