The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week for Week 16 of the 2023 regular season today with Rising’s Panos Armenakas being named to the squad for his performance in Phoenix’s four-point week on the road.
Armenakas picked up a goal and an assist in Rising’s 3-1 win in New Mexico on Wednesday. He finished the week with six shots and five chances created in 180 minutes of action in just four days.
Tampa Bay Rowdies forward Cal Jennings was voted the Championship Player of the Week presented by Konami eFootball after recording two goals and one assist to lead the Rowdies to a comeback victory against Loudoun United FC on Saturday night.
The 26-year-old had his best performance since joining the Rowdies this offseason, entering the game with Tampa Bay trailing with 26 minutes to go. Jennings notched his first goal of the night five minutes after his introduction with a close-range finish off a cross by fellow substitute Dayonn Harris, and then put the Rowdies ahead with 12 minutes to go on a similar chance via JJ Williams’ cross. Jennings then helped the visitors wrap up all three points in stoppage time as he unselfishly laid a pass off to Jake LaCava after breaking through one-on-one with the goalkeeper to set up an empty-net finish for his teammate.
Jennings earned 67 percent of the ballot to claim the award. Phoenix Rising FC’s Panos Armenakas finished second on 20 percent after helping his side to the 3-1 victory in New Mexico. 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 16
GK – Antony Siaha, Monterey Bay F.C.: Siaha earned his second consecutive selection after recording a four-save shutout including a crucial penalty kick save that saw MBFC score on the ensuing counterattack for a 1-0 victory against Miami FC, the side’s fourth consecutive win.
D – Illal Osumanu, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Osumanu’s first goal in the USL Championship provided the Hounds with a stoppage-time winner against San Diego Loyal SC on Saturday and capped a performance in which he completed 31 of 36 passes, won 4 of 5 duels overall, and made five clearances and nine recoveries.
D – Alex Crognale, Birmingham Legion FC: The veteran center back won 6 of 6 duels and 3 of 3 aerial duels in Legion FC’s 2-0 victory against Loudoun United FC on Wednesday night while recording three blocked shots, six clearances, two interceptions and nine recoveries in a stellar defensive display.
D – Jelani Peters, Memphis 901 FC: The Trinidad and Tobago international recorded a goal in his side’s 4-0 victory against FC Tulsa and across two victories in the week won 14 of 18 duels and 6 of 7 aerial duels, blocked four shots and made seven clearances.
M – Luis Felipe Fernandes, Sacramento Republic FC: The Brazilian provided the exclamation point on Republic FC’s 3-1 victory against San Antonio FC with a brilliant free kick finish while winning 4 of 6 tackles and 5 of 6 aerial duels and making 12 recoveries defensively.
M – Cam Lindley, Indy Eleven: The Indiana native recorded a highlight-reel finish that proved the winner in his side’s 2-0 victory against Hartford Athletic while also completing 52 of 57 passes and winning 2 of 2 tackles and 5 of 8 duels.
M – Jack Gurr, Sacramento Republic FC: The English wingback scored the second goal in Republic FC’s victory against San Antonio FC after winning the penalty kick for the early opening goal for the hosts and notched two shots and two chances created while winning 7 of 9 duels.
M – Amando Moreno, New Mexico United: The El Salvador international recorded a pair of goals across the week, including a spectacular game-winner in United’s 2-1 victory against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, while also winning 12 of 19 duels overall and making 11 recoveries.
F – Cal Jennings, Tampa Bay Rowdies: Jennings recorded two goals and one assist after coming on with 26 minutes to go to rally the Rowdies to a 4-2 victory against Loudoun United FC, and also notched two chances created and won 5 of 9 duels.
F – Panos Armenakas, Phoenix Rising FC: The Australian recorded a goal and assist in Phoenix’s 3-1 victory against New Mexico United on Wednesday night and over two games recorded six shots and five chances created while completing 49 of 68 passes.
F – Jake LaCava, Tampa Bay Rowdies: The 22-year-old recorded a goal and assist in strong individual performance as he completed 14 of 18 passes, won 3 of 3 tackles and won 6 of 9 duels in Tampa Bay’s 4-2 victory against Loudoun United FC.
Bench: Yannik Oettl (IND), Camden Riley (SD), Jake Rufe (BHM), Damia Viader (SAC), Taylor Davila (RGV), Milan Iloski (OC), Rashawn Dally (MEM)