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 United Soccer League Championship

Memphis 901 FC's Marlon Santos earns Player of the Week after two goals, one assist against Rowdies

May 7, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) News Release

TAMPA, Fla. - The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week for Week 9 of the 2024 regular season on Tuesday, with Memphis 901 FC forward Marlon Santos voted the Championship Player of the Week presented by Konami eFootball after recording two goals and one assist in his side's 4-1 victory against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday afternoon, a result that handed Tampa Bay its first defeat of the season.

An offseason arrival, the Brazilian has played a pivotal role in Memphis' recent turnaround in attacking form. After recording two assists in his side's victory against Birmingham Legion FC in Week 8, Marlon was central to the first key moment of the game as he broke in behind the Rowdies' defensive line and was brought down by Tampa Bay defender Forrest Lasso, resulting in a red card that reduced the Rowdies to 10 players.

The 29-year-old then opened the scoring against the Rowdies with an outstanding finish from outside the penalty area for his first goal of the season and then four minutes later added an assist in setting up Luiz Fernando for a close-range finish. Marlon added a third goal five minutes into the second half as his speed consistently challenged the Tampa Bay back line, highlighting his value in stretching defenses vertically after shifting into the No. 9 role for 901 FC in the past two games.

"We felt like he could really help us playing center forward or a No. 9," said Memphis Head Coach Stephen Glass. "He's proved we were right to move him. He's dangerous, he's quick, he works hard and he's everything we thought he would give us when we put him up there. I think being a focal point on the team suits him well."

Marlon earned 42 percent of the ballot to claim the award. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC forward Ronaldo Damus finished second on 25 percent after scoring both goals in his side's 2-0 victory against El Paso Locomotive FC before a sellout crowd at Weidner Field on Saturday night.

The Championship's Player of the Week is selected by the USL National Media Panel, which is made up of representatives from each media market in the Championship.

USL Championship Team of the Week - Week 9

GK - Nate Steinwascher, Detroit City FC: The local standout posted a four-save shutout in treacherous weather conditions against Loudoun United FC at Segra Field to help Le Rouge earn a scoreless draw on the road.

D - Junior Etou, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: The Congolese full back provided a brilliant assist for the only goal in the Hounds' 1-0 win against Miami FC, completed 3 of 4 dribbles overall, and won one tackle and 8 of 11 overall duels in a strong all-around performance.

D - Matt Mahoney, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: The veteran center back won 2 of 2 tackles, 8 of 11 aerial duels and made three interceptions, seven clearances and eight recoveries in helping the Switchbacks take victory against El Paso Locomotive FC.

D - Abdi Mohamed, New Mexico United: The Somalian international had a stellar debut for United, recording one assist and three chances created while completing 34 of 44 passes overall and winning 6 of 8 duels defensively.

M - Jorge Hernandez, San Antonio FC: The 2023 Championship Golden Playmaker notched his fifth assist of the season and had two chances created while completing 20 of 23 passes and 3 of 6 dribbles in SAFC's 2-2 draw against Oakland Roots SC.

M - Jack Blake, Indy Eleven: The English midfielder completed 39 of 48 passes and had two chances created while winning 11 of 14 ground duels and 3 of 5 tackles and notching seven shots in Indy's 1-0 victory on the road at Monterey Bay F.C.

M - Chris Allan, Charleston Battery: The English midfielder recorded one assist, had two shots and two chances created overall, and completed 42 of 54 passes while defensively he notched 10 recoveries and two interceptions in central midfield.

M - Enzo Martinez, Birmingham Legion FC: Martinez scored the first goal in Birmingham's comeback to earn a 2-2 draw against FC Tulsa and had five shots and two chances created overall while completing 24 of 31 passes and winning 2 of 2 tackles.

F - Marlon Santos, Memphis 901 FC: The Brazilian recorded two goal and one assist as 901 FC handed the Tampa Bay Rowdies their first loss of the season in a 4-1 victory at AutoZone Park, recording six shots overall and winning 7 of 8 duels.

F - Ronaldo Damus, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: The Haiti international scored both goals as Colorado Springs won its second consecutive outing with a victory against El Paso Locomotive FC and recorded four shots on target overall.

F - Daniel Bruce, New Mexico United: The United original scored both goals as New Mexico took a 2-1 win on the road at Las Vegas Lights FC and completed 12 of 19 passes overall.

Coach - Stephen Glass, Memphis 901 FC: Glass' squad handed the Tampa Bay Rowdies their first defeat of the season in emphatic style with a 4-1 victory at AutoZone Park that also earned 901 FC its second consecutive league victory.

Bench - Adam Grinwis (CHS), Adrian Diz Pe (IND), Bura Nogueira (SA), Tyler Pasher (BHM), Dylan Borczak (MEM), Phillip Goodrum (TUL), Stefano Pinho (BHM)

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