Locomotive Midfielder Diego Luna earned USL Championship Team of the Week honors for Week 23 after El Paso’s 2-2 draw against Austin Bold on Wednesday. This is Luna’s third time being featured on the Team of the Week shortlist, having been previously to the XI in Week 8 and to the bench in Week 15.
In Wednesday night’s contest against Copa Tejas rival, Austin Bold, Luna helped lead an attacking front that tallied his sixth goal of the season after some creative back-and-forth passing with Sebastian Velasquez. Luna’s goal was rifled from the top of the penalty area, across the goalkeeper, and into the back of the net in the 70th minute. The goal was one of two shots on target for the 18-year-old midfielder, who also had a hand in playmaking by creating three chances while completing 36 of his 41 passes. Coupled with his help in controlling the midfield through 9 out of 15 duels, Luna deservedly earned his nod to the Team of the Week.
See below for the full USL Championship Week 23 Team of the Week:
USL Championship Team of the Week – Week 23
GK – Justin vom Steeg, LA Galaxy II: Justin vom Steeg recorded a four-save shutout, making key stops before and after Los Dos took a second-half lead on the way to a 2-0 victory against Sacramento Republic FC at Heart Health Park.
D – Jonathan Gomez, Louisville City FC: The 18-year-old notched an assist and three key passes while completing 42 of 51 passes overall and defensively made 13 recoveries in LouCity’s 1-1 draw at Memphis 901 FC.
D – Jalen Neal, LA Galaxy II: Jalen Neal recorded the game-winning goal for the Galaxy II in their 2-0 win at Sacramento Republic FC and defensively recorded five clearances, three interceptions, and won 2 of 2 tackles to help the visitors earn a shutout.
D – Leland Archer, Charleston Battery: The Trinidad and Tobago international scored the first two goals of his Championship career in games against the New York Red Bulls II and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC while winning 16 of 20 duels and 7 of 10 aerial duels across the two contests.
M – Sebastian Anderson, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: The 19-year-old recorded a pair of assists and had nine key passes overall while also winning 10 of 16 duels and making five recoveries in the Switchbacks’ 3-1 victory against Austin Bold FC.
M – Leo Fernandes, Tampa Bay Rowdies: Leo Fernandes provided the assists on both of the Rowdies’ goals in a 2-1 victory against Hartford Athletic and ended the night with two shots and four key passes overall while winning 15 of 21 duels and 10 of 13 aerial duels defensively.
M – Diego Luna, El Paso Locomotive FC: The 18-year-old continued his stellar season with one goal on two shots and three key passes in El Paso’s 2-2 draw with Austin Bold FC while completing 36 of 41 passes overall and winning 9 of 15 duels.
M – Billy Forbes, Miami FC: The Turks and Caicos international recorded one goal, two assists, and four key passes while completing 13 of 17 passes overall and winning 2 of 2 tackles in Miami’s 6-1 victory against Loudoun United FC at FIU Stadium.
F – Neco Brett, Birmingham Legion FC: The Jamaican forward recorded three goals and one assist across a pair of Legion FC victories against Atlanta United 2 and the Charlotte Independence while recording eight shots overall and completing 22 of 30 passes.
F – Ariel Martinez, Miami FC: The Cuban forward had one goal and two assists while recording five key passes and completing 3 of 4 dribbles and 23 of 27 passes overall in Miami’s 6-1 victory against Loudoun United FC.
F – Villyan Bijev, OKC Energy FC: Villyan Bijev notched a pair of assists and had six key passes and two shots overall while completing 27 of 37 passes as Energy FC took a crucial 2-0 victory against Indy Eleven on Sunday evening to boost their postseason prospects.
Bench: Jimmy Slayton (SLC), Mandela Egbo (NY), Adrian Diz Pe (RGV), Prosper Kasim (BHM), Dillon Powers (OC), Tumi Moshobane (SD), Sebastian Guenzatti (TBR)