TAMPA, Fla. – The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week Presented by Cleer Audio for Week 21 of the 2021 regular season on Tuesday, with Tampa Bay Rowdies midfielder Yann Ekra voted Player of the Week after recording two goals and two assists in his side’s 6-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls II on Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium.
One of only 10 players to have surpassed 200 regular-season appearances in the USL Championship’s history, Ekra has been a consistent figure in the league’s history and has been part of the defending Eastern Conference Title-holders lineup since arriving in 2019. On Saturday his two goals and two assists marked a career night maybe only surpassed by his lone hat trick during his first season in the league for the Harrisburg City Islanders in 2012, as he helped the Rowdies extend their current winning streak to five games to sit on top of the Atlantic Division standings.
Ekra earned 43 percent of the ballot to claim the award. The Charlotte Independence’s Irvin Parra and Miami FC’s Connor Sparrow finished tied for second on 21 percent, with Parra notching two goals and one assist in his side’s two victories over the week and Sparrow recording a nine-save shutout in Miami’s 2-0 road victory against Memphis 901 FC.
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.
GK – Connor Sparrow, Miami FC: Connor Sparrow recorded a nine-save shutout, including eight saves coming on shots from inside the penalty area, and also notched three punched clearances as Miami FC took a 2-0 victory on the road against Memphis 901 FC.
D – Hugh Roberts, Charlotte Independence: Hugh Roberts helped lead the Independence to a pair of shutout victories over the week, recording a goal and assist in the side’s win against Loudoun United FC while winning 3 of 3 aerials and 2 of 2 tackles and making eight clearances over two games.
D – Fabien Garcia, Austin Bold FC: The French defender scored the decisive goal in Austin’s 2-1 win against San Antonio FC and over two victories won 4 of 5 tackles while making 14 recoveries and four interceptions as Austin moved into the playoff positions in the Mountain Division.
D – Elijah Martin, San Diego Loyal SC: Elijah Martin had a good two-way performance as San Diego earned a shutout on the road in Oakland, recording two key passes and winning 9 of 12 duels while making six recoveries and three interceptions.
M – Yann Ekra, Tampa Bay Rowdies: The Côte d’Ivoire native recorded two goals and two assists, recorded six key passes and completed 29 of 34 passes overall to lead the Tampa Bay Rowdies in a 6-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls II.
M – Kenardo Forbes, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Kenardo Forbes had a standout two-way performance with two goals and two key passes while also winning 5 of 5 tackles, recording 12 recoveries and winning 7 of 8 duels in Pittsburgh’s 5-0 win against Loudoun United FC.
M – Sylvain Marveaux, Charlotte Independence: Sylvain Marveaux scored both goals as the Independence took a 2-0 victory against Hartford Athletic on Saturday night while completing 29 of 32 passes and winning 3 of 3 duels in midfield.
M – Aodhan Quinn, Phoenix Rising FC: Aodhan Quinn recorded a goal and assist and seven key passes overall in Phoenix’s 4-3 victory against the LA Galaxy II on Saturday night, and in turn became only the third player in Championship history to reach both 35 regular-season goals and assists in the league’s history.
F – Irvin Parra, Charlotte Independence: Irvin Parra led the Independence to a pair of victories over the week, including defeating playoff rival Hartford Athletic on Saturday night, scoring twice and recording one assist while notching four key passes.
F – Sebastian Guenzatti, Tampa Bay Rowdies: The Rowdies’ captain joined teammate Yann Ekra in recording two goals and two assists in the side’s 6-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls II and also had three key passes while completing 15 of 20 passes overall.
F – Christiano Francois, Miami FC: The Haiti international scored both goals as Miami took victory against Memphis 901 FC at AutoZone Park and completed 2 of 2 dribbles and 14 of 22 passes as the side kept pace with its rivals at the top of the Atlantic Division.
Bench: Austin Pack (CLT), Rob Kiernan (OC), Matt Mahoney (COS), Brian Ownby (LOU), Leo Fernandes (TBR), Jose Francisco Torres (COS), Johnny Rodriguez (OAK)