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Riverhounds SC veteran midfielder Kenardo Forbes named to All-USL Second Team

File photo courtesy Rachael Kriger

Riverhounds SC veteran midfielder Kenardo Forbes named to All-USL Second Team

USL Championship announced the 2021 USL Championship All-League Teams on Tuesday as standout players from the past regular season were honored for their performances.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC had one player, Kenardo Forbes, the league’s all-time assists leader, named to the Second Team.

Forbes earned his fifth overall All-League selection as he was voted to the All-League Second Team. The Jamaican playmaker has been selected to the All-League team five times in the past six seasons, previously earning First Team honors in 2019 and 2020 and Second Team honors in 2016 and 2018.

This season, Forbes started off a bit slow in terms of offensive production, but remained the key player who the Hounds continued to play through.  As the season evolved, the 33 year-old started to became a mainstay higher up in the Hounds’ formation.

Analysis & Player Grades: Kenardo Forbes’ higher presence diversifies Hounds attack

Forbes, who spent a lot of time playing deeper in the central midfield for much of his four-year run in Pittsburgh, in 2021 played a role similiar to what Kevin Kerr did later in his career, a bit higher up as a savvy innovator and connector.

By season’s end, the Kingston, Jamaica native scored five goals and had six assists in 31 appearances (29 of those were starts) amassing a total of 2,579 total minutes played.   With 62 key passes at a rate of 83% (1,414 total passes), Forbes remained one of the most reliable and sharpest passers in the USL Championship in 2021.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies earned three selections in the All-League First Team as 13 clubs overall had players selected among the 22 honorees.

The 2021 USL Championship All-League Team was voted on by club management and a league-wide media panel that included representation from every USL market.

Later in the afternoon, the USL Championship annouced its finalists for the league’s postseason awards, as no Riverhounds SC players nor did Head Coach Bob Lilley make the cut.

The finalists for the 2021 Championship Awards will be announced on Tuesday, preceding the 2021 USL Championship Final, which will air live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and SiriusXM FC in the United States on Sunday, November 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET.


Here’s a look at the All-League Selections

USL Championship – All League First Team (2021) 

GK – Evan Louro, Tampa Bay Rowdies: In his second season in Tampa Bay, Evan Louro led the Championship with 14 shutouts – good for second-most in a regular season in league history – and posted a 0.74 goals-against average while playing 31 of 32 regular season games for the Atlantic Division winner.

D – Paco Craig, Miami FC: Making his return to the Championship in Miami, Paco Craig earned a third All-League First Team selection as he starred in the center of his new club’s back line. The English center back finished tied for the league-lead among defenders with 198 recoveries and fourth overall with 134 clearances, while also posting a 63.9 percent duel success rate and 62.6 aerial duel success rate, earning a +7.50 Goals Added mark to lead all center backs in the Championship.

D – Jonathan Gomez, Louisville City FC: The 18-year-old standout had a remarkable year that saw him named in the preliminary roster for the United States to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, and individually Jonathan Gomez proved a standout two-way player for LouCity as he recorded two goals, eight assists and 44 key passes offensively while recording 43 interceptions and a 75 percent tackle success rate defensively.

D – Forrest Lasso, Tampa Bay Rowdies: Voted to the All-League First Team for a fifth consecutive season, Forrest Lasso was the centerpiece of a three-man back line that was the best defense in the league for Tampa Bay. Lasso led the league with 153 clearances and 132 aerial duels won, the latter coming at a 73.3 percent success rate, while also winning 67.7 percent of duels and blocking 26 shots.

D – Sean Totsch, Louisville City FC: LouCity stalwart Sean Totsch was one of only three players to play every minute of the regular season as he earned his second consecutive All-League First Team selection. Totsch completed a league-high 1,765 of 2,079 passes in the regular season while also recording 195 recoveries and winning 114 aerial duels – second among defenders – at a 69.5 percent success rate as LouCity faced a league-fewest 263 shots.

M – Danny Barrera, Hartford Athletic: Earning his second All-League First Team honor, Danny Barrera led the league with 12 assists and ranked third with 82 key passes while also scoring eight goals, good for second on the Athletic. The 31-year-old native of Colombia also completed 1,001 passes at a 78.1 percent accuracy rate to post a +6.58 Goals Added mark over the regular season.

M – Jorge Hernandez, LA Galaxy II: The 20-year-old playmaker had a breakthrough season for Los Dos as he recorded 12 goals and six assists while leading the league with 91 chances created in the regular season. Hernandez’s play helped propel the Galaxy II attack as he finished with the highest Expected Assists mark in the league at 8.52xA while tying for the league lead with three goals directly from free kicks and a league-high five goals from outside the penalty area.

M – Aodhan Quinn, Phoenix Rising FC: One of the league’s major offseason moves as he joined Phoenix, Aodhan Quinn earned the second All-League First Team selection of his career with a standout season for the Pacific Division winners. Quinn finished tied for second in the league with 11 assists and notched six goals for Rising FC while ranking second in the Championship with 84 key passes and second on Rising FC with a +7.89 Goals Added mark.

