Sports stats

 Tampa Bay Rowdies

Forrest Lasso Named Player of the Week, Four More Rowdies Earn Team of the Week Honors

May 21, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Tampa Bay Rowdies News Release

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla - On Tuesday, the USL Championship revealed the Team of the Week for Week 11 of the 2024 regular season, with Rowdies defender Forrest earning Player of the Week honors after notching the first two-goal match of his career in Tampa Bay's 5-0 win over FC Tulsa.

Lasso has plenty of company on the Team of the Week. Teammates Manuel Arteaga, Cal Jennings, and Charlie all earned spots on the Team of the Week, with Rowdies Head Coach Robbie also being named Coach of the Week.

At 6-foot-3, Lasso is always a looming threat of set pieces around the box. The 31-year-old proved that not once but twice on Saturday against Tulsa. Five minutes before the halftime break, Lasso lunged at a corner kick flicked on from the near post by Jennings and powered the ball into the back of the net with his head. Lasso closed out the five-goal result for Tampa Bay in the second half with another headed effort, this time getting his noggin on the end of a well-struck corner kick from midfielder Lewis Hilton.

A three-time Defender of the Year winner, Lasso has now notched 19 goals and seven assists during his USL Championship career.

"Forrest has been great," said Rowdies Head Coach Robbie Neilson following Saturday's game. "We did quite a bit of work during the week on set pieces. [Assistant Coach] Nicky Law does work on the attacking side of things and [Assistant Coach] Stuart Dobson does the work on the defensive side. ... Attacking wise, it's important that we don't solely rely on Manu [Manuel Arteaga] and Cal [Jennings]. We have to get goals from elsewhere."

Arteaga and Jennings were once again a deadly combo up top against Tulsa. Jennings recorded his seventh goal of the season, his first assist of the year, and also won the penalty that led to Arteaga's second goal of the night. Arteaga now leads with eight goals on the season after his brace against Tulsa, including a magnificent header to open the scoring in the 12th minute.

Meanwhile, Dennis looked right at home back in the starting lineup for the first time this season. The English midfielder has been slowly working his way back to fitness after an injury sidelined him for all of the preseason and the first month of the season. Against Tulsa, Dennis recorded an assist with a pinpoint cross to Jennings from the left flank while also creating six chances overall during his 67-minute shift.

Neilson earns his first Coach of the Week honors after leading the Rowdies to their second five-goal performance of the season. Through his first ten matches at the helm in Tampa Bay, Neilson has helped shape the Rowdies into one of the most formidable attacking sides in the league. The Rowdies have netted 22 goals so far this year, behind only Louisville City (28) and the Charleston Battery (26).

Next up, the Rowdies host Major League Soccer's FC Dallas in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

USL Championship Team of the Week - Week 11

GK - Adam Grinwis, Charleston Battery: The veteran shot-stopper posted a five-save performance in the Battery's 1-0 victory on the road against Birmingham Legion FC last Wednesday night, including a key late save on Tyler Pasher to preserve Charleston's eighth win in the last nine league games.

D - Aedan Stanley, Indy Eleven: The 24-year-old continued his strong run of form with his sixth assist of the season as he notched six chances created overall and completed 25 of 33 passes in Indy's 4-1 victory against Hartford Athletic.

D - Forrest Lasso, Tampa Bay Rowdies: The veteran center back recorded the first two-goal performance of his career in Tampa Bay's 5-0 victory against FC Tulsa and recorded four clearances, won 2 of 3 aerial duels and blocked two shots defensively.

D - Paco Craig, North Carolina FC: The English center back scored his first goal of the season and completed 50 of 59 passes while winning 3 of 3 ground duels in NCFC's 2-0 victory against Loudoun United FC on Tuesday night.

M - Ezra Armstrong, North Carolina FC: Armstrong had an impressive attacking performance in North Carolina's 2-0 win against Loudoun United FC on Tuesday night, scoring once, recording six chances created and completing 3 of 3 dribbles while also winning 8 of 13 duels defensively.

M - Taylor Davila, Louisville City FC: The central midfielder scored a fine individual goal, completed 37 of 46 passes overall, and won 4 of 5 tackles while making 13 recoveries and two interceptions defensively in LouCity's 2-2 draw with Las Vegas Lights FC.

M - Charlie Dennis, Tampa Bay Rowdies: The English midfielder recorded one assist, had six chances created overall, won 5 of 10 duels and made four recoveries in a sterling all-around display as the Rowdies defeated FC Tulsa 5-0.

M - Riley Bidois, Loudoun United FC: The New Zealander scored once and had three shots on target in five shots overall while notching four chances created and completing 27 of 31 passes in United's 3-0 victory against Monterey Bay F.C.

F - Manuel Arteaga, Tampa Bay Rowdies: The Venezuelan forward bagged a pair of goals including a remarkable headed finish to open the scoring and had five shots overall while also helping lead the Rowdies' forward line winning 2 of 2 tackles and 5 of 6 aerial duels in Tampa Bay's victory against Tulsa.

F - Ronaldo Damus, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: The Haitian forward scored a pair of goals to lead Colorado Springs to its fourth consecutive league victory as he recorded one chance created, completed 10 of 14 passes and won a penalty kick against Rhode Island FC.

F - Cal Jennings, Tampa Bay Rowdies: The 27-year-old recorded one goal and one assist, won a penalty kick and had three chances created while defensively winning 3 of 4 ground duels and one tackle in the Rowdies' victory against FC Tulsa.

Coach - Robbie Neilson, Tampa Bay Rowdies: Neilson's side produced its second five-goal performance of the Championship season with a dominant display against FC Tulsa that saw the side record 21 shots and nine shots on target on the way to victory at Al Lang Stadium.

Bench: Rocco Ríos Novo (PHX), Mark Segbers (CHS), Ben Ofeimu (IND), Fede Varela (PHX), Younes Boudadi (IND), Marlon Santos (MEM), Trayvone Reid (OAK)

• Discuss this story on the United Soccer League Championship message board...

United Soccer League Championship Stories from May 21, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Other Recent Tampa Bay Rowdies Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central