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USL Jägermeister Cup Team of the Round - Round 3

By Staff, 05/30/24, 2:30PM EDT


Chattanooga's Mayele Malango shines with two goals, one assist

TAMPA, Fla. – USL League One today announced the Team of the Round for Round 3 of the 2024 USL Jägermeister Cup with Chattanooga Red Wolves SC forward Mayele Malango named Player of the Round presented by Konami eFootball with two goals and one assist against Lexington SC.

Malango netted his third professional brace and first three-goal-contribution match, with goals for Chattanooga in the eighth and 57th minute, while also assisting Chevone Marsh's 38th-minute score in an eventual loss to Lexington on Saturday. Malango became only the second player in USL Jägermeister Cup history to tally three goal contributions in a single match, joining Northern Colorado's Bruno Rendón who also recorded two goals and one assist against Knoxville in Round 2 (May 11).

Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malango was forced to flee his homeland due to the First Congo War and grew up in Malawi before moving to Lowell, Mass. for junior high school. Malango played collegiately at NCAA Division III Salem State University (2017) and NCAA Division I University of Massachusetts Lowell (2018) while also spending time in USL League Two with the Boston Bolts (2018-19). Malango turned professional with then-USL League One side New England Revolution II in 2020 before going on to spend time with NISA's New Amsterdam FC and Albion San Diego and eventually signing with Chattanooga ahead of the 2023 season. Malango was called up to training camp with the Malawi national team in October 2023.

"Going forward, we are dangerous, we scored three goals at home," said Chattanooga Head Coach Scott Mackenzie after his side's loss. "We want to be one of the more dangerous teams in the league, but we've got to manage the game better."

In total, eight teams earned representation on the Team of the Round, with Northern Colorado, Spokane, Greenville and Lexington leading all teams with three players named to the list.

COACH - Éamon Zayed, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC: The Hailstorm haven't lost a match since April 17 and just set single-match USL Jägermeister Cup records for shots (31) and expected goals (3.06) in their 2-2 draw and subsequent 4-2 penalty kick shootout victory in their home opener against Charlotte.

GK - Carlos Merancio, Spokane Velocity FC: The former FC Tucson shot-stopper recorded seven saves in a shutout draw with Greenville Triumph SC. The match marks the third career match in which Merancio recorded seven or more saves and the first since he recorded a career-high nine stops against Central Valley on Aug. 31, 2022, with Tucson.

D - Shavon John-Brown, Central Valley Fuego FC: The Grenada international helped Central Valley hold Omaha scoreless through 90 minutes with his 10 recoveries, nine duels won, four tackles won, three clearances, three chances created, three completed long passes and three fouls won.

D - Ahmed Longmire, Spokane Velocity FC: The former Nashville SC defender helped Spokane hold East Group-leading Greenville scoreless for the first time since April 12 with an 89% passing accuracy, nine recoveries, seven clearances, five duels won and three completed long passes.

D - Tyler Polak, Greenville Triumph SC: The longtime Triumph SC defender aided in Greenville's clean sheet draw at Spokane with an 83% passing accuracy, six recoveries, four tackles won, three chances created, three fouls won and a league-leading 14 duels won.

M - Luis Álvarez, Charlotte Independence: The 21-year-old Honduras youth national team prospect helped Charlotte steal a point from an aggressive Northern Colorado side on Saturday. Álvarez tallied one goal, 12 duels won, five recoveries, four clearances, three completed long passes and a week-high six tackles won.

M - Ates Diouf, Lexington SC: Diouf has started to look more like the dynamic attacker he was a year ago as the season has progressed. The 2023 USL League One All-League First Team forward has scored goals in back-to-back matches, and in addition to his 35th-minute goal against Chattanooga, Diouf added an assist on Cameron Lancaster's dramatic, last-minute winner, a passing accuracy of 90%, four recoveries and four duels won.

M - Patrick Langlois, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC: Only eight matches into his Northern Colorado career, the former Newcastle Jets midfielder has established himself well in the center of the pitch for the Hailstorm. Langlois completed 75 of his 83 passes at a rate of 90%, completed nine long passes, reeled in eight recoveries, created four chances, tallied four interceptions, won four duels and scored the opening goal in the penalty kick shootout. Per American Soccer Analysis, Langlois led all players with a 7.98 passing score. 

M - Bruno Rendón, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC: Since moving higher up the pitch and into an attacking position this season, Rendón has had no issue finding the back of the net. The Cuban has scored four goals in his last three USL Jägermeister Cup matches to lead all players, and in addition to his 14th-minute goal, Rendón placed five shots on target, recorded four recoveries and won four tackles. Per American Soccer Analysis, Rendón led all players with 0.69 goals added. 

F - Adrian Billhardt, Richmond Kickers: In his first match back in Statesboro since winning the 2022 USL League One Final with South Georgia, Billhardt tormented his former club by netting his first professional brace with goals in the 27th and 61st minute, completing 82% of his passes and winning five duels.

F - Mayele Malango, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC: The former Malawi international enjoyed a career day against Lexington, recording his third career brace and first three-goal-contribution match with two goals and one assist. Malango also contributed with an 88% passing accuracy, six duels won and a pair of fouls earned.

F - Gabriel Obertan, Charlotte Independence: The former Newcastle United and Machester United man registered two assists in a single match for the fifth time in his decorated professional career. Obertan also completed 79% of his passes, won eight duels, registered four recoveries and completed a pair of dribbles.

BENCH: Gunther Rankenburg (GVL), Jamie Smith (GVL), Collin Fernández (SPK) , Isidro Martínez (NCO), Jayden Onen (LEX), Cameron Lancaster (LEX), Nil Vinyals (RIC) 

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