photo courtesy of USL Pro
By FRANCO PANIZO
For the second time in three years, the Charleston Battery are the USL Pro champions.
The Battery ended their dream playoff run on by grabbing a 1-0 victory over the Wilmington Hammerheads in the USL Pro Championship at Blackbaud Stadium on Saturday night, giving Charleston their second title since 2010 and fourth overall.
Jose Cuevas, the game MVP and this season's rookie of the Year, created the lone goal for the Battery in front of a home crowd of 4,963 in the 74th minute. Cuevas hit a pass through the Hammerheads defense that Mike Azira finished with a one-timed, left-footed shot past Wilmington goalkeeper Alex Horwath.
The Hammerheads entered the game having put forth a strong offensive performance in an upset win over favorites and defending champions Orlando City, but they could not replicate that type of outing in the final. Wilmington only managed five shots in the match and none of them came from in-form striker Corey Hertzog.
While the USL Pro champions were crowned on Saturday, the season awards winners were announced Friday. Here are the five winners, as voted on by league coaches and managers:
Most Valuable Player – Kevin Molino, Orlando City
Rookie of the Year – Jose Cuevas, Charleston Battery
Coach of the Year – Adrian Heath, Orlando City
Defender of the Year – Troy Roberts, Rochester Rhinos
Goalkeeper of the Year – Kristian Nicht, Rochester Rhinos
What do you think of the Battery winning the USL Pro Championship? Surprised Wilmington was held scoreless? Agree with the winners of the season awards? How do you look back on this USL Pro season?
Share your thoughts below.