TAMPA, Fla. – Lansing Ignite FC goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland has been voted USL League One’s Player of the Month for June as he recorded three shutouts and 24 saves across six outings to help lead Lansing into the playoff positions at the midway point of the league’s inaugural season.
Cleveland joined Lansing on loan from the Chicago Fire on May 16 and assumed the No. 1 position for the club between the sticks. Since then he has posted a 73.3 save percentage in 10 appearances, and put in some stellar performances over the past month that included shutouts in key 1-0 victories against Forward Madison FC and Toronto FC II that put the side into contention for a postseason berth at the end of the season.
“It’s an honor,” Cleveland said. “Being able to have a great first month under my belt is a great step for me contributing to the team moving forward. There is still half a season to go, but it feels good to get off to a great start and hit the ground running hard.”
Ignite FC went 3-2-1 overall in June as Cleveland and his defense were among the busiest in the league. Lansing faced 87 shots over the month, the most of any side in League One, with 32 of those ending up on target from its opponents. Cleveland paid tribute to a defense that recorded 20 blocked shots over the course of the month in addition to his 24 saves.
“I think the team was fantastic,” he said. “The defense was putting their bodies on the line the whole time. I think for every save I had, the defense was blocking two shots. Everybody on the back line was phenomenal, cleaning up my mistakes. I’m obviously trying to help them as much as I can, but while this is a great award, it is certainly a team award. Everybody on the team and in the locker room deserves it.”
Cleveland received 47 percent of a weighted poll that included the USL League One Technical Committee and an online fan vote held at USLLeagueOne.com. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC’s Steven Beattie finished second on 25 percent after recording four goals in four games for his side, while North Texas SC’s Ronaldo Damus finished third on 23 percent after recording six goals to take the lead in the race for the USL Golden Boot.
|Nominee||Fan Vote||Weight||USL Technical Vote||Weight||Total Weighted Vote|
|Stefan Cleveland (LAN)||38%||23%||60%||24%||47%|
|Steven Beattie (CHT)||41%||25%||0%||0%||25%|
|Ronaldo Damus (NTX)||11%||7%||40%||16%||23%|
|Jordan Perruzza (TOR)||9%||5%||0%||0%||5%|
|Dante Sealy (NTX)||1%||1%||0%||0%||1%|