TAMPA, FL – United Soccer Leagues announced the USL First Division and USL Second Division Teams of the Week for the 14th week of the season, honoring California Victory’s Josh Hansen and Crystal Palace Baltimore’s Gary Brooks as the Players of the Week, respectively.
Forward Josh Hansen was a critical element in California’s three-game schedule this week, posting two goals and an assist in a win at home and two draws on the road.
The week started off well on at home Tuesday night when Hansen set up midfielder Federico Bianchi in the 39th minute for what proved to be the game-winner, ending the four-game win streak of the visiting Atlanta Silverbacks 1-0.
The expansion side then hit the road to visit the tropics and in another pair of one-goal games for the Victory, Hansen provided both in a pair of 1-1 draws. Ten minutes after Puerto Rico took the 1-0 lead Friday, Hansen beat three defenders on the left end line and sent a shot past an onrushing Josh Saunders from a narrow angle for the equalizer in the 77th.
Two nights later in Miami Hansen put the visitors on the board just four minutes into the match, scoring from a similar angle from two nights prior. An own goal from teammate Yuri Morales spoiled a potential win, but the draw moved the Victory off the bottom of the table for the first time on the year.
A new addition to Crystal Palace Baltimore just a few weeks ago, USL-1 veteran Gary Brooks is proving an immediate impact as helped lead the club to three wins on the road last week with three goals and an assist along the way.
The week started in Bermuda Monday, where Brooks struck twice in the first half in the 28th and 40th minutes to give Palace the lead. The Hogges were only able to reply with one as their fellow expansion side held on for the 2-1 victory.
On Friday against Western Mass, the Pioneers and Palace appeared to be headed toward a scoreless stalemate when defender Alex Ughiovhe found the Jamaican striker in the 89th minute for the game-winner.
The following night in New Hampshire it was nearly an identical storyline only with Brooks providing the assistance on the 89th minute winner to midfielder Sean Rush, who had entered the game just two minutes prior. The victory moved Palace, in the midst of a four-game unbeaten run, up to fifth in the table. The club has lost only one game in their last 12.
USL First Division Team of the Week
Ten saves in 1-1 draw against Minnesota
Led team to 2-0 win over Portland
Led team in 1-1 draw at Minnesota
Led team to pair of wins
Led team to win and two road draws
Assist in 2-1 win over Vancouver
Two goals in 3-1 win over Carolina
Goal, assist in 3-2 win at Rochester
Two assists in 2-1 win over Carolina
Two goals, assist in win and two road draws
Goal, assist in pair of wins
USL Second Division Team of the Week
Ten saves, 1 GA in three road wins
Goal, led team in 1-0 win over Richmond
Assist in 1-0 win at Western Mass
Led team in pair of draws
Goal in 2-1 win over Cincinnati
Led team in 0-0 draw against Cleveland
Goal in 1-1 draw against Richmond
Led team in 1-1 draw at Cleveland
Goal in 1-0 win over Wilmington
Three goals, assist in three road wins
Two goals in win and loss