TAMPA, Fla. – USL League One today announced the Team of the Week for Week 27 of the 2023 regular season with Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC goalkeeper Lalo Delgado named Player of the Week presented by Konami eFootball with his six-save shutout victory on the road against Central Valley Fuego FC.
The former Las Vegas Lights FC and Phoenix Rising FC goalkeeper earns his first career Player of the Week award and becomes just the sixth 'keeper to be named Player of the Week across League One's 128 weeks of existence. Delgado's crucial penalty save against Alexis Cerritos in the 28th minute earned him the distinction of becoming the league's all-time leader in penalty saves in a single season (3).
"I don't usually call players out, but I did call Lalo out in the dressing room after the game because he was outstanding," Northern Colorado Head Coach Éamon Zayed said. "He was an absolute beast in the game."
"We're just happy to get the three points, that's the most important thing," Delgado said. "Obviously I'm always glad to help the team out and do my job."
South Georgia, Madison and Omaha place multiple starters on the Team of the Week following respective Week 27 victories, while Greenville, Lexington and Northern Colorado also placed multiple representatives across the Team of the Week and Team of the Week bench.
GK - Lalo Delgado, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC: Delgado registered his 10th clean sheet of the season - doubling the amount Northern Colorado kept in 2022 - and saved his third penalty kick of the season - the most in a single season in league history. The 25-year-old 'keeper made six saves to keep Ice and Fire Cup rival and hosts Central Valley out of the back of the net.
D - Nick Akoto, South Georgia Tormenta FC: Akoto helped South Georgia take down first-place North Carolina with his 10 duels won, four clearances, three recoveries, two tackles won and two chances created as he nears the completion of his first professional season.
D - Jacob Crull, Forward Madison FC: The Austrian defender guided Madison to its league-leading 11th clean sheet of the season - the most in a single season in club history - with his seven recoveries, six duels won, six clearances, four interceptions and four completed long passes.
D - Marco Milanese, Union Omaha: The Napoli youth product bagged his first professional goal in Omaha's record ninth consecutive victory on Saturday. Milanese also recorded eight clearances, seven duels won, six recoveries, six completed long passes, all while completing nearly 90% of his passes.
D - Jamie Smith, Greenville Triumph SC: In Greenville’s pivotal 1-0 victory in Knoxville on Saturday, Smith tallied eight clearances and two blocks - both tied for the most on the week - to go along with four duels won, two chances created and two recoveries.
M - Mukwelle Akale, South Georgia Tormenta FC: Akale scored the opening goal - his 10th of the season - in South Georgia’s massive 3-2 victory over table-topping North Carolina. The Villarreal youth product registered four recoveries, four duels won and three chances created across 64 minutes of play.
M - Pedro Fonseca, South Georgia Tormenta FC: Fonseca connected with Mukwelle Akale to assist his side's first goal of the match against NCFC. The first-year Ibis and second-year professional added six duels won, four chances created, two tackles won and two recoveries to his side's victory.
M - Pierre Mané, Lexington SC: Going the full 90 minutes for just the third time in his debut professional season, Mané recorded his first professional goal in Lexington's 2-2 draw against Charlotte. The Senegalese midfielder also registered 11 recoveries, five duels won, three tackles won, three interceptions and three chances created, all while completing nearly 90% of his passes.
M - Raheem Somersall, North Carolina FC: The St. Kitts and Nevis international recorded his second one-goal, one-assist match of the season, helping NCFC tally a pair of scores against South Georgia. Somersall also added three duels won, two chances created, two tackles won and two recoveries.
F - Steevan Dos Santos, Union Omaha: Dos Santos has put together his most productive season since the 2021 campaign with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, adding a goal against Chattanooga to his 2023 tally. The Cape Verdean forward led the league with his 17 duels and six fouls won on the week and added four recoveries and three chances created.
F - Derek Gebhard, Forward Madison FC: The USL Championship and League One veteran recorded the first multi-goal-contribution match of his career on Thursday, recording a goal and an assist in Madison’s 2-0 victory over Richmond in the Henry Derby finale. The 27-year-old registered six recoveries and completed over 80% of his passes.
Bench: Jared Mazzola (GVL), Arthur Rogers (NCO), Joe Brito (OMA), Aiden Mesias (MAD), Tate Robertson (LEX), Leo Castro (GVL), Kazaiah Sterling (TRM)