TAMPA, Fla. – Phoenix Rising FC forward Chris Cortez has been voted the USL Player of the Week for Week 2 of the 2018 season. Cortez scored the first hat trick in Rising FC history, and also notched an assist, to lead the side to a 4-1 victory against OKC Energy FC this past Saturday at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex to earn the honor.
Cortez received 72 percent of the poll conducted by a national panel of independent media representing every USL market. ATL UTD 2 midfielder Jon Gallagher finished second with 12 percent, while Swope Park Rangers forward Kharlton Belmar and San Antonio FC midfielder Mikey Lopez finished tied for third.
GK – J.T. Marcinkowski, Reno 1868 FC: Marcinkowski recorded four saves, including an excellent stoppage-time stop that preserved a point in a 1-1 draw with Las Vegas Lights FC.
D – Alex Cooper, Fresno FC: Cooper scored the game-tying goal in the Foxes’ 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy II, and completed 58 of 67 passes while notching three tackles and interceptions apiece.
D – Mitchell Taintor, Sacramento Republic FC: Taintor notched four clearances and three interceptions as Sacramento recorded a road shutout in its victory against Orange County SC.
D – Jarad van Schaik, Charleston Battery: Van Schaik notched four tackles and four interceptions as the Battery held Penn FC to only three shots in a 1-0 victory at MUSC Health Stadium.
M – Maikel Chang, Real Monarchs SLC: Chang recorded two assists on his debut for the Monarchs, including on Chandler Hoffman’s late goal that sparked a 3-2 comeback victory in Tulsa.
M – John Gallagher, ATL UTD 2: Gallagher scored twice to lead his side to victory in its inaugural USL outing, a 3-1 victory against the New York Red Bulls II.
M – Mikey Lopez, San Antonio FC: Lopez had a goal and assist to lead San Antonio to a comeback 2-1 victory against Saint Louis FC.
M – Leo Fernandes, Tampa Bay Rowdies: Fernandes scored once, had two key passes and finished with five shots on goal in Tampa Bay’s 2-0 victory against Bethlehem Steel FC.
F – Caleb Calvert, Charlotte Independence: Calvert notched a goal and assist to lead the Independence to their second consecutive win to start the season, a 2-0 win against Toronto.
F – Kharlton Belmar, Swope Park Rangers: Belmar continued his hot start to the second with another two-goal performance as the Rangers took a 4-2 win against Seattle Sounders FC 2.
F – Chris Cortez, Phoenix Rising FC: Cortez scored the first hat trick in Rising FC’s history and added an assist as Phoenix took a 4-1 victory against OKC Energy FC.
Bench: Jeff Attinella (POR), Sam Vines (CLT), Yosef Samuel (ATL), Jack McInerney (IND), David Estrada (SEA), Kris Tyrpak (SA), Joaquin Rivas (TUL)