Rookie defender Graham Smith was named to the USL Team of the Week today after leading the Swope Park Rangers to a 1-0 victory over Fresno FC on Sunday at Children’s Mercy Park.
Smith, a 22-year-old center back on loan from Sporting KC, delivered a resolute performance to help the Rangers to their fourth consecutive win and lift the side into fifth place in the USL’s Western Conference. The University of Denver product totaled six clearances, four interceptions, won seven of nine duels and completed 59 of 65 passes in his 20th USL appearance of 2018.
Led by head coach Paulo Nagamura, the Rangers (13-9-7, 46 points) will continue their five-game homestand at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday when they host rivals Saint Louis FC (11-8-9, 42 points) in a pivotal Western Conference clash at 4 p.m. CT. The game will stream live on ESPN+ and tickets are available via SeatGeek.com or at the stadium’s east box office on matchday.
USL Team of the Week (Week 26)
GK – Justin Vom Steeg, LA Galaxy II: Vom Steeg recorded eight saves, including a 90th-minute penalty kick denial, to lead the Galaxy II to a 2-1 victory on the road against Las Vegas Lights FC on Saturday night.
D – Carl Haworth, Ottawa Fury FC: Slotting into the back line instead of his usual more attacking role, Haworth recorded seven clearances, four interceptions and provided the assist on Adonijah Reid’s game-winner in Fury FC’s 4-3 win against Toronto FC II.
D – Cyprian Hedrick, San Antonio FC: Hedrick scored his first professional goal in his 132nd USL appearance, while also recording eight clearances and three interceptions over SAFC’s two victories on the week.
D – Graham Smith, Swope Park Rangers: Smith won seven of nine duels and recorded six clearances, four interceptions and one tackle as the Rangers earned a 1-0 victory against Fresno FC on Sunday evening.
M – Kenardo Forbes, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Forbes scored what proved to be the game-winning goal, had five key passes and completed 55 of 66 passes overall in the club’s victory against Bethlehem Steel FC on Friday night.
M – Aodhan Quinn, Orange County SC: Quinn recorded the game-winning goal and his 11th assist of the season as Orange County staged a dramatic comeback to defeat OKC Energy FC 3-2 on Saturday night.
M – Lance Laing, San Antonio FC: Laing recorded a goal and assist in both of SAFC’s victories against Real Monarchs SLC and Phoenix Rising FC over the week to continue his sparkling form.
M – Marvin Loria, Portland Timbers 2: Loria had a goal and assist, recorded five key passes and completed 29 of 31 passes overall to lead T2 to a 4-0 victory against Tulsa Roughnecks FC.
F – Jesus Ferreira, Tulsa Roughnecks FC: The 17-year-old Ferreira scored his first professional hat trick as the Roughnecks played to a 4-4 draw with Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Wednesday night.
F – Eugene Starikov, Indy Eleven: Starikov scored the first two goals as Indy took a 3-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls II last Wednesday night to extend the club’s undefeated streak to nine games.
F – Christian Eissele, Sacramento Republic FC: Eissele came off the bench in the first half and helped Republic FC put a 3-0 victory against Seattle Sounders FC 2 away with a pair of second-half goals for the hosts.
Bench: J.T. Marcinkowski (RNO), Jon Gallagher (ATL), Kyle Greig (STL), Patrick Okonkwo (CHS), Solomon Asante (PHX), Brandon Allen (NSH), Todd Wharton (RGV)