TAMPA, Fla. – The finalists for the 2021 USL League One Awards were announced on Thursday, with the leading performers in five categories earning nomination after the league’s third campaign. The award winners will be announced between Tuesday, Nov. 16 and Thursday, Nov. 18.
The 2021 USL League One Awards were voted on by team technical staffs and executives representing every team.
Fitzgerald produced one of the finest seasons of his career as he led the league with 10 shutouts and 89 saves while recording a save percentage of 72.1 percent to help the Kickers earn their first trip to the League One Playoffs in three seasons.
Nuhu earned the League One Golden Glove for the first time with a 0.75 goals-against average as he posted nine shutouts and a save percentage of 71 percent for Omaha, helping the side finish top of the League One standings in the regular season.
After making only three appearances in each of his first two seasons with the Revolution II, Rice broke out with eight shutouts in 20 games and a save percentage of 76.2 percent. Rice’s performance saw him record a -2.60 mark in Goals Saved over Expected Goals, good for third in the league.
Franklin had a standout season in his first year in the professional ranks, recording two goals and six assists, tied for fifth in the league, while finishing tied for 11th in key passes with 39. The Canada youth international was also solid defensively, recording 46 interceptions, to post a +4.24 Goals Added mark for the campaign.
Ramos took a major step forward in his second season with the Red Wolves, finishing second among outfield players with 211 recoveries and third with 1,275 completed passes at an accuracy rate of 83 percent. The 23-year-old ranked third among the league’s defenders with a +5.67 Goals Added mark as he notched 15 key passes and had one goal and one assist when joining the attack.
Selected to the League One All-League Team for a second consecutive season, Viader became an even greater two-way threat for Omaha in 2020 as he recorded six goals and five assists while leading the league with 58 key passes in the regular season. The Spaniard also finished third in the league with 56 interceptions and won 162 duels at a success rate of 55.3 percent.
Harkes guided Greenville to another stellar campaign as he managed through absences due to injury to set the team on a strong final drive over the final third of the season. Greenville led the league with 13 shutouts in 28 games, and ended the season on a nine-game undefeated to edge out Chattanooga Red Wolves SC for second place in the regular season standings.
Mims built on a strong inaugural season in 2020 and made Omaha the most consistent side in League One this year as the side finished on top of the regular season standings. Los Buhos recorded the most wins of any side with 14 and finished tied for the league-lead with 44 goals to post a +22-goal differential as well as nine shutouts as its returning players and newcomers coalesced into an impressive force.
One of the club’s co-founders, Pearlman engineered an impressive turnaround as he took the reins midway through the regular season that helped lead Tucson to its first postseason trip in League One. Pearlman’s squad recorded a seven-game undefeated streak to drive toward the postseason and finished tied for the league-lead with 44 goals in the regular season as it recorded 25 goals in its final 12 games.
The 17-year-old played every minute of his 27 appearances for Fort Lauderdale in his first full season in the professional ranks and was impressive defensively as he won 34 tackles at a success rate of 77.3 percent while also logging 35 interceptions and 31 clearances. Allen also completed 832 passes at an 80.5 percent accuracy rate and notched two assists and 28 key passes in attack.
Voted to the League One All-League First Team, Franklin had a solid two-way season for the Young Reds as he recorded two goals and six assists, tied for fifth in the league, and notched 39 key passes. The 18-year-old also recorded 46 interceptions and 41 clearances while winning 22 tackles.
The former Canada U-20 international had a breakout campaign after his move to South Florida with 11 goals to tied for fourth in the regular season. The 22-year-old also recorded three assists and 20 key passes while averaging a goal every 171.1 minutes as he ranked ninth in League One overall with a +6.05 Goals Added mark in the regular season.
In his second season in the professional ranks, Molloy shone in the center of Madison’s midfield as he led League One with 1,615 completed passes at an accuracy rate of 86.2 percent. The former League Two standout ranked third in the league with 54 key passes and recorded four goals and three assists while sitting sixth in the league overall with a +6.31 Goals Added mark.
The reigning Most Valuable Player set a League One record with 18 goals in the regular season which played a crucial role in the Kickers reaching the postseason for the first time since 2016. The Argentine notched a goal every 128.4 minutes during the regular season while also recording two assists and 16 key passes for a Goals Added mark of +6.65.
In a squad filled with impressive performers, Viader’s work as a two-way player stood out for los Buhos as he recorded six goals and five assists while leading the league with 58 key passes overall in the regular season. The 23-year-old also recorded 56 interceptions and 205 recoveries, both third-most in the league, in an impressive all-around campaign.
Tag(s): News Akira Fitzgerald Joe Rice Union Omaha Fort Lauderdale CF New England Revolution Chatt Red Wolves SC Forward Madison FC Greenville Triumph SC Richmond Kickers Toronto FC II FC Tucson Jason Ramos Emiliano Terzaghi Rashid Nuhu Damia Viader Shaan Hundal Kobe Franklin Aaron Molloy