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credit: EM Dash Photography

2017 USL Awards Finalists Revelead

By LouCity, 11/09/17, 1:45PM EST

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Photo by: EM Dash Photography

TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League announced on Thursday the finalists for the 2017 USL Awards. The award winners will be announced during USL Awards Week between Monday, Nov. 20, and Wednesday, Nov. 22.

 

The 2017 USL Awards were voted on by team management and a league-wide media panel that included representation from every USL market.

2017 USL Award Finalists

2017 Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists – Winner announced Monday, Nov. 20
Earl Edwards Jr., Orlando City B:Edwards’ save percentage of 75.2 was the highest of any goalkeeper in the USL with at least 75 saves in the regular season, and he saved two of five penalty kicks faced.
 
Mitch Hildebrandt, FC Cincinnati:Hildebrandt led the USL with 100 saves in the regular season to help Cincinnati earn a second consecutive trip to the USL Cup Playoffs.

Diego Restrepo, San Antonio FC:Restrepo led the league with 12 shutouts in the regular season and posted a 0.80 goals-against average and 76.4 save percentage on 69 saves.

 

2017 Coach of the Year Finalists – Winner announced Monday, Nov. 20
Mark Briggs, Real Monarchs SLC: Briggs led the Monarchs to the most successful season in the club’s history, which culminated in Real winning the 2017 USL Regular Season Championship.
 
James O’Connor, Louisville City FC:O’Connor led Louisville to a first-place finish in the Eastern Conference, while setting club records for wins (18), points (62) and goals (58) in the regular season.
 
Ian Russell, Reno 1868 FC: Russell marshalled one of the finest expansion seasons in the USL’s history, with 1868 FC setting a single-season record with 75 goals on its way to a third-place finish in the Western Conference.

 

2017 Defender of the Year Finalists – Winner announced Tuesday, Nov. 21
Paco Craig, Louisville City FC: Craig led Louisville’s sterling defense with 63 interceptions, 96 clearances and an 82.9 percent tackle success rate, while also notching two goals, two assists and a 78.9 passing accuracy rate.
 
Harrison Delbridge, FC Cincinnati:Delbridge led the USL with 120 interceptions in the regular season and led defenders with 208 duels won, while recording three goals and three assists offensively.
 
Sebastien Ibeagha, San Antonio FC: Ibeagha led the USL with 190 clearances in the regular season, notched 55 interceptions and won 61.4 percent of duels to lead SAFC’s league-best defense.

 

2017 Rookie of the Year Finalists – Winner announced Tuesday, Nov. 21
Richard Ballard, Louisville City FC: A local standout, Ballard was a strong weapon off the bench for Louisville, as he recorded three goals, five assists and 24 successful dribbles for the Eastern Conference champion.
 
Santi Moar, Bethlehem Steel FC: Moar played a major role in Steel FC’s first trip to the USL Cup Playoffs, as he finished with six goals, six assists and 36 key passes to help drive Bethlehem’s attack.
 
Chris Wehan, Reno 1868 FC: Wehan led the USL with 12 assists and notched eight goals as Reno set a USL single-season record with 75 goals, and he also recorded 25 interceptions defensively for the side.

 

2017 Most Valuable Player Finalists – Winner announced Wednesday, Nov. 22
Chandler Hoffman, Real Monarchs SLC:Hoffman recorded single-season highs with 16 goals and seven assists to play a crucial role in the best season in Monarchs’ history, which saw the club claim the USL Regular Season Championship.
 
Dane Kelly, Reno 1868 FC: Kelly claimed the USL Golden Boot for the first time in his career with 18 goals, scoring at a rate of 111.2 minutes per goal, and added four assists and 24 key passes on the regular season.
 
Enzo Martinez, Charlotte Independence:Martinez earned his second consecutive nomination for USL Most Valuable Player after a standout season that saw him score a career-high 16 goals and notch five assists.
 
FOLLOW THE USL
Every game of the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs through the Eastern and Western Conference Finals will be available on theleague’s Match Center, with updates from across the league also available via TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
 
The 2017 USL Cup will air live on ESPNU and SiriusXM FC on Monday, Nov. 13 at 9 p.m. ET

About USL
The USL is one of the most prominent Division II professional soccer leagues in the world, with 30 markets in 20 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces for the 2017 season. In total, the USL reaches a population of 75 million people, fueling the growth of professional soccer across North America.

In 2016, more than $100 million were invested league-wide into stadium infrastructure to create venues that deliver an unforgettable fan and competitor experience. The USL has national media partnerships with ESPN and SiriusXM, and recently invested $10 million to create USL Productions – which includes a state-of-the-art facility that will produce and distribute nearly 500 league matches and more than 1,000 hours of original content to national partners, local affiliates, USL’s Match Center and international markets.
 
A league on the rise, the USL has more than doubled in size since 2014, with Ottawa Fury FC, Reno 1868 FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies debuting in 2017. Nashville SC and Fresno Football Club are set to join the league for 2018. Beyond league play, the USL regularly features international exhibitions against leading Premier League, Liga MX, and Bundesliga clubs, among others. 
 
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., the USL provides unparalleled club support with a growing team of more than 50 professionals across 17 departments, ranging from operations to marketing, communications and sponsorship. Follow the USL at USLSoccer.com, the USL Match Center, and on social media via TwitterFacebook and Instagram.