USL PRO News Release
Friday, September 27, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO honored its top performers of the season today, announcing the Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Defender of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year and Coach of the Year from the 2014 season. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony in Sacramento, Calif., site of Saturday’s USL PRO Championship Game featuring Sacramento Republic FC and the Harrisburg City Islanders.
Voting for the awards was conducted by USL PRO team management.
Most Valuable Player – Kevin Molino, Orlando City SC
Molino claimed his second USL PRO Most Valuable Player award after a record-breaking season for the Lions. Signed to an MLS contract before the season by Orlando as the Lions make the move to North America’s top flight in 2015, Molino bowed out in style with a league-record 20 goals in 27 appearances. The Trinidad & Tobago international also led USL PRO with nine assists, to set a league record with 49 points.
Goalkeeper of the Year, Rookie of the Year – John McCarthy, Rochester Rhinos
A former PDL All-Conference selection for the Ocean City Nor’easters, McCarthy had a remarkable rookie season in USL PRO that saw him lead the league in goals against-average and shutouts. McCarthy recorded 10 shutouts in 18 appearances to finish with a GAA of 0.722 as he helped the Rhinos return to the postseason.
Defender of the Year – Nemanja Vukovic, Sacramento Republic FC
A native of Montenegro, former Columbus Crew defender Vukovic had a standout season for the expansion franchise. After opening the season at left back, Vukovic moved centrally to partner with Mickey Daly and solidify Republic FC’s defense. The 6-foot-2 veteran also had a goal and three assists in the regular season, as he proved a threat at set pieces, as he missed just once game all season.
Coach of the Year – Preki, Sacramento Republic FC
The former U.S. Men’s international added a USL PRO Coach of the Year award to the MLS Coach of the Year award he earned with Chivas USA in 2007. Tasked with bringing together an expansion squad, Preki pushed his side to a second-place finish in the regular season that was clinched with a game to spare thanks to a 10-game undefeated streak (8-0-2) that spanned July to September.
The 2014 USL PRO Championship Game presented by Nike will see No. 2-seed Sacramento Republic FC host the No. 8-seed Harrisburg City Islanders at a sold out Bonney Field at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT on Saturday. All of the action can be watched live on the USL PRO YouTube channel, with updates also available on Twitter (@USLPRO).