2018 USL English Team of the Season

The USL (second tier, USA) regular season ended at the weekend so let’s have a look back at the English involvement this season and also look forward to the playoffs which start this weekend. Here’s my team of the season made up of Englsh players in the USL.
Goalkeeper – N/A Defender – Jack Metcalf, Atlanta United II Led his side for most chances created with 39 in 31 games. Was the team’s captain as he made the joint most appearances for the club. Defender – Harri Hawkins, Penn FC Played 22 times in first season in USL, making the second most clearances for his side and winning 84 of his 105 aerial duals. Defender – Paco Craig, Louisville City An absolute monster in defence. Lead his side for clearances, blocks, interceptions and aerial duels won. Also scored twice and picked up three assists. Midfielder – Lewis Hilton, Saint Louis Most assists (6) and most chances created (59) for an Englishman in the league. Was named as Saint Louis fans’ Player of the Year. Midfielder – Oliver Shannon, Atlanta United II First season in senior football, provided three assists and created 23 chances. Midfielder – Joe Cole, Tampa Bay Rowdies The former England international scored four goals, assisted two and set up 23 chances as he also took up some coach responsibilities. Midfielder – Jack Barmby, Portland Timbers 2 Son of former England international Nicky, Barmby scored six and assisted three for the affiliate side of MLS club Portland Timbers. Midfielder – Matt Watson, Indy Eleven Played 30 times as he went past 300 appearances in America. Contributed 5 assists and created 29 chances. Forward – Cameron Lancaster, Louisville City Finished as top scorer with 25 goals, which broke regular season record for most goals in a season. Also won two Player of the Month awards and one Player of the Week award. Forward – Tyler Blackwood, Swope Park Rangers Seven goals and three assists, taking his total to 21 goals in three seasons in the USL with three different clubs. Manager – Gary Smith, Nashville Took over Nashville when they did not have a single player signed and has led them to the playoffs in their first season in existence. The playoffs The playoffs contain the top eight teams from both Conferences, eastern and western. First up is the conference quarter-finals, then the semi-finals, finals before the winner of best conference finals play each other in the USL Cup final to decide the overall winner. Conference quarter-final fixtures (teams in bold have English players) FC Cincinnati v Nashville  Charleston Battery v New York Red Bulls Pittsburgh Riverhounds v Bethlehem Steel Phoenix Rising v Portland Timbers 2 Real Monarchs  v Reno 1868 Orange County v Saint Louis  Sacramento Republic v Swope Park Rangers All matches are this weekend.

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