Delicâte, Willis, Yomby, and Coach Cowlishaw are in the running for awards.
The Richmond Kickers again this year stumbled in the playoffs and will be watching this Saturday’s USL Pro Championship from their couches after losing a hard fought semi-final. The Kickers did however have a great year and that is reflected in the selection of a Kicker in four out of the five USL Pro year end awards. The only category a Kicker is not represented in is “Rookie of the Year”.
It’ll be a crime if Matthew Delicâte doesn’t win because without a doubt he was “Most Valuable” to the team as evidenced by the problems the Kickers had after he went down with an injury. I suspect that Orlando City FC’s Kevin Molino will take it since he lead the league in both goals 20 (Delicâte had 14) and 9 assists.
For Coach of the Year, despite my bias, I don’t think Leigh Cowlishaw has a chance against overachieving Preki of the Sacramento Republic FC and MLS bound, Season winner Adrian Heath of Orlando City SC. We could be surprised and perhaps the voters will look at the amount of money and talent each coach had to work with and Leigh brings it home.
Goal Keeper Joe Willis will also be hurt in the voting for missing the last part of the season due to a call up back to D.C. United so I’m predicting John McCarthy will win due to is 10 shutouts and 0.72 Goals Against Average. Willis had a second place GAA at 0.88 and registered seven shutouts.
That leaves us with defender William Yomby and the race for Defender of the Year. If the voters watched the games they’ll give the votes to Yomby. He is a warrior and loved by the fans and I hope he receives the award but you never know in a category like this where stats are harder to quantify and you can’t but a number on leadership and heart.
The award winners will be announced at 4:30 p.m. ET Friday at the 2014 USL PRO Championship Press Conference at the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento, California. Participants will include USL President Tim Holt and the management, coaches and players from both teams.
Votes for the USL PRO honors are submitted by USL PRO team management and select media from each market, and finalists are determined based on total All-League votes.