Pittsburgh’s Kassel Named USL PRO Player of the Week

Had two goals and an assist as Riverhounds defeated Barracuda

Pittsburgh Riverhounds midfielder Matt Kassel

Pittsburgh Riverhounds midfielder Matt Kassel

TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO announced its Team of the Week for week 17 of the 2012 season today, honoring Pittsburgh Riverhounds midfielder Matt Kassel as Player of the Week after he scored twice and added an assist in the Riverhounds’ 4-1 victory against Antigua Barracuda FC.


Kassel’s consistent performances have been a bright spot for the Riverhounds this season, with the former New York Red Bulls player sitting in a tie for eighth place in the league with 14 points ahead of their contest tonight with the Los Angeles Blues.


On Friday night, Kassel opened the scoring early, striking in the fifth minute against the Barracudas. He then set up Jeremy Deighton for his first goal of the season before capping his performance with a second goal with 15 minutes to go. Kassel now leads the Riverhounds with six goals this season, sitting seventh overall in USL PRO.


The league’s new leading scorer Dennis Chin of Orlando City, and his teammate Matt Luzunaris, were both selected to the Team of the Week as they each scored twice to help the Lions clinch the USL PRO Regular Season Title last week. Chin, who now has 10 goals this season, capped the Lions’ victory against Charleston on Friday night with a pair of goals, but it is Luzunaris who has been a major focal point as the Lions have reeled off five wins in their past six games. The Margate, Fla. native has scored in each of the club’s past five games, moving him a goal behind Chin in the race for the league’s Golden Boot.


Luzunaris’ goal on Wednesday night earned his side a point against the Wilmington Hammerheads. Midfield selection Bryce Taylor was the reason the Lions trailed at home, making a remarkable run and finish to earn his berth on the team. Also joining Taylor and Kassel were Harrisburg’s Morgan Langley, who had a goal and assist in his side’s victory against Los Angeles, and Danny Earls, who ran the midfield beautifully as the Rhinos solidified their hold on second place with a 1-0 win against the Blues.


William Yomby earned his third consecutive selection to the Team of the Week after his two-goal performance earned the Richmond Kickers a split of their home-and-home series with Charlotte. The Eagles saw Eric Reed and Mark Bloom named to the team after Reed had a four-save shutout and Bloom had the game-winning assist on Friday night to win the opening game of the two and keep the Eagles on the Kickers’ heels for the final playoff berth.


Rounding out the team were Dayton defender Mettin Copier, who had a goal and an assist as the Dutch Lions defeated Antigua, and Rochester’s George Kyriazis, who helped the Rhinos earn their second shutout in as many games since his return from injury against Los Angeles.



USL PRO Team of the Week

Pos Player  Team Highlights
GK Eric Reed Charlotte Four-save shutout helped Eagles defeat Kickers on Friday
D George Kyriazis Rochester Strong performance as Rhinos shut out Blues in 1-0 win
D William Yomby Richmond Scored twice to lead Kickers past Eagles on Saturday
D Mark Bloom Charlotte Game-winning assist allowed Eagles to stay in playoff hunt
D Mettin Copier Dayton Had a goal and assist in Dutch Lions’ win against Antigua
M Danny Earls Rochester Good possession and distribution in win against Los Angeles
M Matt Kassel Pittsburgh Two goals and assist led Riverhounds to victory
M Morgan Langley Harrisburg Had a goal and assist as City Islanders defeated Blues
M Bryce Taylor Wilmington Outstanding run and finish earned side point in Orlando
F Dennis Chin Orlando Scored twice to take league-lead in goals with 10
F Matt Luzunaris Orlando Pair of goals extended scoring streak to five games


Honorable MentionAntigua – Quinton Griffith; Dayton: Daniel Holowaty; Harrisburg: Lucky Mkosana, Greg Jordan; Orlando: George Davis IV; Pittsburgh: Mike Seth, Jeremy Deighton; Richmond: Stanley Nyazamba, Matt Delicate; Rochester: Tam McManus, Chris Estridge; Wilmington: Alex Horwath, Yahaya Musa.


USL PRO is the strongest, best operated and most experienced North American men’s professional soccer league below MLS, both on and off the field. Focused on franchise stability and longevity, USL PRO features 11 teams in 2012 and an unprecedented six teams with more than a decade of operational experience. The league is focused on aggressive but deliberate growth by adding teams fully capable of meeting USL and USSF standards, which are located in markets that further promote regional league play. In addition to league play, USL PRO teams will compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various domestic and international exhibitions. USL PRO is affiliated with the USSF.