The center back flew in to head home a corner kick to score the Club’s first goal of the year in Legion FC’s draw versus Pittsburgh
TAMPA, Fla. – The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week for Week 1 of the 2023 regular season on Tuesday, with Legion FC defender Alex Crognale earning a spot in the team for his performance in Birmingham’s season opening draw versus the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday.
Crognale’s bagged the Black & Gold’s first goal of the 2023 season after by rising highest to meet a Jake Rufe delivery from a corner kick in the 28th minute of the match. Crognale also stood strong in defense, with five duels won, two interceptions, one clearance, and one tackle, while completing 47 of his 56 passes. The goal was Alex’s eighth in his three-plus years in Legion colors.
Head Coach Tommy Soehn was pleased Crognale found the back of the net, saying, “Alex and I had a talk that he should be scoring more goals, and we’ve been working on it and it showed. He got up really well, Jake put in a good ball, and he buried it. I’m really happy for him. Expect more.”
Monterey Bay F.C. forward Alex Dixon voted the Championship Player of the Week presented by Konami eFootball after scoring both the first hat trick of his career, and the first hat trick in MBFC history, in his side’s victory against Hartford Athletic at Cardinale Stadium. Dixon earned 71 percent of the ballot to claim the award. Loudoun United FC’s Zach Ryan finished in second place on 29 percent after recording two goals and one assist as his side took a 3-1 victory on the road against Memphis 901 FC on Saturday evening at AutoZone Park to open the new campaign.
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 1
GK – Yannik Oettl, Indy Eleven: Oettl made a key first-half penalty save – the first of his USL Championship career – to help Indy earn a 1-1 draw on the road against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
D – Amadou Dia, Louisville City FC: Dia recorded one assist and had a stellar game defensively in LouCity’s 3-1 win at Orange County, winning 3 of 3 tackles, 6 of 7 duels and 5 of 6 aerial duels.
D – Lamar Batista, San Antonio FC: The center back recorded a pair of highlight-reel goals in SAFC’s victory against Oakland Roots SC and defensively won 3 of 3 tackles and 6 of 7 aerial duels at Toyota Field.
D – Jackson Kasanzu, San Diego Loyal SC: The 19-year-old center back scored the only goal of the game and was solid in SD Loyal’s back line, winning 2 of 2 tackles and 4 of 6 aerial duels in his side’s 1-0 win against Detroit City FC at Torero Stadium.
D – Alex Crognale, Birmingham Legion FC: Crognale scored the opening goal for Legion FC in its 1-1 draw with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and also completed 47 of 58 passes and won 4 of 4 aerial duels at Protective Stadium.
M – Zach Ryan, Loudoun United FC: Ryan recorded two goals and one assist, having a hand in all three goals as Loudoun claimed a 3-1 victory on the road against Memphis 901 FC at AutoZone Park.
M – Florian Valot, Miami FC: Valot produced a highlight-reel strike to open the scoring in Miami’s 1-1 draw with FC Tulsa and completed 51 of 61 passes, completed 2 of 2 dribbles and won 5 of 8 duels in a strong all-around display.
M – Kalil ElMedkhar, Loudoun United FC: ElMedkhar notched one assist and three chances created while completing two dribbles and making three interceptions and five recoveries in Loudoun’s road victory at Memphis 901 FC.
F – Alex Dixon, Monterey Bay F.C.: Dixon recorded the first hat trick of his career – and the first in Monterey Bay’s history – to lead the side to a 5-3 victory against Hartford Athletic at Cardinale Stadium.
F – Prince Saydee, Hartford Athletic: Saydee bagged a pair of goals, completed 3 of 3 dribbles and won 8 of 8 duels in a losing effort for Hartford on the road against Monterey Bay F.C.
F – Brian Ownby, Louisville City FC: Ownby recorded a pair of assists, making him LouCity’s all-time leader in helpers, and had two shots while winning 3 of 4 duels defensively in his side’s victory at Orange County SC.
Bench: Michael Nelson (TUL), Paco Craig (MIA), Edgardo Rito (OAK), Joe Corona (SD), Robbie Mertz (PIT), PC (SA), Russell Cicerone (SAC)