TAMPA, Fla. – USL League One announced the Team of the Week for Week 16 of the 2023 regular season on Tuesday, with North Carolina FC forward Oalex Anderson voted the League One Player of the Week presented by Konami eFootball after a two-goal performance led his side to victory against the Charlotte Independence in the Dogwood Derby on Friday night and back to the top of the league standings.
Currently in his second season with NCFC, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines international opened the scoring at WakeMed Soccer Park five minutes before halftime as he was on the doorstep to put away the rebound from a free kick by Jaden Servania from the top of the penalty area. Anderson bagged his second just before the hour-mark as he latched onto a clever backheeled pass by teammate Garrett McLaughlin and powered home a finish off the underside of the crossbar for his first two-goal game in NCFC colors.
“You see them in training, you see it in the locker room, it’s two guys that love playing with one another,” said NCFC Head Coach Jon Bradford of Anderson and McLaughlin. “They both have an unselfishness about them, that, whoever gets the assist, whoever gets the goal, as long as it’s good for the group, I think they see that.”
Anderson’s outing continued his success in the Dogwood Derby this season, where he recorded four goals in NCFC’s three games against its in-state rival. The side now sits one point ahead of Forward Madison FC in a crowded top of the League One standings,
“It's good to put two on them tonight,” said Anderson. “It gives us the goal differential advantage this season. So, it’s really good. I’ve scored two goals already against Charlotte this season and this game gave us three points and top of the table.”
With Anderson, McLaughlin and standout midfielder selected, North Carolina FC was matched by the Richmond Kickers in earning three starters in the Team of the Week, while South Georgia Tormenta FC and Greenville Triumph SC each earned two selections after impressive weekend wins.
GK – Will Palmquist, Richmond Kickers: Palmquist made a three-save shutout for the Kickers in their 2-0 victory against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, recorded one punched clearance and completed 31 of 38 passes.
D – Deshawon Nembhard, South Georgia Tormenta FC: The Belize international scored in the first half and was solid defensively in Tormenta’s 5-1 victory against Lexington SC on Sunday night, winning 3 of 3 tackles and completing 23 of 31 passes.
D – Nathan Aune, Richmond Kickers: Aune delivered a strong all-around display, winning 2 of 2 duels and 6 of 10 aerial duels defensively while completing 47 of 56 passes and proving a threat in the attacking half with six shots overall.
D – Brandon Fricke, Greenville Triumph SC: Fricke held down the back line for Triumph SC, winning 3 of 3 duels and 3 of 5 aerial duels while completing 41 of 46 passes as Greenville earned a 1-0 victory against Forward Madison FC.
M – Rafael Mentzingen, North Carolina FC: The Brazilian proved a regular threat in the attacking third in NCFC’s victory against Charlotte, ending the night with four shots – including two on target – and five chances created, and also won 3 of 3 aerial duels.
M – Nils Vinyals, Richmond Kickers: Vinyals converted from the penalty spot to cap a big all-around game in which he recorded nine chances created – a single-game high in League One this season – and completed 36 of 39 passes overall.
M – Aaron Walker, Greenville Triumph SC: Walker converted from the penalty spot to send Greenville back into the playoff positions with a 1-0 victory against Forward Madison FC on Saturday night, and also completed 34 of 40 passes while winning 6 of 9 duels.
M – Kingsford Adjei, South Georgia Tormenta FC: The Ghanaian notched a pair of assists to lead Tormenta FC to a 5-1 victory against Lexington SC on Sunday night, gifting big opportunities to teammates Deshawon Nembhard and Kaziah Sterling, and completed 14 of 18 passes overall.
F – Oalex Anderson, North Carolina FC: The St. Vincent and Grenadines international scored both goals as NCFC claimed the third and final Dogwood Derby of the regular season while finishing the game with four shots and with three completed dribbles.
F – Noe Meza, Union Omaha: Meza moved into a tie for the League One league with his eighth goal of the season for Los Buhos as they took a 1-0 victory against Central Valley Fuego for a second consecutive victory, and his third goal in the past four games.
F – Garrett McLaughlin, North Carolina FC: McLaughlin recorded one assist and had three shots and two chances created overall in NCFC’s victory against Charlotte, and completed 22 of 29 passes while winning 3 of 3 tackles defensively.
Bench: Bernd Schipmann (MAD), Simon Fitch (RIC), Dakota Barnathan (RIC), Stephen Payne (MAD), JP Scearce (OMA), Justin Sukow (RIC), Kazaiah Sterling (TRM)