Tuesday, September 29, 2009
TAMPA, FL – United Soccer Leagues announced Tuesday the USL First Division’s 2009 All-League Second Team, honoring 11 of the top 22 players of the season as voted on by the league’s coaches and general managers. The All-League First Team and additional awards will be announced Wednesday.
Seven of the 11 selections have received All-League recognition in the USL First Division previously, including 2008 honorees Bill Gaudette, Stephen deRoux, Cameron Knowles, Martin Nash and Jonathan Steele. It is the fifth time Nash has received an All-League award.
USL First Division All-League Second Team
Goalkeeper – Bill Gaudette (Puerto Rico Islanders)
The Goalkeeper of the Year last year, Gaudette had another fantastic season for the Islanders. He finished fifth in the league in goals against average at 0.74, but was tied for first in wins (15) with Steve Cronin, tied for first in shutouts (12) with Dusty Hudock while playing in the CONCACAF Champions League and as well as logging the fourth most minutes at the position in the league.
Defender – Stephen deRoux (Montreal Impact)
A First Team selection last year with the Minnesota Thunder, the defender joined the Impact during the offseason and has become a key figure in the new look of the famous Impact back line. He saw action in 22 games for Montreal with one assist on the year. He missed seven games midseason due to a fractured bone in the cheek, but returned triumphantly to lead the club down the stretch despite having to play with a mask to protect the injury.
Defender – Cameron Knowles (Portland Timbers)
Knowles was recognized for the third consecutive year despite seeing his seasons cut short due to injury after 20 games. He helped lead the Timbers through part of its 24-game league record unbeaten streak and was a regular starter on a back line that finished tied for the league lead in fewest goals allowed at 19. He was previously a Second Team selection last year and a First Team honoree in 2007.
Defender – John Krause (Puerto Rico Islanders)
Krause was one of two players on the club (Cristian Arrieta) to play in 28 games on the season, and was part of the Islanders defensive unit that was particularly difficult to penetrate at home, allowing just 11 goals in 15 games. He also proved to be a contributor offensively with five goals on the season, eclipsing the three total he had in his previous two campaigns with the Islanders.
Defender – Mark Schulte (Carolina RailHawks)
It is the second time Schulte has received All-League honors in USL-1, having previously been named to the Second Team in 2002 as a member of the Minnesota Thunder. The past two years, he was honored as a First Team selection in the USL Second Division while also capturing the Defender of the Year honor as a member of the Cleveland City Stars. He helped lead Carolina to its best season in the club’s brief history and a second-place finish in the league, finishing tied for the league lead in fewest goals allowed at 19. He played 2,500 minutes in 28 games with a goal and an assist.
Midfielder – Martin Nash (Vancouver Whitecaps)
The leader of the club, Nash became the 12th player in league history to earn All-League honors a fifth time. He was previously recognized on the First Team in 2007 and 2008 and was on the Second Team while playing for Rochester in 2000. He was also an All-League selection for Vancouver in 1996, his second season in the league. The team captain played in 25 games with four goals and three assists before suffering a hamstring injury at the tail end of the season, but returned for the playoffs.
Midfielder – Lawrence Olum (Minnesota Thunder)
A member of the Timbers the past two years, Olum joined the Thunder and quickly became a staple in the midfield, logging the third most minutes for the team over the course of 28 games played. He also contributed career highs with five goals and three assists for the year.
Midfielder – Jonathan Steele (Puerto Rico Islanders)
The league MVP a year ago, Steele helped lead the Islanders back to the postseason with a third place finish in the table and the league’s best home record. In his second year with Puerto Rico, he finished the season with four goals and three assists for the third most points on the team over the course of 23 games played.
Midfielder – David Testo (Montreal Impact)
In his sixth season in the league and third with the Impact, it is the second time Testo has been honored since his USL-1 debut with the Richmond Kickers in 2003 as a member of the Second Team. Testo proved to be a reliable figure in the Montreal midfield as the only player on the side to reach the 2,000 minute plateau with 2,235 logged over the course of 26 matches. It was the first time in his USL career he had reached that plateau. He also contributed a goal and an assist on the year.
Forward – Marlon James (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Despite missing large portions of the season due to three injuries, the new addition to the Whitecaps proved lethal when on the pitch, registering nine goals in his 17 appearances this season. His goal total ranked him eighth in the league in points and was sixth in the goals table for the year.
Forward – Eddie Johnson (Austin Aztex)
The English striker led the team in scoring in his first year in the league, finishing the season with five goals and four assists in 22 games played. He was also second on the team in minutes played for the year behind Ryan McMahen. He finished tied for 14th in the league in points.