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 2012 season. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony in Charleston, South Carolina, site of Saturday’s USL PRO Championship Game featuring the Charleston Battery and Wilmington Hammerheads at Blackbaud Stadium.
Voting for the awards was conducted by league coaches and managers.
Most Valuable Player – Kevin Molino, Orlando City
The Trinidad and Tobago international claimed MVP honors after a standout season that saw him act as a catalyst for an Orlando side that led USL PRO with 50 goals, an average of more than 2.5 per game. Molino himself finished second in the league with seven assists, adding three goals, but in addition his ability to stretch the field against opposing defenses made him the key figure for the Lions’ attack all season.
Rookie of the Year – Jose Cuevas, Charleston Battery
A season after starring in the PDL for the Fresno Fuego, Cuevas brought creativity and versatility to theBattery’s attack throughout the season. Playing as both a forward, and at times an attacking midfielder, Cuevas led all rookies with 18 points, scoring seven goals and adding four assists, as he helped the Battery finish third in the USL PRO regular season.
Coach of the Year – Adrian Heath, Orlando City
Named Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season, Heath’s ability to motivate and get the most out of his roster led to the Lions falling just once in the USL PRO regular season. Orlando has now gone undefeated at the Florida Citrus Bowl in the past two regular seasons, with Heath also helping fulfill the potential of the league’s leading scorer Dennis Chin in his second professional season.
Defender of the Year – Troy Roberts, Rochester Rhinos
Calm and in control at the heart of the Rhinos’ defense, Troy Roberts had another exceptional season in 2012. Named to the USL PRO All-League defense for the second consecutive season, Roberts played every minute of every game as the Rhinos conceded an average of less than a goal per game.
Goalkeeper of the Year – Kristian Nicht, Rochester Rhinos
In his first season in North America, the German standout put in a remarkable run to open the USL PRO season, recording six consecutive shutouts. Nicht continued his outstanding play throughout the remainder of the season, finishing the season with the league lead in shutouts (11), second in goals-against average (0.909) and fourth in total saves (86).