TAMPA, Fla. – The inaugural USL League One season saw Brandon Fricke earn plaudits as one of its leading defenders.
In 2020 as he joined Greenville Triumph SC, Fricke arrived as a new part of the best defense in the league and helped make it better. In the process, on Wednesday he was voted the League One Defender of the Year, narrowly edging out teammate Tyler Polak for the honor.
Appearing in 15 games during the regular season, Fricke’s positioning and willingness to sacrifice fit in quickly with Greenville’s defensive philosophy. The 28-year-old finished tied for the league-lead with 17 blocked shots, won 83 percent of his tackles, and led Triumph SC with 48 clearances as the side conceded a league-fewest 11 goals and 43 shots on target faced in 16 regular season games.
A former standout in USL League Two for the Des Moines Menace – where he earned All-Central Conference honors in the 2017 season – who also competed in Sweden for Nyebro IF after his college career at Butler concluded, Fricke has seized his opportunity in League One while helping drive success on the field for his side. Now he takes his place as one of the league’s most respected defenders.
Fricke earned 37 percent of the vote to earn the award. Fellow Triumph SC teammate Polak finished second on 34 percent and North Texas SC’s Justin Che finished third on 29 percent.
The 2020 USL League One Awards were voted on by team technical staffs and executives. Voting was conducted following the conclusion of the 2020 League One regular season.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Dallas Jaye, Greenville Triumph SC
Defender of the Year: Brandon Fricke, Greenville Triumph SC
Coach of the Year: November 12
Young Player of the Year: November 12
Most Valuable Player: November 13
2019: Conner Antley, South Georgia Tormenta FC