Fitzgerald and Terzaghi make it two straight weeks on the TOTW while Crisler earns his first weekly honor of 2022
TAMPA, Fla. – (Monday, April 11, 2022) – USL League One announced on Monday that Richmond Kickers’ defender Jalen Crisler, goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald, and forward Emiliano Terzaghi were named to the league’s team of the week for week 2 following their performances against Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC. The trio’s team of the week performances are presented by Legends Soccer Co.
Fitzgerald and Terzaghi’s appearance on the team of the week for week 2 marks the second-straight week that the duo has earned a weekly honor in 2022. Crisler joins the pair for his first weekly honor of the 2022 season. The defender previously earned two team of the week appearances during the 2021 season in weeks 7 and 15.
While the league only recognized the performances from the Kickers’ league match on April 9, it still marks a personal achievement for a group that opened the 2022 season with three matches in seven days because of the return of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach Darren Sawatzky praised the flexibility of the squad who stepped up to deliver three matches unbeaten to open the season.
“This past week was a challenge as we played three games to start the season,” Sawatzky said. “Having an Open Cup game on the road sandwiched in the midweek made squad rotation important.”
With a difficult stretch to open the season, Crisler, Fitzgerald, and Terzaghi who are leaned on to help lead the team stepped up to extend the Kickers’ unbeaten streak at home to 15 games.
“Emi is a goalscorer and we are happy that he is finding the back of the net,” Sawatzky said. “Jalen is a great leader at the back for us and he and Nathan Aune have a good partnership.
“Akira made a couple saves again for us against Northern Colorado that we needed. His work with the backline is improving and the group did enough to keep Northern Colorado off the scoreline in the second half.”
After trailing by a goal to start the second half, Terzaghi delivered the equalizer from a powerful header that marked his 30th goal for the club since joining prior to the start of the 2020 season. Terzaghi praised his teammates for working to secure a point at home while pushing for more.
“We did a good job as a team in the last game fighting for the victory at home,” Terzaghi said. “It is always important for me to be there to help the team in every game and to push to always try to win it.”
Assisting Terzaghi’s goal was Crisler who managed a deft flick to the Argentine after Nathan Aune powered a long throw-in to his fellow Washingtonian. Crisler added 14 duels won, eight clearances, and two chances created to his stat line.
“It’s always an honor to be selected for Team Of The Week,” Crisler said. “It says a lot about the performance of the entire group and the work we have put in during preseason. It was good to finish off a busy week by coming back from behind and getting a hard-fought point at home. It was also great to be back at City Stadium and playing in front of the Red Army and home fans.”
Standing behind Crisler on the pitch was Fitzgerald who matched his six-save night from the home opener with the added challenge of facing a potent but relatively-unknown Northern Colorado offense.
Fitzgerald credited his guys in the outfield who helped limit opposing offensive chances all week as the club only conceded one goal in three matches.
“I’m pleased to make the team of the week in back-to-back weeks, but, most importantly, I’m happy to be a part of the group that had three good results over seven days,” Fitzgerald said. “We prepared for this over the preseason, and I think it’s encouraging to see the work shown in our results but we know we still have many steps to take. We will continue to work and improve as a collective and push for better performances and results.”
The Kickers will enjoy a relatively routine week as it only prepares for a single match this week. The Roos travel to Chattanooga Red Wolves on Saturday, April 16 to face off for the first time since October 2021. Kickoff at CHI Memorial Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m. Kickers fans are invited to join the team’s official watch party at Gus’ Bar and Grill to cheer on the Roos. The match will also stream live on ESPN+.