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Week 5 Pro honors announced
Gardner and Alas Players of the Week

USL News Release

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TAMPA, FL – United Soccer Leagues announced the USL First Division and USL Second Division Team of the Week honors Tuesday for Week 5 of the season, honoring Seattle’s Josh Gardner and Real Maryland’s Dennis Alas as the Players of the Week, respectively.

Two-goal outings for Gardner and Alas earn honorsAfter three years with the Los Angeles Galaxy and last season in the shadows of several All-League players on the Sounders, midfielder Josh Gardner may be finally hitting his stride, helping break the team out of a slow start that had just three goals in its first four games to post a draw and a win over the course of the week.

Gardner, who had just one goal and three assists in 27 games last season, posted two goals and an assist to lead the Sounders to a 1-1 draw against Rochester Wednesday and a 4-2 victory over Atlanta Sunday.

Zach Scott headed in a corner kick from Josh Gardner at the 75:20 mark, putting the Sounders on the board for the first time since the 65th minute of their 2-0 victory at Atlanta on May 2. Unfortunately, as the clock clicked to 90 minutes Rhinos defender Scott Palguta picked up a loose ball on a play that started as a corner kick and launched it into the upper right corner past Sounder goalkeeper Chris Eylander for the 1-1 draw.

On Sunday, in a back-and-forth affair against 2007 championship opponent Atlanta, Gardner scored two goals that bounced through traffic into the net.

The Sounders made it 2-1 on an opportunistic play at the 34:05 mark. Josh Gardner, on a quick break downfield, took the ball into the box, shot from about 12 yards straight in front, but was saved by Felipe Quintero. Quintero couldn’t latch onto the ball, however, and it rebounded right back to Gardner, who fired again and watched it bounce in before Quintero could turn around.

Up 3-2, the Sounders got an insurance goal at 69:25. A long ball toward the left corner was crossed into the box. Quintero couldn’t pull it down, and Roger Levesque went up for the header, It was still loose when Gardner found it right at the top of the 6-yard box, shot and watched it bounce in.

The expansion Real Maryland Monarchs are headed to the US Open Cup on the foot of El Salvador international Dennis Alas, who helped rescue the club from a 2-0 deficit against a Cleveland side that had not lost in the regular season in 14 outings – the midpoint of last season – for a 3-2 victory.

Down two in the 29th minute substitute Teodoro Ramirez played the ball into the center for Dennis Alas stationed about 25 yards from goal. The El Salvador international lined up and fired a shot towards the upper right hand corner. City Stars goalkeeper Eric Reed looked like he was in position to make the save, but the ball trickled through his hands and landed just over the goal-line.

Real Maryland was back on level terms seven minutes into the second half. A poor clearance out of the City Stars defense fell to Dennis Alas, who quickly slid the ball into William Brindley. The forward laid the ball off for strike partner Nilson Perez to slam the ball into the roof of the net.

The match ebbed and flowed and both teams created chances, but the defining moment for Real Maryland came three minutes from full time. Brindley flicked a long ball onto Alas at the top corner of the box and the El Salvadorian sweetly struck his first time shot just inside the far post.

The victory, combined with Wilmington's 1-1 draw against Harrisburg clinched a berth in the US Open Cup for the first-year Monarchs.

 
USL First Division Team of the Week
Pos
Name
Team
Highlights
G
Chris McClellan
Carolina
Six saves in 0-0 draw against Minnesota
D
Lyle Martin
Vancouver
Led team to 1-0 win at Miami
D
Scott Palguta
Rochester
Goal in 1-1 draw at Seattle
D
Cameron Knowles
Portland
Led team in 0-0 draw at Miami
D
Avery John
Miami
Lead team in 0-0 draw against Portland
M
Jonathan Steele
Puerto Rico
Led team to 2-2 draw against Portland
M
Josh Gardner
Seattle
Two goals, assist in win and draw
M
Bryan Little
Portland
Assist in 2-2 draw at Puerto Rico
M
Ricardo Sanchez
Minnesota
Led team in 0-0 draw at Carolina
F
Randi Patterson
Charleston
Two goals in pair of 1-0 wins
F
Jason McLaughlin
Atlanta
Two goals, assist in win and loss

USL Second Division Team of the Week
Pos
Name
Team
Highlights
G
Danny Cepero
Harrisburg
15 saves in pair of 1-1 road draws
D
Ibrahim Kante
CP Baltimore
Goal in 1-0 win at Bermuda
D
Steve Shak
Charlotte
Led team in 1-1 draw against Harrisburg
D
Omar Shakir
Bermuda
Led team in 1-0 loss to CP Baltimore
M
Trey Alexander
Wilmington
Goal in 1-1 draw against Harrisburg
M
Dennis Alas
Real Maryland
Two goals in 3-2 win against Cleveland
M
Stanley Nyazamba
Richmond
Goal in 1-0 win at Western Mass
M
Jorge Herrera
Charlotte
Goal in 1-1 draw against Harrisburg
F
Luke Williams
Cleveland
Goal in 3-2 loss at Real Maryland
F
William Brindley
Real Maryland
Two assists in 3-2 win over Cleveland
F
Ryan Heins
Harrisburg
Goal in 1-1 draw at Charlotte

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