TAMPA, Fla. – USL League One today announced the Team of the Week for Week 20 of the 2022 regular season with the Charlotte Independence’s Tresor Mbuyu named Player of the Week. The Congolese winger earned his second Player of the Week nod thanks to a one-goal, one-assist performance in a win against South Georgia.
Following Shalom Dutey’s opening score in the 16th minute for Charlotte against South Georgia, Tresor Mbuyu and Khori Bennett combined to propel the Jacks to an impressive victory. Just before the end of the first half, Bennett raced down the pitch and sliced a perfect pass across four Tormenta FC defenders where Mbuyu got on the end of it to poke it in. Wrapping things up, Mbuyu calmly played a ball to the feet of Bennett who promptly slotted it beyond Jara in goal to cap off the 3-0 Independence victory.
“This was a big result for the team," Mbuyu said. "We knew going into it we had to get a result and that’s what we did. Now we have to carry the momentum over for another big game on Wednesday.”
“It was a really good road performance for us,” Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries said. “We managed a lot of stretches where we were under pressure. Tormenta FC is a very good team and they’re very creative, so I thought we managed those stretches well.”
Charlotte leads the way with three players named to the Team of the Week, while Greenville Triumph SC and Forward Madison FC each see two players named to the list. In total, seven teams are represented on Week 20’s Team of the Week.
GK – Paul Christensen, Greenville Triumph SC: Christensen came out victorious in a battle of the top two teams in the league, reeling in four saves, recording a clean sheet and denying a potential Richmond equalizer in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
D – Shalom Dutey, Charlotte Independence: Dutey scored his fourth goal of the season in Charlotte’s 3-0 victory in Statesboro. The Togolese defender added to his strong outing with four clearances, four interceptions and won 10 of 15 ground and aerial duels.
D – Christian Lue Young, North Carolina FC: In the seventh minute of stoppage time, Lue Young registered his first NCFC goal in match-winning fashion against Forward Madison FC on Wednesday. Across two Week 20 matches, Lue Young tallied three chances created, three clearances and three interceptions.
D – Cyrus Rad, Forward Madison FC: In 180 minutes of action, Rad racked up the most clearances and interceptions in the league with eight and six, respectively. Additionally, Rad won 100% of his tackles and completed 84% of his 136 passes.
D – Nathan Smith, Central Valley Fuego FC: Smith scored his first goal for Fuego FC since ripping off a rocket against El Paso in the U.S. Open Cup earlier this year. His match-winning goal against NCFC was complimented by 91% passing accuracy, seven recoveries and a 90% ground duel success rate.
M – Nico Brown, Greenville Triumph SC: Despite playing just 21 minutes against Richmond on Saturday, Brown recorded the match-winning goal in the 90th minute. Brown also pulled in two recoveries and created a pair of chances while completing 92% of his passes.
M – Alvin Jones, Forward Madison FC: After seeing more playing time in recent weeks, Jones netted his first goal for the ‘Mingos to tie the match against Chattanooga in the fifth minute of stoppage time. In two Week 20 matches, Jones created one chance, blocked one shot and tallied five clearances.
M – Tresor Mbuyu, Charlotte Independence: Mbuyu’s prolific season continued on Saturday as the Congolese winger earned his eighth goal and third assist in Charlotte’s big victory against South Georgia. Mbuyu placed 100% of his shots on frame and created a trio of chances.
M – Noe Meza, Union Omaha: Meza scored his fifth goal of the season in his first year as a professional, earning Omaha a draw against Northern Colorado. Meza added five recoveries, won two fouls and registered one clearance to go along with his 12th-minute score.
F – Khori Bennett, Charlotte Independence: After averaging just one goal per 763 minutes during the first 12 matches of the season, Bennett has exploded with six goals in his past eight matches to average a goal every 67 minutes in that span. Bennett tallied a goal and an assist against Tormenta FC to go along with four recoveries and three fouls won.
F – Irvin Parra, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC: Parra canceled out an early Omaha goal with a score of his own in the 79th minute to salvage a 1-1 draw in Papillion. With nine goals on the season, Parra has tallied the third-most goals in a single season of his decade-long career.