USL announced on Tuesday the finalists for 2018 season awards, and Orange County SC had three finalists in two categories.
Head coach Braeden Cloutier is a finalist for USL Coach of the Year, while both forward Thomas Enevoldsen and midfielder Aodhan Quinn are finalists for USL MVP.
Cloutier, one of three finalists for Coach of the Year alongside FC Cincinnati’s Alan Koch and Pittsburgh Riverhounds’ Bob Lilley, led OCSC to its best season in team history. They broke team records in points and total wins in the regular season (interestingly, an equal number of wins at home and on the road), and he helped them finish atop the Western Conference for the second time in club history. Cloutier also subsequently helped Orange County to their best-ever playoff run, in the Western Conference finals, and helped bring several key contributors, including Quinn, to the team this season.
Speaking of Quinn, the midfielder, in his first season in Orange County, tallied 11 goals and 14 assists on the season, one of a very few players to finish with a “double-double” season in USL history. He was second in assists in the league, led the league in chances created, with 103, finished second in the league among all outfield players with 289 possession recoveries, and played every minute of the regular season.
He’s joined in the USL MVP finalist group by his teammate Enevoldsen, who also played every minute of the regular season in his first season in USL after playing in Europe. Enevoldsen scored 20 goals, second for the USL Golden Boot, and added nine assists, good for eighth in the league, despite operating as a striker. The Dane was a consistent contributor throughout the season to help OCSC to their best campaign ever.
Quinn and Enevoldsen are joined as MVP finalists by FC Cincinnati midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma and Louisville City FC striker Cameron Lancaster.
While USL has expanded its pomp over the years as the league has expanded at a rapid rate and increased professionalism, since we began covering Orange County closely in 2015 this is the first time a player or coach from the club has been finalist for a season award. Quinn and Enevoldsen were also both named to the 2018 USL All-League first team on Monday, the first players in club history to be on the All-League first team since 2011.
Coach of the Year will be announced next Tuesday, while USL MVP will be announced next Wednesday. Congrats to Braeden, Aodhan and Thomas on being named finalists, and best of luck for the awards themselves.
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