TAMPA, Fla. – The USL Championship announced the 2023 USL Championship All-League Teams on Tuesday, honoring players for their standout regular season performances after a campaign in which eight members of the All-League First Team were first-time honorees.
Sacramento Republic FC led all clubs with three First Team selections in goalkeeper Danny Vitiello and defenders Conor Donovan and Jack Gurr, with forward Russell Cicerone also earning Second Team honors. Vitiello claimed the Golden Glove for the second time in his career while posting a save percentage of 76.2 percent to earn his first All-League honor, while Donovan and Gurr earned selection after stellar individual campaigns for the best defensive unit in the regular season.
2023 Championship Players’ Shield winner Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC saw two players honored in the First Team in defender Arturo Ordoñez and forward Albert Dikwa, who previously claimed the 2023 Championship Golden Boot award after recording 20 goals in the regular season campaign. The Tampa Bay Rowdies also saw two players selected to the First Team in midfielder Charlie Dennis and forward Cal Jennings, both of whom shone in the club’s overhauled attack which led the Eastern Conference with 60 goals in the regular season.
Thirteen clubs are represented in the 2023 USL Championship All-League Team, with 13 players receiving their first selections. Among the notable All-League Second Team selections are Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC’s Kenardo Forbes, who earned his league-record seventh All-League honor after finishing tied for the league-lead with 10 assists, and Charleston Battery phenom Fidel Barajas, who is currently preparing with Mexico for the FIFA Men’s U-17 World Cup in Indonesia, which kicks off this weekend.
Championship All-League First Team selection Danny Trejo is set be in action this Sunday night in the 2023 USL Championship Final as Phoenix Rising FC visits the Charleston Battery at Patriots Point looking to claim its first league title. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and the game will air live on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and SiriusXM FC.
The 2023 USL Championship All-League Team was voted on by club management and a league-wide media panel that included representation from every USL market.
GK – Danny Vitiello, Sacramento Republic FC (1st selection) – In his second season in Sacramento, Vitiello earned the second Championship Golden Glove of his career with a 0.83 goals-against average while recording 11 shutouts and a save percentage of 76.2 percent, the highest mark among regular starters this season.
D – Conor Donovan, Sacramento Republic FC (1st selection) – Donovan was the anchor for the best defensive unit in the Championship’s regular season, recording 39 interceptions and 119 clearances while winning 59.5 percent of overall duels and 63.9 percent of aerial duels while marshaling the back line.
D – Jack Gurr, Sacramento Republic FC (1st selection) – The English defender was a two-way star for Republic FC as he recorded five goals and six assists in the regular season while making 160 recoveries and 19 interceptions and winning 28 tackles defensively on the right side of Sacramento’s lineup.
D – Arturo Ordoñez, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (1st selection) – The Spanish center back had a remarkable season in the center of the Hounds defense, ranking second in the league in aerial duels won (106) and recoveries among outfield players (238) and third in interceptions (63) while also recording five goals joining the attack.
M – Taylor Davila, Rio Grande Valley FC (1st selection) – Davila was a two-way standout for the Toros, recording six goals and five assists and sitting second in the league with 66 chances created, while posting a passing accuracy rate of 84.4 percent and making 203 recoveries and 49 tackles at a success rate of 73.1 percent.
M – Charlie Dennis, Tampa Bay Rowdies (1st selection) – An offseason arrival with the Rowdies, Dennis led the Rowdies with 64 chances created – good for third in the league’s regular season – and recorded 11 goals and three assists while winning 71.4 percent of tackles and making 150 recoveries in a career-best campaign.
M – Jorge Hernandez, San Antonio FC (2nd selection) – Hernandez added to his 2021 honor after claiming the Championship’s Golden Playmaker award with 10 assists in the regular season and 55 chances created. Hernandez also won 21 tackles at a success rate of 67.7 percent and made 185 recoveries defensively.
M – Aaron Molloy, Memphis 901 FC (2nd selection) – The Irish midfielder earned his second consecutive First Team selection after recording eight assists and two goals while leading the Championship with 76 chances created and 2,032 completed passes. Molloy also won 46 tackles at a success rate of 65.7 percent, while making 234 recoveries, tied for third among outfield players.
F – Albert Dikwa, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (1st selection) – The Cameroonian forward built on his first campaign with double-digit goals in 2022 by becoming the 13th player to record a 20-goal season and claim the Championship’s Golden Boot. Dikwa had a shooting accuracy rate of 49.2 percent and shot conversion rate of 33.9 percent in an outstanding campaign.
