Louisville City FC defender Oscar Jimenez was honored by the United Soccer League Wednesday as one of three finalists for the USL Championship Defender of the Year award.
On Tuesday, Jimenez was named to the USL Championship First Team, joining teammate Magnus Rasmussen on the top list.
“That’s actually a very sweet reward for me personally," Jimenez said. "It makes me very, very happy that I got that, but as I was telling the boys in the locker room – because they all got up and gave us a clap – I don’t go into a season trying to get a reward for myself. I try to go and do my job and my part for the team so that the whole group can be successful."
Jimenez has been crucial to LouCity's success this season, creating a team-high 90 chances during the regular season while starting 33 games this season. An expert at ball placement, Jimenez was Louisville City's go-to player in dead ball situations. His stellar corner kicks and free kicks resulted in seven assists and several more goals scored without an assist.
"The fact that I get rewarded for what I’ve done all season is wonderful," Jimenez said. "But there’s a lot of players on this team - and in this league - that were left out of that group but we can only pick 11. So I’m thankful that I got in the top 11 and it’s great.”
The team leader with a remarkable 3,251 minutes this season, Oscar had 58 clearances, 38 interceptions, and two blocks.
The other two finalists, Pittsburgh's Joe Greenspan and Indy Eleven's Neveal Hackshaw, also had tremendous seasons. The 2019 USL Championship Awards were voted on by team management and a league-wide media panel that included representation from every USL market.
Jimenez and Louisville City will take on the Real Monarchs Sunday night in the USL Championship Final at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium on the campus of the University of Louisville. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.