2020 USL League One Awards Finalists Unveiled
November 5, 2020 - United Soccer League One (USL1) News Release
TAMPA, Fla. - The finalists for the 2020 USL League One Awards were announced by the United Soccer League on Thursday, with the leading performers in five categories earning nomination after the league's second campaign. The award winners will be announced between Wednesday, Nov. 11 and Friday, Nov. 13.
The 2020 USL League One Awards were voted on by team technical staffs and executives representing every team.
2020 USL League One Award Finalists
2020 Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists - Winner announced Wednesday, Nov. 11
USL League One Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists
Pablo Jara, South Georgia Tormenta FC: For a second consecutive season, Jara played every minute of the regular season for Tormenta FC and finished third in League One with 49 saves. The Chilean shot-stopper raised his save percentage to 69 percent and finished third in the league with four shutouts.
Dallas Jaye, Greenville Triumph SC: Looking to add to his second consecutive Golden Glove award, Jaye led the league with nine shutouts and a goals-against average of 0.69 while posting a save percentage of 74.4 percent as he helped lead Greenville to the League One title.
Rashid Nuhu, Union Omaha: In his first season as a full-time starter in the professional ranks, Nuhu excelled for Los Buhos as he posted a 0.89 goals-against average and a save percentage of 71.1 percent. The Ghanaian native ranked second in the league with six shutouts and eight catches as Omaha earned a second-place finish in its inaugural season.
2020 Defender of the Year Finalists - Winner announced Wednesday, Nov. 11
USL League One Defender of the Year Finalists
Justin Che, North Texas SC: In his first professional season, Che showed off his immense potential and ball-winning ability despite being just 16 years old. Signed to an MLS Homegrown Player contract on October 2, Che ranked third among defenders with 94 recoveries and seventh with 29 interceptions while also recording 10 blocked shots and 39 clearances.
Brandon Fricke, Greenville Triumph SC: An offseason addition to Triumph SC's back line, Fricke continued his high level of play to help lead the best defense in the league as he finished tied for the most blocked shots (17) and won 59 percent of duels, 61.5 percent of aerials and 83.3 percent of tackles.
Tyler Polak, Greenville Triumph SC: Nominated for a second consecutive season, Polak led League One with 41 interceptions and ranked first among defenders with 115 recoveries. Playing all-but-two minutes in the regular season, Polak played a key role in helping Greenville's back line limit opponents to only 43 shots on goal (2.69 per game) over the regular season.
2020 Coach of the Year Finalists - Winner announced Thursday, Nov. 12
John Harkes, Greenville Triumph SC: After leading Greenville to the League One Final in its inaugural season, Harkes went one better in 2020 as his side led the League One standings from wire-to-wire to claim its first league title. Triumph SC won five of its first six games, then posted another five-game winning streak to finish six points clear at the top of the standings while conceding a league-fewest 11 goals.
Jay Mims, Union Omaha: Tasked with leading an expansion side into its inaugural season, Mims brought immediate success to Omaha with a squad that proved one of the hardest to defeat throughout the year. Omaha opened its campaign with an eight-game undefeated streak, and then closed the year with four wins in its last five games to finish second in the standings.
Eric Quill, North Texas SC: With a large contingent of new players at his command to defend North Texas' title, Quill's squad battled fiercely for points in the first half of the season. As the new pieces came together, however, North Texas surged up the standings under Quill's command and won five of its last six games to remain in contention for a top-two finish going to the final game of the regular season.
2020 Young Player of the Year Finalists - Winner announced Thursday, Nov. 12
USL League One Young Player of the Year Finalists
Edison Azcona, Fort Lauderdale CF: Azcona had an impressive first professional season for Fort Lauderdale as he recorded three goals, three assists and 17 chances created in attack while also winning 22 of 34 tackles and completing 351 of 428 passes, an 82 percent accuracy rate. Azcona's play also earned his first call-up to the Dominican Republic's National Team for the first time late in October.
Chris Brady, Forward Madison FC: Brought in on loan from the Chicago Fire, the 16-year-old Brady had a stellar season for Madison as he posted a 0.75 goals-against average in eight appearances, recorded three shutouts and had a save percentage of 76 percent in his first professional season.
Justin Che, North Texas SC: Moving into the squad for the defending title-holders in 2020, Che appeared in every game of the season and impressed with his ball-winning skills and distribution. The 16-year-old ranked third among defenders with 94 recoveries and seventh with 29 interceptions but also ranked second in passes attempted and completed 691 of 848 passes overall while recording one assist and six chances created.
Nicolas Firmino, New England Revolution II: Signed to a Homegrown Player contract in 2018, Firmino saw his first professional minutes with the Revolution II this season as he recorded four goals, two assists and 22 chances created while appearing in every game of the season. The 19-year-old also had a passing accuracy rate of 72.1 percent in the attacking half of the field and completed 19 of 37 dribbles.
2020 Most Valuable Player Finalists - Winner announced Friday, Nov. 13
USL League One Most Valuable Player Finalists
Dallas Jaye, Greenville Triumph SC: For a second consecutive season, Jaye excelled between the sticks for Greenville and helped the club claim its first league title as he earned Golden Glove honors with a 0.69 goals-against average. The Guam international also notched a save percentage of 74.4 percent and nine shutouts while playing every minute of the season.
Alex Morrell, Greenville Triumph SC: An offseason addition to the Triumph SC squad, Morrell helped provide the attacking jolt the club needed to claim the League One title. The attacking playmaker recorded five goals and tied for the league-lead with six assists - playing a direct role in 45.8 percent of Greenville's goals - while finishing the season with 34 chances created, good for third in the league.
Emiliano Terzaghi, Richmond Kickers: Terzaghi gave the Kickers the attacking lift it had been looking for in the club's return to title contention in 2020 as he earned the League One Golden Boot with 10 goals at a strike rate of a goal every 124.3 minutes. The Argentine led the league with 47 total shots and ranked second in shots on target with 23, and also put in work defensively, winning 55.1 percent of duels and 66.7 percent of tackles.
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United Soccer League One Stories from November 5, 2020
- TFC Academy Raises $22,000 from Tournament of Terror, Fundraising - South Georgia Tormenta FC
- Edison Azcona Nominated for USL League One Young Player of the Year - Fort Lauderdale CF
- Jara Named Finalist for Goalkeeper of the Year Award - South Georgia Tormenta FC
- Nicolas Firmino Named Finalist for USL League One Young Player of the Year Award - USL1
- 2020 USL League One Awards Finalists Unveiled - USL1
- Michael Vang Named 2020 Forward Madison MVP - Forward Madison FC
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