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USL PRO News | USL PRO, Harrisburg City Islanders, Yann Ekra

Yann Ekra of the Harrisburg City Islanders was named USL PRO Player of the Week for Week 7. Photo Credit: USL PRO

Harrisburg City Islanders’ Yann Ekra Named USL PRO Player of the Week

Had a hat trick in first start of the season on Saturday night

USL PRO announced its Team of the Week for the seventh week of the 2012 season today, honoring the Harrisburg City IslandersYann Ekra as Player of the Week after he recorded a hat trick in his first start of the season against the Dayton Dutch Lions on Saturday night at Skyline Sports Complex.

Ekra scored his first goal for the City Islanders in their 2-2 draw against the Richmond Kickers on April 12 after coming on as a second-half substitute. After another energetic performance off the bench in Harrisburg’s 0-0 draw with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Wednesday, Ekra got his chance to start against the Dutch Lions.

The Ivory Coast youngster quickly notched a pair of goals two minutes apart to give the City Islanders a healthy lead inside the first 20 minutes, and then completed his hat trick in the 56th minute after a good piece of work by fellow Team of the Week honoree Sainey Touray, who had a pair of assists in Saturday night’s game. Ekra’s big night vaulted him into a tie for the league lead in goals with Antigua Barracuda FC’s Stefan Smith, with six players tied for third behind them.

Joining Ekra and Touray on the Team of the Week was teammate Andrew Marshall, who had a pair of standout defensive performances as the City Islanders recorded a pair of shutouts. He was joined on the defense by Dayton’s Nixon Dias, who put in a strong performance both defensively and joining the attack as the Dutch Lions ended the Rochester Rhinos’ perfect start to the season, and Rochester’s Quavas Kirk, whose header allowed the Rhinos to salvage a draw from that contest.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds had a pair of players selected, with Hunter Gilstrap being named goalkeeper after a remarkable eight-save performance that earned his side a 0-0 draw against the City Islanders on Wednesday night. Dawyne “Ricky” Smith was also named after scoring his first professional goal in Pittsburgh’s 1-1 draw with Richmond on Friday night.

Wilmington’s Hagop Chirishian also notched his first professional goal as the Hammerheads earned a 1-1 draw with Charlotte, while the Eagles’ Darryl Roberts earned his spot on the team thanks to a spectacular finish that put his side ahead at Legion Stadium on Saturday night. The team was rounded out by the Richmond Kickers’ duo of Gerson Dos Santos and Luke Vercollone, who both played key roles in a 1-1 draw against the Riverhounds.

USL PRO Team of the Week






Hunter Gilstrap


Had pair of outstanding performances, including eight-save shutout


Andrew Marshall


Was a force in both the City Islanders’ shutouts last week


Nixon Dias


Provided stability in defense, and joined attack well, against Rochester


Quavas Kirk


Goal maintained Rhinos’ undefeated start to the season


Luke Vercollone


Helped Kickers keep things tight defensively against Riverhounds


Hagop Chirishian


Scored as second-half substitute to earn draw with Charlotte


Gerson Dos Santos


Controlled the midfield for the Kickers in their visit to Pittsburgh


Yann Ekra


Had a hat trick in his first start of the season against Dayton


Darryl Roberts


Highlight-reel goal helped Eagles earn point against Wilmington


Sainey Touray


Had a pair of assists and was constant attacking threat on Saturday


Dawyne Smith


Scored his first professional goal against Richmond on Friday

Honorable Mention – Charlotte: Miguel Ferrer; Dayton: Gibson Bardsley, Kyle Knotek; Harrisburg: J.T. Noone, Nick Noble, Bilal Duckett; Richmond: Matt Delicâte; Rochester: JC Banks; Wilmington: Mark Briggs, Daniel Roberts.

USL PRO: USL PRO is the strongest, best operated and most experienced North American men’s professional soccer league below MLS, both on and off the field. Focused on franchise stability and longevity, USL PRO features 11 teams in 2012 and an unprecedented six teams with more than a decade of operational experience. The league is focused on aggressive but deliberate growth by adding teams fully capable of meeting USL and USSF standards, which are located in markets that further promote regional league play. In addition to league play, USL PRO teams will compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various domestic and international exhibitions. USL PRO is affiliated with the USSF.

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