TAMPA, Fla. – The 2017 USL Regular Season reached the halfway point last Sunday as Bethlehem Steel FC hosted the New York Red Bulls II in the 240th game of the 480-game schedule. With numerous standout performances across the league, both on the field and on the sidelines, we’ve selected our nominees for the USL Midseason Awards for you to cast your ballot for which player or coach should claim the Fans’ Choice 2017 USL Midseason Award in five categories.
Earl Edwards, Jr., Orlando City B: Edwards has been key to keeping Orlando in the race for the USL Cup Playoffs, with 50 saves and five shutouts on a .746 save percentage.
Tomas Gomez, Rochester Rhinos: Last year’s USL Golden Glove winner has picked up where he left off, and is tied for the league lead with seven shutouts while sporting a .750 save percentage and 0.62 goals-against average.
Jake McGuire, Bethlehem Steel FC: McGuire has put together a stellar rookie season that has helped Steel FC become a playoff contender. McGuire has notched 45 saves at a .818 save percentage with five shutouts.
Diego Restrepo, San Antonio FC: Restrepo began the season as a backup in San Antonio, but since Matt Cardone’s early-season injury has recorded seven clean sheets, a 0.39 goals-against average and a 0.862 save percentage.
Brandon Aubrey, Toronto FC II: Aubrey is the lone player to rank in the top five in the league in both interceptions (55) and clearances (80) as he has helped lead a Toronto FC II defense that has recorded seven shutouts this season.
Sebastien Ibeagha, San Antonio FC: The only player to play every minute of the season so far for San Antonio, Ibeagha has recorded 33 interceptions and leads the USL with 108 clearances while helping organize a tight back line.
Forrest Lasso, Charleston Battery: Lasso has been a major asset at both ends of the field for the Battery, recording six goals from set pieces in addition to 16 blocked shots and 10 interceptions in his first full year as a starter.
Kyle Smith, Louisville City FC: Smith is the only player to have played every minute for Louisville this season, and in addition to recording 27 tackles and 15 interceptions, Smith has notched two assists and made 16 key passes overall.
Mike Anhaeuser, Charleston Battery: Anhaeuser has brought the best out of the Battery’s mix of old and new faces to put the club on top of the Eastern Conference as the only side to have reached 10 wins in the conference so far.
Mark Briggs, Real Monarchs SLC: Briggs has managed his squad extremely well, and helped the side earn a USL-record nine-game winning streak to sit with the best record in the league at the halfway point.
Darren Powell, San Antonio FC: Powell has helped push San Antonio FC to a new level in its second season, going 14 games undefeated to start the season to put the side in contention for first in the Western Conference.
Ian Russell, Reno 1868 FC: Russell managed an outstanding offensive turnaround after a slow start to the season in his first Head Coaching position to put 1868 FC in solid contention to be a playoff team at the end of the season.
Brandon Aubrey, Toronto FC II: Aubrey has made 14 starts in 15 appearances for TFC II, and is the lone player to rank in the top five in the league in both interceptions (55) and clearances (80) to help Toronto post seven shutouts this season.
Arun Basuljevic, New York Red Bulls II: The Red Bulls Homegrown signing has been a fixture in the Red Bulls II lineup, playing every minute of the season while leading the USL with 1,079 completed passes at an 84 percent accuracy rate, while also notching 24 key passes this season.
Colton Storm, Swope Park Rangers: Storm has been a solid presence when available to the Rangers, putting forward a strong two-way game that has seen him record 18 interceptions, 20 tackles and two assists in 10 games.
Chris Wehan, Reno 1868 FC: Undrafted in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, Wehan has become a force for expansion side Reno, sitting tied for the league lead with seven assists and second in chances created with 38.
Chandler Hoffman, Real Monarchs SLC: Hoffman’s 11 goals and five assists have him in the top five in the league in both categories – the only player who can make that claim – and have helped the Monarchs to the best record in the league.
Sebastien Ibeagha, San Antonio FC: Ibeagha has played every minute of the season for SAFC, leading the way for the league’s best defense with 33 interceptions and strong organization on the back line.
Dane Kelly, Reno 1868 FC: The USL’s all-time leading scorer is in contention for his first USL Golden Boot, with 13 goals for the expansion side and the USL Player of the Month for May to his name already this season.
Romario Williams, Charleston Battery: The USL Player of the Month for June, Williams leads the league with 14 goals and has helped the Battery surge to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
Tag(s): San Antonio FC Real Monarchs SLC Reno 1868 FC Swope Park Rangers Bethlehem Steel FC Charleston Battery Louisville City FC New York Red Bulls II Orlando City B Rochester Rhinos Toronto FC II Forrest Lasso Tomas Gomez Kyle Smith Sebastien Ibeagha Chandler Hoffman Dane Kelly Romario Williams Diego Restrepo Chris Wehan Jake McGuire Colton Storm Arun Basuljevic Earl Edwards Jr Brandon Aubrey 2017 USL Awards