F – Cal Jennings, Tampa Bay Rowdies (1st selection) – Jennings produced his best season so far in the Championship with 19 goals and three assists to lead the Rowdies’ attack, posting a shooting accuracy rate of 66.7 percent and shot conversion rate of 33.3 percent. Jennings also became the fastest player to reach 50 regular season goals in league history, reaching the mark in just his 90th appearance.
F – Danny Trejo, Phoenix Rising FC (1st selection) – Trejo continued his ascent among the best forwards in the Championship as he recorded 17 goals and seven assists to finish tied for the league-lead in goal contributions in his first campaign with Rising FC. Trejo had a shooting accuracy rate of 55.1 percent, while also recording 27 chances created.
GK – Paul Blanchette, Oakland Roots SC (1st selection) – Blanchette led the Championship with 114 saves in the regular season while also posting nine shutouts and save percentage of 70.2 percent while helping keep Oakland in the playoff chase during the season with a Goals Prevented mark of -4.57.
D – Adrián Diz Pe, Indy Eleven (1st selection) – The Cuban center back was one of the most well-rounded defenders in the league throughout the campaign, recording 49 interceptions and 142 clearances while posting an overall duel success rate of 64.1 percent and an aerial duels success rate of 71.8 percent while also notching three goals.
D – Mitchell Taintor, San Antonio FC (2nd selection) – The veteran center back put together another impressive season in the middle of SAFC’s back line to earn his second consecutive selection, recording 88 clearances and 46 interceptions while ranking in the top five in recoveries with 230. Taintor’s overall duel success rate sat at 59.9 percent, while his tackle success rate was 63.3 percent.
D – Sean Totsch, Louisville City FC (4th selection) – The LouCity veteran earned his fourth consecutive selection after playing every minute of the regular season – one of only two outfield players to do so – as he recorded six goals and made 86 clearances and 44 interceptions while winning 66.4 percent of aerial duels and 55.2 percent of duels overall.
M – Fidel Barajas, Charleston Battery (1st selection) – The Mexico U-17 international phenom was an integral part of the Battery’s turnaround, sitting tied for third in the Championship with nine assists in the regular season while also scoring four times. Barajas was named to The Guardian’s Next Generation 2023 list in October after a stellar year for club and country.
M – Kenardo Forbes, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (7th selection) – The Jamaican veteran remained at the top of his game to earn a seventh All-League nod – the most in the USL Championship era – as he recorded 10 assists and 54 chances created to power the Hounds’ attack while also making 185 recoveries and posting a tackle success rate of 67.7 percent on 21 tackles.
M – Cam Lindley, Indy Eleven (2nd selection) – Lindley earned his second consecutive selection after an offseason transfer brought the Indiana native home to the Boys in Blue. The central midfielder recorded eight assists and 57 chances created while recording 186 recoveries and winning 33 tackles at a 68.8 percent success rate.
M – Enzo Martinez, Birmingham Legion FC (4th selection) – The veteran playmaker earned his second consecutive selection after another standout season for Legion FC in which he recorded 10 goals and seven assists while also recording 37 chances created while winning a team-high 40 tackles at a 66.7 percent success rate.
F – Russell Cicerone, Sacramento Republic FC (1st selection) – An offseason arrival at Republic FC, Cicerone posted the club’s first individual double-digit regular season of goals since 2019 with 15 tallies while also adding four assists. The 28-year-old posted a shooting accuracy rate of 64.6 percent while also recording 41 chances created.
F – Milan Iloski, Orange County SC (2nd selection) – Iloski earned his second consecutive selection after leading Orange County to a second-place finish in the Western Conference with 16 goals, five assists and 40 chances created. The 24-year-old is now set to join Danish Superliga club FC Nordsjælland in the latest European transfer by OCSC in recent years.
F – Tani Oluwaseyi, San Antonio FC (1st selection) – The Nigerian forward had a standout season on loan from Minnesota United FC of Major League Soccer, recording 17 goals and seven assists while equaling the Championship’s single-season record with three hat tricks in the campaign.
Tag(s): News League Announcements San Antonio FC Orange County SC Phoenix Rising FC Rio Grande Valley FC Sacramento Republic FC Charleston Battery Louisville City FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds Tampa Bay Rowdies Kenardo Forbes Albert Dikwa Mitchell Taintor Russell Cicerone Enzo Martínez Sean Totsch Conor Donovan Jorge Hernandez Birmingham Legion FC Indy Eleven Memphis 901 FC Taylor Davila Adrián Diz Cameron Lindley Daniel Vitiello Jack Gurr Paul Blanchette Aaron Molloy Milan Iloski Oakland Roots SC Cal Jennings Danny Trejo Charlie Dennis Arturo Osuna Ordonez Tani Oluwaseyi