TAMPA, Fla. – New York Red Bulls II defender JC Cortez was named as part of the bench of the Week 20 USL Championship Team of the Week, the league announced today.
Cortez started both matches that New York played during the week and played the full 90 minutes in the team’s 2-0 victory against Hartford Athletic on Saturday, September 4. He was part of the backline that held Hartford to zero shots on target, leading to the club’s first clean sheet of 2021.
“Being a part of the 18 is a great feeling. Moving up to USL this season has been a big jump and I think breaking into this has been a really big achievement for me, but I don’t think I would have been able to do it without the team,” Cortez said. “The performance we had on Saturday against Hartford was kind of set up for me to do well and I can’t really begin to thank them enough for their help to help me reach this new goal of mine.”
The New York Red Bulls Academy product has started the last four games for NYRB II and has appeared in nine contests during the 2021 season.
USL Championship Team of the Week – Week 20
GK – CJ Cochran, OKC Energy FC: CJ Cochran recorded 13 saves across two outings, including a seven-save shutout on Wednesday night against Memphis 901 FC that helped his side to a 1-0 victory despite being reduced to 10 men for more than an hour of action.
D – Isaiah LeFlore, Sporting Kansas City II: The 18-year-old had a pair of assists in SKC II’s 3-0 victory against OKC Energy FC on Saturday evening and across two games completed 109 of 124 passes, recorded three key passes and recorded five interceptions and 16 recoveries.
D – Joey Farrell, Phoenix Rising FC: Joey Farrell impressed throughout Rising FC’s 3-1 victory at Tacoma Defiance, winning 11 of 13 duels and 5 of 6 tackles while recording four interceptions and nine recoveries for the Pacific Division leaders.
D – Jelani Peters, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: The Trinidad and Tobago international scored the only goal as the Hounds took a 1-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls II on Wednesday, and over two games recorded seven interceptions, won 8 of 9 tackles and 18 of 24 duels and made 10 clearances.
M – Josh Suggs, New Mexico United: New Mexico’s captain recorded a goal and assist in his side’s 3-2 victory against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday night while completing 28 of 32 passes overall and making three interceptions and three recoveries defensively.
M – Laurence Wyke, Tampa Bay Rowdies: Laurence Wyke notched a pair of assists in the Rowdies’ 3-0 victory against Oakland Roots SC on Friday night and had four key passes overall while completing 39 of 48 passes and winning 3 of 3 tackles in the center of midfield.
M – Bolu Akinyode, Miami FC: The Nigerian defensive midfielder put in work on Saturday night in his side’s 2-2 draw with the Charlotte Independence, winning 11 of 13 duels and 8 of 9 tackles and recording 16 recoveries defensively while also completing 57 of 63 passes.
M – Marcus Epps, San Antonio FC: Marcus Epps recorded a goal and assist across two games for San Antonio while also winning 18 duels, 3 of 3 tackles and 11 recoveries defensively as SAFC took four points to continue its recent undefeated streak.
F – Corey Hertzog, San Diego Loyal SC: The veteran forward scored twice in SD Loyal’s 4-2 victory against the LA Galaxy II on Sunday to move level with Jorge Herrera for second all-time in the Championship on 72 regular-season goals for his career, while also completing 22 of 36 passes and winning 4 of 6 duels.
F – Darren Mattocks, Phoenix Rising FC: The Jamaican forward scored his first two goals in Rising FC colors in his first start for the club on Sunday afternoon, and also completed 11 of 17 passes as Phoenix handed Tacoma Defiance its first home defeat of the season at Cheney Stadium.
F – Preston Judd, LA Galaxy II: Preston Judd scored a pair of goals and drew a penalty kick as Los Dos rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a 3-3 draw with Sacramento Republic FC on Wednesday night while also winning 8 of 11 duels and recording four shots overall.
Bench: Ben Lundgaard (ATL), Matt Sheldon (TUL), John Cortez (NY), Jose Gallegos (SA), Luis Felipe Fernandes (SAC), Eric Calvillo (OC), Sebastian Guenzatti (TBR)