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Vote for your picks in the USL Championship Fans’ Choice Midseason Awards

By Staff, 07/02/24, 6:00PM EDT


At the midpoint of the season, which players have stood out in the five major categories?

With 17 weeks complete, we’re officially at the midway point of the 2024 USL Championship regular season. That means it’s time to take stock of what we’ve seen around the league, and the figures that have starred for their clubs so far.

Welcome to the 2024 USL Championship Fans’ Choice Midseason Awards, where we’re asking you to cast your vote across the five major categories the league honors each season.

We have four nominees in each category, including some familiar faces and some breakout stars who are making names for themselves this season.

Voting will wrap up on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.  We’ll announce the winners – plus the picks of Nicholas Murray and Devon Kerr – next Tuesday.

Goalkeeper of the Year

Danny Vitiello, Sacramento Republic FC – The reigning Goalkeeper of the Year has delivered a stellar first half of the 2024 campaign, leading the league with eight shutouts and posting a save percentage of 83 percent. Vitiello’s spectacular stops have seen him log a -7.27 Goals Prevented mark in 14 appearances.

Jordan Farr, Tampa Bay Rowdies – The 2022 Goalkeeper of the Year has seen a return to form following his arrival in Tampa Bay. Farr sits tied for second in the league with six shutouts and has a 72.6 save percentage while sitting on a -3.26 Goals Prevented mark in 16 appearances.

Antony Siaha, Monterey Bay F.C. – The Cameroonian has been the busiest goalkeeper in the league through 18 appearances, making 73 saves – an average of 4.1 per 90 minutes – while posting a save percentage of 76 percent and four shutouts for the postseason contender.

Damian Las, Louisville City FC – The former U.S. youth international has made a big impact for LouCity since his arrival, sitting tied for the second in the league with six shutouts and tied for sixth with 44 saves at a save percentage of 67.2 percent.

Defender of the Year

Leland Archer, Charleston Battery – The Trinidad and Tobago international is having arguably his best season since joining the Battery, having recorded 59 clearances and 12 blocked shots while winning 63.3 percent of duels and 65.6 percent of tackles to grade out as a +4.35 Goals Added mark per American Soccer Analysis, the highest among center backs.

Kendall Burks, San Antonio FC – Burks has put up big numbers across the board, ranking second among defenders in the league in clearances (81), tied for third in blocked shots (16), third in duels won (104 at a 70.8% success rate), and first in aerial duels won (71 at a 74.7% success rate) to register a +2.98 Goals Added mark.

Phanuel Kavita, Birmingham Legion FC – The veteran has delivered impressive individual numbers throughout the season, leading the Championship with 19 blocked shots while also recording a 70.6 percent tackle success rate and 41 clearances, earning a +3.70 Goals Added mark.

Matt Mahoney, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – The Switchbacks’ captain has produced an impressive first half of the campaign, leading all defenders with 40 interceptions while sitting second with 82 recoveries, third with 77 clearances and winning 14 tackles at an 87.5 percent success rate to grade out at a +3.12 Goals Added mark. Add to that his leadership to help guide the Switchbacks up the standings after a slow start and you have one of the league’s best.

Coach of the Year

Danny Cruz, Louisville City FC – In his fourth season, Cruz’s side leads the race for the Players’ Shield with 12 wins in 17 outings and also leads the Championship with 46 goals – an average of 2.71 per game and 14 more than its closest rival – while sitting with a league-best Expected Goals mark of 34.44xG.

Eric Quill, New Mexico United – In his first full season at the helm, Quill has led New Mexico to the top of the Western Conference with a side that has won 10 times in 15 contests. United’s key quality has been an ability to maintain leads, having dropped only two points from winning positions this season.

Ben Pirmann, Charleston Battery – After directing the Battery’s turnaround a season ago, Pirmann’s squad has picked up where it left off in its defense of the Eastern Conference crown. Charleston sits second to Louisville in the Players’ Shield race and in goals scored and has allowed only 13 goals in 17 games.

Sean McAuley, Indy Eleven – After a slow start to his first season in charge, McAuley directed the Boys in Blue to an eight-game winning streak in the Championship and 10-game winning streak in all competitions to push the side into the top three in the Eastern Conference and the Quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time in club history.

Young Player of the Year

Ray Serrano, Louisville City FC – The 22-year-old leads all eligible players in both goals (6) and assists (3) during a breakout season in which he’s become a key part of LouCity’s league-best attack. Serrano is also tied for fourth in the league overall with eight big chances created and has completed 18 dribbles at a 60 percent success rate to grade out at +5.81 Goals Added per American Soccer Analysis.

Rocco Ríos Novo, Phoenix Rising FC – The Argentine youth international has recorded a save percentage of 72.7 percent on 56 saves and five shutouts for the defending title holders while posting a -3.38 Goals Prevented mark as arguably the most important player on the field for Rising to this point.

Abdellatif Aboukoura, Loudoun United FC – The 19-year-old Egyptian youth international has recorded four goals from attacking midfield to help power Loudoun into serious playoff contention while recording 23 shots and 11 shots on target overall.

Kobe Hernandez-Foster, Birmingham Legion FC – The 22-year-old has been key in the center of midfield for Legion, recording 31 chances created and completing 852 passes at an 85.9 percent accuracy rate while also recording 88 recoveries to rank third in Legion’s squad with a +3.08 Goals Added mark.

Player of the Year

Nick Markanich, Charleston Battery – The 24-year-old leads the Golden Boot race with 13 goals at a strike rate of a goal every 108.3 minutes and has also notched three assists, recording 53 shots, 26 shots on target and 24 chances created to sit on a +4.87 Goals Added mark to lead the Battery and rank top five in the league overall.

Wilson Harris, Louisville City FC – The former Championship Young Player of the Year has recorded 11 goals at a strike rate of a goal every 106.5 minutes and has also notched a pair of assists while recording 43 shots, 24 shots on target and 13 chances created to post a +3.51 Goals Added mark.

Cal Jennings, Tampa Bay Rowdies – The 2023 All-League First Team selection has recorded nine goals at a strike rate of a goal every 141.1 minutes, recording 68 shots and 28 shots on target while serving as an integral part of the Rowdies attack to lead the Championship with a +7.45 Goals Added mark.

Danny Vitiello, Sacramento Republic FC – The reigning Championship Goalkeeper of the Year has continued to shine this season, posting a 0.57 goals-against average and league-high eight shutouts on a save percentage of 83 percent. Vitiello has a -7.27 Goals Prevented mark via Opta and a league-best +5.63 Goals Added mark among goalkeepers.

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