Bienvenue Kanakimana voted USL Championship Player of the Week

Atlanta United 2 forward Bienvenue Kanakimana was voted USL Championship Player of the Week for Week 22 of the 2019 season. Kanakimana scored a hat trick in Atlanta’s 4-2 win against Loudoun United on Friday, Aug. 2 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. The 19-year-old has scored six goals in his last three matches.

After falling behind 1-0, Kanakimana leveled the match in the 19th minute after Will Vint played him down the right flank where he sprinted in behind Loudoun’s backline. The Burundian took one touch to put the ball on his left foot before finishing with a low shot at the near post (watch goal).

Loudoun regained the lead in the 24th minute through an own goal, but Kanakimana again equalized just four minutes later. Laurent Kissiedou and George Bello combined with a give-and-go on the left side which resulted in Bello taking a shot on the edge of the six-yard box, but it was blocked and rolled away from goal. Cutting in from the right side, Kanakimana ran toward the loose ball and unleashed a curling strike with his left from outside of the box that soared into the top left corner (watch goal).

Kanakimana completed his hat trick and scored the game-winner in the 70th minute. Wesly Decas received a pass on the left side near midfield and quickly found the forward making a run down the left wing. Kanakimana dribbled into the box and slotted a low shot past Calle Brown with his right foot to complete just the second hat trick in team history (watch goal).

Kanakimana received 60% of the poll conducted by a national panel of independent media representing every USL Championship market. This marks the first time Kanakimana has been voted Player of the Week and the second time that an ATL UTD 2 player has won the award.

ATL UTD 2 (4-12-5, 17 points) returns to action Sunday, Aug. 11 against Louisville City at 3:00 p.m. EST at Louisville Slugger Field. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.