Juan Pablo Caffa returned to the Tulsa Roughnecks lineup last week after missing extended time with a leg injury, and he made an immediate impact. Caffa set up the winning goal in Wednesday’s victory over Sounders 2, then scored TRFC’s only goal in Sunday’s draw with Timbers FC 2 in Portland. The important contributions earned the Tulsa captain a spot on the USL Team of the Week for the fifth time this season.
It was a welcome return for the Roughnecks who are in the midst of playing six straight matches away from ONEOK Field. Caffa missed most of five matches, including the August 10 game against Saint Louis in which he suffered the injury.
On Wednesday in Seattle, he entered as a substitute in the 62nd minute of a 0-0 game, and it took the Argentinean less than ten minutes to affect the outcome. Caffa’s curling corner kick was poked into the net by Francisco Ugarte for the only goal of the game as the Roughnecks picked up three important away points.
Three days later, Caffa found the net himself as he converted a 44th-minute penalty kick to help TRFC gain a 1-1 draw with Timbers FC 2. He is now a perfect 4-4 on PKs this season.
TRFC goalkeeper Fabian Cerda just missed gaining a spot on the Team of the Week for the second time this season. Cerda did get a bench spot on this week’s team after allowing only one goal in two matches.
Cerda, Caffa and the Roughnecks will be back in action Wednesday night (September 6), when they close out a three-game trip with a match in Vancouver against Whitecaps FC 2.
After a trip down the turnpike to face Oklahoma City in the Black Gold Derby on September 17, the Roughnecks will be home for four of their final five matches of the season as they push to claim the first USL playoff berth in franchise history.
USL Team of the Week
GK – Josh Cohen, Phoenix Rising FC – Cohen notched a three-save shutout, including a game-save stop in stoppage time while his side was holding a one-goal lead, as Rising FC defeated Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Saturday night.
D – Noah Powder, New York Red Bulls II: Powder had a goal and assist and also notched five tackles and six interceptions in a standout two-way performance, as New York defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies 4-2.
D – Jimmy Ockford, Reno 1868 FC: Ockford earned his second consecutive selection, as he scored his third goal of the season, completed 41 of 43 passes. He also recorded three tackles, three interceptions and 10 clearances in a 3-1 win against Orange County SC.
D – Pascal Eboussi, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: Eboussi scored the equalizer in stoppage time, as the Switchbacks grabbed a vital point in a 2-2 draw against Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday night.
M – Florian Valot, New York Red Bulls II: Valot scored a goal, his second in as many games, and added an assist as the Red Bulls II moved into the playoff positions with a 4-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
M – Michael Reed, San Antonio FC: Reed provided the service on both goals as San Antonio rallied to take a 2-1 victory against Real Monarchs SLC on Saturday night.
M – Guy Abend, Louisville City FC: Abend scored the only goal and also completed 67 of 77 passes, as Louisville took a 1-0 victory against the Charleston Battery to remain on top of the Eastern Conference.
M – Jalen Brown, Rochester Rhinos: Brown’s first professional goal proved to be the game-winner as the Rhinos defeated Toronto FC II to move into the top four in the Eastern Conference.
F – Juan Pablo Caffa, Tulsa Roughnecks FC: Caffa had a goal and assist as the Roughnecks took a win and a draw from its first two games on their trip to the Pacific Northwest to move into fifth in the Western Conference.
F – Lebo Moloto, Swope Park Rangers: Moloto scored both goals as the Rangers took a 2-0 victory against OKC Energy FC to solidify its place in the top four in the USL Western Conference.
F – Enzo Martinez, Charlotte Independence: Martinez scored a pair of goals as the Independence pulled away for a 3-0 victory against the Richmond Kickers, and he moved into a tie for the league-lead in goals.
Bench: Fabian Cerda (TUL), Amadou Dia (PHX), Jonathan Barden (OTT), Masta Kacher (COS), Andrew Wiedeman (CIN), Marcus Epps (BST), Ariel Lassiter (LA)
USL Week 24 Team of the Week