Gbeke named USL-1 Player of the Week

By Simon Fudge/ Vancouver Whitecaps striker Charles Gbeke has been named USL First Division Player of the Week for Week 20. The Canadian international became the third Whitecaps player to earn the USL-1's weekly individual honour this season. Fellow striker Marlon James was named the league's Player of the Week in Week Four, while winger Tyrell Burgess was the top USL-1 player in Week 17. Gbeke took this week's honour after scoring three times during Vancouver's busy run of four league matches in nine days last week. The big striker scored the opening goal during last Thursday's 1-1 draw at Charleston Battery before scoring twice in the late stages of Sunday's important 2-0 home win over Miami FC Blues. The goalscorer's efforts also earned him a spot in the USL-1 Team of the Week for Week 20, with Gbeke having been previously named in the league's weekly all-star XI in Weeks Five and 10. He is joined in the Week 20 squad by teammate Takashi Hirano, with the experienced Japanese defender earning the nod after his defensive performances in last Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Carolina RailHawks and Sunday's 2-0 home win over Miami FC. Hirano was one of three defenders to be chosen this week. Carolina's Jeremy Tolleson and Montreal Impact's Cedric Joqueviel were the other defenders to be selected. Cleveland City Stars goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap was also picked for the Week 20 team. Four midfielders were selected by the league this week. There are Charleston's Ian Fuller, Cleveland's Jason Hotchkin, Rochester Rhinos' Nano Short, and Minnesota Thunder's Jeremiah Bass. Joining Gbeke in the all-star team's attack were Montreal forward Peter Byers and Portland Timbers goalscorer Mandjou Keita.