TAMPA, Fla. – USL League One today announced the Team of the Week for Week 20 of the 2023 regular season with South Georgia Tormenta FC forward Kazaiah Sterling named Player of the Week presented by Konami eFootball with a brace and an assist across two Week 20 matches.
The 2022 USL League One Final MVP has returned to form after missing the first few months of the regular season with an injury. Across a pair of Week 20 matches for Tormenta FC, Sterling registered his fifth career brace to go along with an assist.
The former England youth international kick off his productive week with the match-winning score against Madison, heading in a Jackson Khoury cross to the far post in the 48th minute. Sterling completed his brace just seven minutes later, tapping in another well-placed Khoury cross. Sterling also recorded his first assist of the season, setting up Nick Akoto’s special solo effort to pull the Ibises within one in Omaha on Saturday.
South Georgia place a week-high three starters on the Team of the Week, while Charlotte and North Carolina join the Ibises with multiple starters on the list. In total, five clubs - Charlotte, Greenville, North Carolina, Northern Colorado and South Georgia - see multiple representatives named to the Team of the Week or Team of the Week bench.
GK - Austin Pack, Charlotte Independence: Conceding just one goal, Pack made five saves against Northern Colorado to propel his side to a massive 4-1 victory over the first-place side.
D - Nick Akoto, South Georgia Tormenta FC: The 24-year-old defender and first-year Ibis tallied an assist against Madison and a goal against Omaha, adding 17 duels won, 12 recoveries and four tackles won to his productive Week 20.
D - Jackson Khoury, South Georgia Tormenta FC: Tormenta FC’s young star continued to build on his productive first season with the Ibises, scoring one goal and adding two assists in South Georgia’s impressive victory in Madison.
D - Christian Lue Young, North Carolina FC: Lue Young tallied an assist in back-to-back matches for NCFC in Week 20, helping his side to a pair of victories. Lue Young recorded 11 recoveries, two duels won and helped his side concede one goal across 180 minutes of play.
D - Jordan Skelton, One Knoxville SC: Skelton guided Knoxville to a clean sheet victory in Fresno with his nine clearances, eight duels won, seven recoveries, three blocks and two interceptions.
M - Gabriel Obertan, Charlotte Independence: Proving efficient in just 24 minutes of Week 20 action, Obertan helped Charlotte put the match away against the top-of-the-table Hailstorm, recording two assists, four recoveries, two tackles won, two duels won and an 88% passing accuracy.
M - Raheem Somersall, North Carolina FC: The St. Kitts and Nevis international not only registered his first professional goal but also the first multi-goal-contribution match of his career in NCFC’s victory in Chattanooga. In addition to his goal and assist on Saturday, Somersall totaled 11 recoveries, eight duels won, three interceptions and three tackles won in two Week 20 matches.
M - Nil Vinyals, Richmond Kickers: The Kickers’ Spaniard led Richmond to a Week 20 draw in Lexington with a nine-minute brace - the third of his career. Vinyals also won nine duels, seven recoveries, and four tackles with an 88% passing accuracy.
F - Christian Chaney, Forward Madison FC: The most impactful player in Week 20 with a goals-added mark of 0.86, according to American Soccer Analysis, Chaney was responsible for both of Madison’s Week 20 goals across a pair of matches. The 28-year-old forward added to his totals with eight duels won, five recoveries and three chances created.
F - Steevan Dos Santos, Union Omaha: The veteran USL Championship goalscorer proved vital to Omaha’s big win on Saturday, recording a goal and assisting the match-winning score in stoppage time. The former Cape Verde international also won 12 duels, four fouls and one penalty.
F - Kazaiah Sterling, South Georgia Tormenta FC: Sterling recorded the fifth brace of his career for club and country, leading Tormenta FC to a huge victory over Madison on Wednesday and adding an assist against Omaha on Saturday. Sterling also added 12 duels won, four chances created and three fouls won.
Bench: Jared Mazzola (GVL), Noah Franke (GVL), Bruno Rendón (NCO), Billy King (NCO), Louis Perez (NC), Oalex Anderson (NC), Dane Kelly (CLT)