John Wolyniec
Ben Solomon

John Wolyniec, Brandon Allen and Aaron Long named 2016 USL Awards Finalists

TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League announced today the finalists for the 2016 USL Awards. The award winners of will be announced during USL Awards Week between Monday, Oct. 31 and Friday, Nov. 4.

The 2016 USL Awards were voted on by team management and a league-wide media panel that included representation from every USL market.

Three of the USL’s standout performers have been nominated for Most Valuable Player, with the New York Red Bulls II’s Brandon Allen, the Charlotte Independence’s Enzo Martinez and FC Cincinnati’s Sean Okoli earning support from the voting panel. Okoli claimed the USL Golden Boot with 16 goals, one ahead of Allen, while Martinez led the Independence to their first playoff appearance in club history.
Allen is also nominated for the USL Rookie of the Year Award, after his 15 goals set a USL rookie record in the 2016 regular season. Also nominated are Rochester Rhinos defender Joe Farrell and Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2’s Alphonso Davies, who had a remarkable first professional season as he became the youngest player and goal-scorer in USL history at just 15 years old before signing a Homegrown Player contract with the Whitecaps’ MLS squad.

USL Regular Season champions the New York Red Bulls II also earned nominations in two other categories, with Coach John Wolyniec one of the candidates for USL Coach of the Year. He is joined as a finalist by FC Cincinnati’s John Harkes and the Swope Park Rangers’ Marc Dos Santos, both of whom led their expansion clubs to remarkable success in their inaugural seasons.

Red Bulls II center back Aaron Long is also nominated for Defender of the Year after a fine year at the back in his second USL season. The Swope Park Rangers’ Amer Didic and Richmond Kickers’ Hugh Roberts also earned nominations, with Roberts one of only two players to play every minute of the USL regular season.

The Rochester Rhinos’ Tomas Gomez will look to add to his USL Golden Glove Award after earning the lowest goals-against average in the USL this season, but will face competition from FC Cincinnati’s Mitch Hildebrandt and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC’s Devala Gorrick for the USL Goalkeeper of the Year award.

Five nominees for 2016 USL Awards – New York’s Brandon Allen, Aaron Long and John Wolyniec and Swope Park’s Amer Didic and Marc Dos Santos – are set to participate in the 2016 USL Cup Final, Presented by Nike, which will air live on ESPNU, the WatchESPN app and be simulcast on SiriusXM on Sunday, October 23 at 8 p.m. ET.

 

2016 USL Award Finalists

2016 Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists – Winner announced Monday, Oct. 31
Tomas Gomez, Rochester Rhinos

Devala Gorrick, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

Mitch Hildebrandt, FC Cincinnati

 

2016 Defender of the Year Finalists – Winner announced Tuesday, Nov. 1

Amer Didic, Swope Park Rangers

Aaron Long, New York Red Bulls II

Hugh Roberts, Richmond Kickers

 

2016 Coach of the Year Finalists – Winner announced Wednesday, Nov. 2

Marc Dos Santos, Swope Park Rangers

John Harkes, FC Cincinnati

John Wolyniec, New York Red Bulls II

 

2016 Rookie of the Year Finalists – Winner announced Thursday, Nov. 3

Brandon Allen, New York Red Bulls II

Alphonso Davies, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2

Joe Farrell, Rochester Rhinos

 

2016 Most Valuable Player – Winner announced Friday, Nov. 4

Brandon Allen, New York Red Bulls II

Enzo Martinez, Charlotte Independence

Sean Okoli, FC Cincinnati

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