Blues’ Miranda, Griffin Named to Team of the Week

TAMPAFla. – USL PRO has announced its 19th Team of the Week, honoring Charleston Battery midfielder Tony Donatelli as Player of the Week after he had two goals and an assist in his side’s victory over the Rochester Rhinos on Saturday night. Donatelli is joined in the best eleven by the Blues’ Max Griffin and José Miranda, who were honored for their standout performances in the pair of meetings with visiting Antigua. Teammate Bryan Burke received honorable mention.

Forward Griffin earned a spot for the second consecutive week after scoring in both contests against the Barracudas. While his goal on Saturday night proved the difference in a 1-0 affair, the win was preserved by teammate José Miranda, who was recognized as best goalkeeper for a shutout that included a spectacular save on a second-half penalty kick to keep his side in the playoff hunt.

Returning to Sahlen’s Stadium for the first time since departing from the Rhinos at the end of the 2011 season, Donatelli put in an outstanding performance to snap the Battery’s five-game winless streak and keep them in contention for a bye to the postseason semifinals.

The midfielder opened the scoring in the 18th minute, as he picked up possession near the top of the box and curled a shot into the left corner of the net. He would strike again at the half-hour mark, heading home Jose Cuevas’ cross from the right, followed by an assist late in the game that Dane Kelly buried for his fifth of the campaign. With the performance, Donatelli doubled his points total for 2012 and moved into double digits.

The 28-year-old is joined on the Team of the Week by a trio of midfielders who each had a goal and an assist to lead their teams to victory. Richmond’s Stanley Nyazamba led the Kickers to a 2-1 win over Harrisburg on Saturday night, opening the scoring in the first half and then providing the assist for William Yomby’s 78th minute game-winner. Defender Yomby, whose tally saw him rebound from an earlier own-goal, was himself selected to the best eleven.

Harrisburg’s Tom Mellor also had a goal and an assist in his side’s 3-0 win over the Charleston Battery on Wednesday, August 8, curling home a beautiful free-kick for the City Islanders’ second tally of the match. Meanwhile, Antigua’s Orlando Mitchum keyed his side’s 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Blues on Thursday, tying the game before setting up Kerry Skepple’s late winner.

Charlotte’s Chris Salvaggione played a central role in the Eagles’ continued push for the playoffs, as he scored in each of the team’s weekend games againstPittsburgh and Dayton. Salvaggione’s strike on Saturday night kicked off a rally for Charlotte that was completed by fellow Team of the Week honoree Josh Rife, whose late goal saw his side grab a 2-2 draw at Dayton.

USL PRO Team of the Week

Pos Player Team Highlights
GK José Miranda Blues Penalty save keyed shutout as Blues stayed alive in playoff race
D Greg Jordan Harrisburg Poised performance helped City Islanders shut out Battery
D William Yomby Richmond Rebounded from early own goal to score game-winner vs. Harrisburg
D Josh Rife Charlotte Had the game-tying goal as Eagles took a point in Dayton
M Orlando Mitchum Antigua Goal and assist led Barracudas to first win since July 1
M Stanley Nyazamba Richmond Had a goal and assist and was driving force in Kickers’ victory
M Tony Donatelli Rochester Two goals and assist led Battery to victory against former team
M Chris Salvaggione Charlotte Had a goal in each game as Eagles took four points from road trip
M Tom Mellor Harrisburg Goal and assist led City Islanders to win against Battery
F Eli Garner Dayton Had opening goal, and could have had more, against Charlotte
F Max Griffin Los Angeles Continued run of form with goal in each game against Antigua

Honorable Mention: – Antigua: Kerry Skepple, Tamarley Thomas; Charleston: Jose Cuevas, Ryan Richter; Charlotte: Nate Thornton, Juan Guzman; Harrisburg: Lucky Mkosana, Nick Noble; Blues: Bryan Burke; Richmond: Chris Agorsor, Ronnie Pascale.

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