TAMPA, Fla. – USL League One today announced that South Georgia Tormenta FC midfielder Jackson Khoury was voted the 2023 USL League One Young Player of the Year.
The Central Coast Mariners academy product enjoyed a stellar first professional season in Statesboro. The Australian winger led all eligible players with seven goals, 13 total goal contributions and 37 chances created. The 20-year-old goalscorer accounted for four match-winning goals or assists and registered a career-best three-goal-contribution match in a 4-1 win in Madison on July 26. Khoury's 13 goal contributions are tied for the third-most in league history for a first-year professional behind Arturo Rodríguez's (NTX) 17 in 2019, Jacob Labovitz's (GVL) 14 in 2022 and Tumi Moshobane's (LAN) 14 in 2019.
"This means a lot to me, especially as a rookie having my first season as a professional," Khoury said. "I would love to thank my coaching staff at Tormenta FC for helping me adapt to the league very quickly and grow a lot as both a player and person throughout this first season. I also want to thank my teammates for helping me along the way as well and pushing me to be better every day in training."
"Jackson is the perfect fit for our club," South Georgia Head Coach Ian Cameron said. "A young, talented player who is hungry to improve. He both started the season strong and ended strong, which is not easy for a young player in their rookie campaign to do. While he deserves this accolade, it's granted in part for being new and young. Now his challenge lies in improving his output in year two and making All-League teams. By doing that he'll show his acumen for a strong career in the game. We're excited to help him do that."
The Baulkham Hills, Australia native joined defending champions Tormenta FC in the offseason following a year with Sydney United 58 FC in Australia's second-division National Premier Leagues NSW. Khoury appeared for Sydney United in 2021, playing eight matches, scoring twice and assisting twice. With the Sydney-based team, Khoury took on the Western Sydney Wanderers of the A-League in the Football Federation Australia (FFA) Cup, now known as the Australia Cup.
Khoury was instrumental in Sydney United's National Premier League NSW 2020 championship run. Khoury scored the third goal in the final and scored the second penalty kick in the penalty shootout after 120 minutes. In 2022, Khoury spent time with the Central Coast Mariners Academy, which currently competes in the Y-League and National Premier Leagues. Khoury has also spent time with the Lebanon youth national team in previous camps.
Among 11 players receiving votes, Khoury finished first with 29% of the ballot to earn the award. 2022 USL League One Young Player of the Year finalist and Charlotte midfielder Omar Ciss finished second on 14% with three goals and five assists, while Madison's Jayden Onen finished third - via tiebreaker - on 10% with six assists and 16 shots on target in his first professional season.
The 2023 USL League One Awards were voted on by club technical staffs and executives.
2023 - Jackson Khoury, South Georgia Tormenta FC
Goalkeeper of the Year: Austin Pack, Charlotte Independence
Defender of the Year: Arthur Rogers, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC
Coach of the Year: Dominic Casciato, Union Omaha
Young Player of the Year: Jackson Khoury, South Georgia Tormenta FC
Player of the Year: Friday, Nov. 10