Saturday, June 2

Lower Division Five Stars - Round 8... plus US Open Cup Rd 3

Five Stars of the Week - Round 8 (ending May 27)

1 – Shaun Saiko – F – FC Edmonton: Gave the club a two goal lead against one of the hottest sides in the league with a goal and an assist against starting keeper Daryl Sattler, who had allowed only one goal in previous five appearances, for a 2-2 draw against the San Antonio Scorpions. 

2 – Chris Agorsor – F – Richmond Kickers: Struck for a pair of goals late against Wilmington Hammerheads in a 3-1 victory.

3 – Mitch Hildebrandt – G – Minnesota Stars:
Made four saves in his rookie debut, posting a shutout on the road as the team rested starters in advance of its US Open Cup contest.

4 – Frankie Sanfilippo – D – Tampa Bay Rowdies: He was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Week for leading the Rowdies to a scoreless draw against the unbeaten defending champion Minnesota Stars, who had scored at least two goals in each of their last five games and had not been shutout since their opening two matches.

5 – Josue Soto – M – San Antonio: The midfielder’s goal from the edge of the box kicked off the team’s rally on the road for a 2-2 draw in Edmonton.

Five Stars for the Season

First Five:

1 – Kristian Nicht – G – Rochester Rhinos: The dominant keeper had the club’s two games off in advance of the US Open Cup contest. He started the season with six clean sheets so you can’t take the guy off the top spot for just giving up one in a draw. At this point, it would still take a run of bad form or a striker with a series of multi-goal games to take the top spot away from him.  Previous: 1

2 – Amani Walker – F – Minnesota Stars: The star striker was given the week off in advance of the US Open Cup match, but moved up with others dropping down the list. The defending champions are the only unbeaten team and Walker is becoming a large part of it. He added a goal and an assist in a big win the previous week, giving him three goals and two helpers in the past six games. Previous: 4

3 – Shaun Saiko – F – FC Edmonton: After two games without a point, the striker moved back into the spotlight with a goal and assist against Daryl Sattler, who was previously number two on the list. The performance in the 2-2 draw gives him five goals and two assists in the last five games. Previous: NR

4 – Andrew Dykstra – G – Charleston Battery: On loan from DC United, the netminder gave up two goals in his debut. Since then he has allowed only one in five games as the Battery remain in the picture as one of the league’s best. He posted three saves in a 1-0 shutout over Los Angeles last week. Previous: NR

5 – Darryl Sattler – G – San Antonio Scorpions: Sattler’s run of near perfection came to an end in Edmonton, allowing two goals in a draw Saturday. The keeper had a dominant start in which he has arguably been a key element in the club’s rise, posting three shutouts and allowing just one goal in the four games. Previous: 2

The Next Five: 6 Walter Restrepo (M, Fort Lauderdale), 7 Richard Martin (G, Puerto Rico), 8 Jose Cuevas (M, Charleston), 9 Dan Antoniuk (F, Tampa Bay), 10 Yann Ekra (F, Harrisburg)

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7  

About Five Stars:
WEEK: The top five professional lower division performers in the North American Soccer League and USL Pro.
SEASON: The top five professional lower division performers cumulatively for the year in the NASL and USL Pro. The list is updated weekly.

BONUS: Five Stars of the US Open Cup

Second Round

1 – Daniel Holowaty – Dayton Dutch Lions (USL Pro) – After the Columbus Crew of MLS took the lead in the 64th on a PK, he set up back-to-back goals two minutes apart with crosses in the 79th and 81st minutes to give Dayton, winless in league play, the stunning 2-1 victory.

2 – Ty Shipalane – Carolina Railhawks (NASL) He tallied a goal and an assist off the bench to rally the RailHawks, winless in league play, past the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS in the final 15 minutes for a 2-1 victory.

3 – Brian Kallman – Minnesota Stars (NASL) – The defender set up two goals, finding Kevin Venegas three minutes in for the opener and connecting with Simone Bracalello in the 58th for an insurance tally in the surprising 3-1 road win against Real Salt Lake, one of MLS’ top clubs, in front of over 17,000 fans.

4 – Artur Aghasyan – Cal FC (USASA) – The Armenian striker became the first player representing the USASA to ever score in a match against an MLS team, giving his side a historic first-ever USASA win (without penalty kick tiebreaker) against MLS.

5 – Soony Saad – Sporting Kansas City (MLS) – After KC and Orlando City exchanged goals on either side of the half, Saad took over with back-to-back goals three minutes apart in the 65th and 68th to give his club, losers at home last year to USL Pro Richmond Kickers, the 3-2 victory against the unbeaten defending USL Pro champions.


1 – Danny Barrera – Cal FC (USASA) – Two goals in the opening game upset on the road against defending PDL champion Kitsap and two more in another road upset on the opposite coast in a stunning 4-0 win over USL Pro Wilmington. He made a fantastic assist on the winning goal in the 1-0 upset win over Portland in the Third Round.

2 – Brian Shriver – Carolina RailHawks (NASL) – Four goals against a weak opponent put him in a tie for the tournament lead in scoring in the Second Round. He added a fifth to claim that lead alone as the division two side upset the reigning MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy, 2-1, in the Third Round. 

3 – Artur Aghasyan – Cal FC (USASA) – The Armenian striker has scored in all three Open Cup contests thus far, including the shocking overtime game-winner against the Portland Timbers for the 1-0 win.

4 – Daniel Holowaty – Dayton Dutch Lions (USL Pro) – The striker has seen only 84 minutes for the winless USL Pro side, but has been Mr. Clutch in the Open Cup. In the Second Round he scored in stoppage time, moments after the PDL Chicago Fire had equalized, to give Dayton a 2-1 victory. In the Third Round he set up two goals in three minutes to rally the Dutch Lions past Columbus Crew in a state derby.

5 – Brian Kallman – Minnesota Stars (NASL) – The defender added to a Second Round shutout performance with a pair of assists in the 3-1 upset of Real Salt Lake.

The Next Five:
6 Ty Shipalane (Carolina RailHawks), 7 Soony Saad (Sporting KC), 8 Nate Thornton (Charlotte Eagles), 9 Francisco Lopez (Ventura County Fusion), 10 Sam Garza (San Jose Earthquakes)


First Round | Second Round

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