Lapa scored first hat trick in Legion FC history to claim the award – Defender Jonny Dean also earns spots on USLC Team of the Week
TAMPA, Fla. – The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week for Week 21 of the 2022 regular season on Tuesday, with Birmingham Legion FC midfielder Bruno Lapa voted the Championship Player of the Week presented by Konami eFootball after recording the first hat trick in Legion FC’s history during its 6-1 victory last Wednesday night against Loudoun United FC at Protective Stadium.
Now in his third season with Birmingham, the 2020 Championship All-League selection made Legion FC history as it continued its rise up the Eastern Conference standings. The Brazilian opened the scoring in the 22nd minute as he received possession centrally in midfield before driving forward and picking out the bottom-left corner of the net and added a second two minutes before halftime as he shielded off a defender inside the right half of the penalty area to receive a pass and shot low in the left corner. Lapa completed his hat trick four minutes into the second half, calmly finishing from the penalty spot as he became the sixth player in the league to notch a hat trick this season.
Lapa’s stellar performance, where he attempted more shots in a single game than any Legion player this season (nine), brought him to third on the team in goals (four). In last week’s matches against Loudoun United and Hartford Athletic, the Black and Gold’s #8 also led his side in touches in the opposing box (15), combined expected goals (2.11), shots on target (seven), and had an 89% passing accuracy.
Defender Jonny Dean joins Lapa in this week’s honor roll, making his third appearance in the USL Championship Team of the Week this season. “Hotlinks” had six chances created and one assist in his matches against Loudoun and Hartford, while also adding five dribbles, 18 duels, six tackles, six clearances, and 155 touches. The fan-favorite, known for never running out of gas, leads the team in minutes played this season at 1,980, is second in the squad in clearances (41) and tackles (41), and has registered three assists and 31 chances created this season.
Lapa earned 71 percent of the ballot to claim the award. Orange County SC’s Milan Iloski finished second on 18 percent after he recorded another two-goal performance on Saturday night against San Diego Loyal SC to move into the lead in the Championship’s Golden Boot race.
The Championship’s Player of the Week is selected by the USL National Media Panel, which is made up of representatives from each media market in the Championship.
USL Championship Team of the Week – Week 21
GK – Ben Lundt, Phoenix Rising FC: The German shot-stopper continued his shutout streak with another pair of clean sheets against Oakland Roots SC on Wednesday night and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC while recording 10 saves across the two contests.
D – Jonathan Dean, Birmingham Legion FC: Dean delivered a strong pair of performances as Legion FC took six points from the week, recording one assist and six chances created overall while completing 93 of 108 passes and winning 12 of 18 duels in victories against Loudoun United FC and Hartford Athletic.
D – Jordan Scarlett, Tampa Bay Rowdies: Scarlett scored his first goal of the season to help the Rowdies to a 3-1 victory on the road against Indy Eleven and was also solid defensively, winning 2 of 2 tackles and making eight recoveries while completing 49 of 60 passes.
D – Morey Doner, Monterey Bay F.C.: The Canadian helped Monterey Bay continue its undefeated streak as he recorded five chances created and completed 43 of 47 passes overall while winning 4 of 6 duels and 2 of 2 aerial duels in the side’s 1-0 win on the road at Loudoun United FC.
M – Aodhan Quinn, Phoenix Rising FC: Quinn notched a goal and assist and recorded three shots and seven chances created while completing 26 of 31 passes and making seven recoveries in Phoenix’s 4-0 win against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.
M – Bruno Lapa, Birmingham Legion FC: Lapa recorded the first hat trick in Legion FC’s history in the club’s 6-1 victory against Loudoun United FC on Wednesday night at Protective Stadium and ended the night with nine shots while completing 53 of 59 passes overall.
M – Emil Cuello, Sacramento Republic FC: Cuello recorded a goal and assist, recorded three shots and three chances created, and completed 16 of 19 passes as Sacramento earned a 4-2 victory against the Charleston Battery on Saturday night.
M – Kevon Lambert, Phoenix Rising FC: The Jamaican international put in stellar midfield display in Rising FC’s 4-0 victory against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, recording one assist and two key passes while winning 10 of 14 duels, recording four interceptions and 12 recoveries, and completing 39 of 47 passes.
F – Milan Iloski, Orange County SC: The Golden Boot leader notched another pair of goals and had five shots and two chances created overall as Orange County fell 3-2 to San Diego Loyal SC on Saturday night.
F – Steevan Dos Santos, Tampa Bay Rowdies: The Cape Verde veteran scored the Rowdies’ opening goal in a 3-1 comeback victory against Indy Eleven and notched four shots overall while winning 6 of 10 duels and 4 of 6 aerial duels in leading the attacking line.
F – Neco Brett, New Mexico United: Brett scored the opening goal in New Mexico’s 2-1 victory against the New York Red Bulls II and had two shots while defensively he won 4 of 7 duels and made six recoveries to help his side to victory.
Bench: Yannik Oettl (HFD), Grant Robinson (MB), Mitchell Taintor (SA), Will Seymore (NM), Charlie Adams (SD), Luther Archimede (SAC), Albert Dikwa (PIT)
Legion FC’s next match is this Saturday, August 6th at Protective Stadium against Southeastern rivals Atlanta United 2. Fans can get tickets here!
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