TAMPA, Fla. – USL League One on Sunday announced its first official awards for the 2022 regular season as Richmond Kickers forward Emiliano Terzaghi claimed his third consecutive Golden Boot and Union Omaha goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu was awarded his second consecutive Golden Glove. Richmond Kickers midfielder Jonathan Bolanos earned the Assists Champion award for the first time in his career.
The league’s all-time leading scorer added 17 goals to his impressive total to help the first-place Richmond Kickers to their best-ever finish in League One and best regular-season finish since 2013. Becoming the first player in league history to tally three seasons of double-digit scoring, Terzaghi’s 17 goals are the second-most in a single regular season behind the Argentine’s own record of 18 set a year ago. The Kickers captain helped his side to a 9-1-4 record when scoring and a first-round bye in the 2022 postseason.
“I think that every year it’s harder for me to be able to achieve this,” Terzaghi said. “The team helps me, but I’m really proud of my work. It’s not easy earning this, much less three consecutive times. But this year, the biggest asset was the team. The levels were high, so it helps me shine and it was the help that I had this year to be able to earn it again.”
“You know, Emi was not sure he was going to play soccer when I got a hold of him in Argentina; he was going to move on,” Richmond Head Coach and Sporting Director Darren Sawatzky said. “What he has done in the last three years is miraculous. He has to be cemented in Richmond Kickers’ lore. He is a truly goal scorer and a great teammate, and I don’t think he’s done scoring yet this year.”
Despite playing in five U.S. Open Cup matches and missing the last few matches of the regular season due to injury, no other goalkeeper in the league was able to catch up to Rashid Nuhu’s 0.98 goals-against average mark. Nuhu’s nine clean sheets are tied for the third-most in a single season in league history, and the Ghanaian shot-stopper is just the third goalkeeper in league history to average less than one goal conceded per 90 minutes (min. 15 matches played) – a feat he has accomplished in each of his three seasons with the Owls.
"I'm very grateful and privileged to receive this award,” Nuhu said. “For me, this is not an individual award. It is an award that highlights the collective unity and work by the whole team, especially the back line. This is for us."
"Rashid is a big-time goalkeeper and I could not be more proud of him,” Omaha Head Coach Jay Mims said. “He has grown so much: not only as a goalkeeper, but as a person and great leader. It's also a great accomplishment for our defense after conceding the fewest goals in the league for the second-straight year."
Jonathan Bolanos enjoyed a breakout season with Richmond Kickers as the third-year professional exploded for a league-record 11 assists in a single season. Even after missing nearly a third of the season due to injuries, the 24-year-old midfielder tallied a league-record 0.67 assists per 90 minutes in a single season (min. three assists). In addition to assisting or scoring six match-winning Kickers goals, Bolanos also tied a league record with a three-assist performance against the Charlotte Independence on June 11.
“It’s truly special for me – especially this year because of the number of injuries I've been through,” Bolanos said. “Starting off the season, I had high expectations for myself and the team and the first U.S. Open Cup match. Going down with a collar bone injury, completely setting me back for a month and a half, it was truly a mental point for me. But it was also a point to grow and experience something new for myself and because of that I grew stronger mentally and physically, and the comeback was exactly how I envisioned it to be. I think that’s why this is so special to me.”
“Jonny, for two years, was a very dangerous player at moments, but this year he put it all together,” Darren Sawatzky said. “He brought end product, scored a bunch of goals and created a bunch of assists. He had a really great year, so people have started to target him, and he's had a couple of injuries but I'm really proud of him. He's going to have a chance at the next level soon enough.”
The 2022 USL League One Golden Boot, Golden Glove and Assists Champion are the opening three awards that will be presented by the league this year. League One’s Most Valuable Player, Young Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Defender of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year and the USL League One All-League Teams will be announced in the coming weeks.