Brace against Louisville Helps Brazilian Striker Earn Week 26 Award, Third Team of the Week Placement in 2022
The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week for Week 26 of the 2022 regular season on Tuesday, with Indy Eleven forward Stefano Pinho voted the Championship Player of the Week presented by Konami eFootball.
The Brazilian striker became the second Indy Eleven player to earn the weekly accolade in 2022, following fellow forward Manuel Arteaga’s Week 13 honoring, thanks to his pair of goals in last Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Louisville City FC that gave Indy the season series between the archrivals for a second straight year. This also marks Pinho’s club-high third Team of the Week placement this season, following recognitions from Weeks 5 & 7 back in April.
Pinho entered last week’s rivalry row against LouCity as the team’s leading scorer on seven tallies, but also with a nearly three-month scoreless streak in tow dating back to early June. That changed when he led the Eleven’s rally from an early deficit with an equalizer in the 28th minute, as he stole in to clip a finish past Louisville goalkeeper Kyle Morton and head home from close range before a covering defender could clear. Pinho then converted from the penalty spot with 12 minutes remaining, shooting low to the left corner to earn Indy all three points for the second time against a USL Championship conference leader in five days’ time.
Pinho’s brace put him on nine goals in his debut season with the Eleven, lifting him back into the Eastern Conference’s top ten chart in scoring (tied for 9th place) during a renaissance year for the veteran striker. He is also among eight different Boys in Blue who have been recognized with Team of the Week placements on a combined 11 occasions across 2022:
FW Manuel Arteaga – Week 13 (Player of the Week) & Week 15 (bench)
FW Solomon Asante – Week 14 (bench)
DF Robby Dambrot – Week 25 (bench)
DF Mechack Jerome – Week 5 (bench)
MF Nicky Law – Week 6
GK Elliot Panicco – Week 3
FW Stefano Pinho – Week 5 (bench), Week 7 & Week 26 (Player of the Week)
GK Tim Trilk – Week 25 (bench)
Pinho earned 41 percent of the ballot to claim the award, followed by Monterey Bay F.C. midfielder Sam Gleadle on 29 percent. 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 26
GK – Luis Zamudio, Loudoun United FC: Zamudio recorded a nine-save shutout in Loudoun’s 1-0 victory on the road against Memphis 901 FC last Wednesday night, the most saves in a shutout so far this Championship season.
D – Amadou Dia, Louisville City FC: The full back recorded a pair of assists across two outings against Indy Eleven and Sacramento Republic FC and had a big week overall, winning 12 of 14 duels, 3 of 4 tackles and completing 68 of 85 passes as LouCity clinched a playoff berth on Saturday night.
D – Morey Doner, Monterey Bay F.C.: The Canadian notched one assist and two chances created in Monterey Bay’s 3-1 victory against San Diego Loyal SC while making 10 recoveries, two tackles and winning 7 of 13 duels defensively.
D – Jordan Scarlett, Tampa Bay Rowdies: Scarlett scored the opening goal in the Rowdies’ victory against Las Vegas Lights FC, completed 39 of 40 passes and won 3 of 3 duels at Al Lang Stadium.
M – Romario Piggott, Charleston Battery: The Panamanian had a goal and assist in the Battery’s 3-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls II on Saturday night and notched four chances created while winning 4 of 5 duels and 2 of 2 tackles defensively.
M – Leo Fernandes, Tampa Bay Rowdies: Fernandes had a pair of goals and one assist to lead the Rowdies to a 6-1 victory against Las Vegas Lights FC on Saturday night while also completing 52 of 60 passes and recording five chances created for the hosts at Al Lang Stadium.
M – Sam Gleadle, Monterey Bay F.C.: Gleadle recorded a pair of goals on three shots and had two chances created while completing 24 of 33 passes and making six recoveries as Monterey Bay kept its postseason chances alive with a 3-1 victory against San Diego Loyal SC.
M – Cam Lindley, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: Lindley completed 6 of 8 crosses on the way to recording 10 chances created in Colorado Springs’ 1-0 victory against Phoenix Rising FC, while also completing 59 of 71 passes and making nine recoveries at Weidner Field on Saturday night.
F – Samuel Adeniran, San Antonio FC: Adeniran scored both goals in San Antonio’s victory on the road against Oakland Roots SC and had eight shots overall, two chances created and completed 5 of 8 dribbles at Laney Stadium.
F – Stefano Pinho, Indy Eleven: The Brazilian forward scored both goals as Indy took a 2-1 victory against Louisville City FC in the LIPAFC on Wednesday night, recording five shots overall while hitting the woodwork once and winning 5 of 10 aerial duels.
F – Jackson Conway, Atlanta United 2: Conway scored both goals as Atlanta took a 2-1 victory against FC Tulsa while ending the night with six shots overall and winning 4 of 5 duels as he moved to a single-season club record with 10 goals overall on the campaign.
Bench: Vicente Reyes (ATL), Sean Totsch (LOU), Lewis Hilton (TBR), Kenardo Forbes (PIT), Luis Seijas (PHX), Jonathan Filipe (NY), Luis Solignac (ELP)