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2019 USL Championship Awards Finalists Unveiled

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 11/13/19, 1:30PM EST

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Leading performers across five categories nominated for season-ending honors

TAMPA, Fla. – The finalists for the 2019 USL Championship Awards were announced by the United Soccer League on Wednesday, with the leading performers in five categories earning nomination after a historic 2019 campaign. The award winners will be announced between Tuesday, Nov. 19 and Thursday, Nov. 21.

The 2019 USL Championship Awards were voted on by team management and a league-wide media panel that included representation from every USL market.

Goalkeeper of the Year – Winner announced Tuesday, November 19

Zac Lubin

Zac Lubin

Phoenix Rising FC

Lubin finished tied for second in the league with 13 shutouts while recording 79 saves, the most of any goalkeeper to record double-digit shutouts over the regular season, at a save percentage of 75.7 percent.

Phoenix Rising FC
Kyle Morton

Kyle Morton

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Morton finished second in the league with a 0.83 goals-against average, finished tied for second with 13 shutouts and played a key role as the Hounds posted the second-longest shutout streak in Championship history of 698 minutes.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Alex Mangels

Matt Pickens

Nashville SC

Pickens earned the Championship’s Golden Glove with a 0.64 goals-against average while posting a league-high 14 shutouts and a save percentage of 79.8 percent that saw him lead NSC to a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference.

Nashville SC

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DEFENDER OF THE YEAR – Winner announced Tuesday, November 19

Joe Greenspan

Joe Greenspan

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Earning nomination for a second consecutive year, Greenspan won 69.4 percent of duels and 75 percent of aerials and finished fourth in the league with 151 clearances for a backline that ranked first in the league with 17 shutouts.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Neveal Hackshaw

Neveal Hackshaw

Indy Eleven

Hackshaw proved an integral part of an Indy defense that conceded a league-fewest six goals at home while ranking in the top 10 among outfield players with 231 recoveries and winning 65.8 of duels – 10th in the league among players to win at least 175 duels in the regular season.

Indy Eleven
Oscar Jimenez

Oscar Jimenez

Louisville City FC

Jimenez added to his reputation as one of the leading dead-ball specialists in the league, finishing tied for second in the Championship in Chances Created with 90 while recording seven assists and completing 1,498 passes at an accuracy rate of 81.6 percent.

Louisville City FC

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COACH OF THE YEAR – Winner announced Wednesday, November 20

Bob Liley

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

In his second season with the Hounds, Lilley led Pittsburgh to a first-place finish in the Eastern Conference as his side led the Championship with 17 shutouts and posted a club record for wins in a regular season with 19.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Ian Russel

Reno 1868 FC

Russell led Reno to a third consecutive postseason berth and its best finish in the Championship’s Western Conference as it ranked third in the league with 72 goals to take second position in the standings.

Reno 1868 FC

Rick Schantz

Phoenix Rising FC

In his first full season at the helm, Schantz led Rising FC to a Championship record 24 victories, 79 points and 89 goals, which included a North American outdoor record 20 consecutive league victories that spanned more than four months.

Phoenix Rising FC

YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Winner announced Wednesday, November 20

Felipe Hernandez

Felipe Hernandez

Swope Park Rangers

A member of the 2018 USL 20 Under 20, Hernandez continued to raise his game to the tune of eight goals, five assists and 45 chances created for the Rangers this season.

Swope Park Rangers
Douglas Martinez

Douglas Martinez

Real Monarchs SLC

Earning selection to the Honduras National Team during the campaign, Martinez scored 16 goals and added six assists for the Monarchs at a rate of a goal every 109.2 minutes for the Western Conference Champion.

Real Monarchs SLC
Cristian Parano

Cristian Parano

San Antonio FC

The young Argentine recorded seven goals and six assists while posting 53 chances created over the course of his first season in San Antonio, earning the No. 2 position in the 2019 USL 20 Under 20 in the process.

San Antonio FC

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MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Winner announced Thursday, November 21

Solomon Asante

Solomon Asante

Phoenix Rising FC

Asante became only the second player in the Championship’s history to win both the Golden Boot and Assists Champion awards, setting a league record with 17 assists and 39 combined goals and assists for the Regular Season Title-Winners.

Phoenix Rising FC
Kenardo Forbes

Kenardo Forbes

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Forbes orchestrated the Hounds’ ascent to the top of the Championship’s Eastern Conference, recording nine assists and four goals while completing 1,513 passes and making 291 recoveries as he appeared in every game of the regular season.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Daniel Rios

Daniel Rios

Nashville SC

Rios became the first player in the Championship’s history to record 20 regular-season goals in back-to-back seasons as he led Nashville SC to a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference with a spectacular campaign.

Nashville SC

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