F – Hadji Barry, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: The Guinean forward equaled the Championship’s single-season scoring record with 25 goals in a remarkable campaign that helped the Switchbacks earn their first postseason berth since 2016. Hadji Barry averaged a goal every 114.9 minutes while also notching five assists and 49 key passes to lead a rejuvenated squad to success at Colorado Springs’ new downtown home.

F – Sebastian Guenzatti, Tampa Bay Rowdies: The Rowdies’ captain earned his first All-League First Team selection as he scored a career-best 21 goals in the regular season while also recording six assists to lead the club in both categories. Sebastian Guenzatti’s work-rate as the first line of defense also drew plaudits throughout the season as he recorded 24 interceptions and notched a Goals Added mark of +10.86 to lead all players in the Championship.

F – Santi Moar, Phoenix Rising FC: The Spaniard had a career-high 16 goals in his second season with Rising FC, leading the team, while also recording four assists and 63 key passes to sit tied for fourth in the league. Santi Moar’s decision-making in the final third also played a major role in Rising FC’s success as he completed 49 dribbles and recorded four goals from beyond the penalty area, tied for second in the league.

USL Championship – All League First Team (2021) 

Matt VanOekel, Birmingham Legion FC: The veteran had an outstanding individual campaign in basic numbers, finishing tied for third in the league with nine shutouts and recording 80 saves, but the impressiveness of Matt VanOekel’s 2021 season was made clear with his league-best -8.36 differential in Goals Conceded over Expected Goals as he led the second-best defense in the regular season.

D – Aaron Guillen, Tampa Bay Rowdies: Aaron Guillen continued to provide an ideal complement to Forrest Lasso in the Rowdies’ three-man back line as he led the side with 59 interceptions while winning duels at a 69.3 percent success rate and aerial duels at a 78 percent success rate. The 28-year-old led Tampa Bay with 1,392 passes completed – fifth-most in the league – at an 83.5 percent accuracy rate.

D – James Musa, Phoenix Rising FC: The New Zealand international seamlessly moved back into the Rising FC lineup after a season away to play a key role in the center of defense for Phoenix. James Musa won 148 duels at a success rate of 68.8 percent while also notching 56 interceptions defensively and completed 1,294 passes at an 83.7 percent accuracy rate, earning a +5.80 Goals Added mark.

D – Mark Segbers, Memphis 901 FC: One of a handful of holdovers at 901 FC, Mark Segbers was a central figure in the club’s first postseason berth. The right back recorded 62 interceptions – good for eighth in the league – and made 185 recoveries, eighth-most among defenders, while recording two goals, three assists and 30 chances created in the attacking end of the field.

D – Josh Yaro, San Diego Loyal SC: Joining San Diego over the offseason, Josh Yaro had a standout season on both sides of the ball, recording 27 tackles at a 77.1 percent success rate – tied for second-highest percentage in the league among players with at least 25 tackles – while also notching 53 interceptions and a duel success rate of 66.3 percent. Yaro also completed 1,461 passes – fourth-most in the league – at an accuracy rate of 89.7 percent.

M – Jose Gallegos, San Antonio FC: Nominated for the Championship’s Young Player of the Year award a season ago, the San Antonio FC Academy product earned his first All-League selection this campaign after taking the next step toward what appears a bright future. Jose Gallegos led the league with 99 completed dribbles, had seven goals, three assists and 38 chances created, and also tied for third in the league with 233 duels won.

M – Kenardo Forbes, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: The Championship’s all-time leader in regular season assists earned his fifth All-League selection after a season in which he continued to be a catalyst for the Hounds, recording five goals and six assists while sitting tied for fourth in the Championship with 63 chances created. Kenardo Forbes also ranked third in the league with a 7.56 Expected Assists mark.

M – Diego Luna, El Paso Locomotive FC: Recently selected to the United States U-20 National Team, Diego Luna made an impressive debut in the professional ranks with Locomotive FC as he recorded nine goals and five assists for the Mountain Division winner at the age of 18 years old. Luna recorded 37 chances created overall and had a shot conversion rate of 21.7 percent.

F – Neco Brett, Birmingham Legion FC: The Jamaican forward earned his second All-League Second Team selection after a career-best 18 goals in the regular season for Legion FC that accounted for more than one-third of the side’s overall attacking output in the regular season. Neco Brett also added three assists and 32 key passes and had a shot conversion rate of 29.5 percent.

F – Cameron Lancaster, Louisville City FC: Earning his third All-League selection in the past four seasons, Cameron Lancaster became only the second player in league history to record multiple 20-goal regular season campaigns with 20 tallies for LouCity’s high-flying attack. The English forward averaged a goal every 92.6 minutes, the best scoring rate in the league among players with at least 10 goals in the regular season campaign.

F – Kyle Murphy, Memphis 901 FC: One of numerous offseason arrivals in Memphis, Kyle Murphy had a career season as he became the 10th player in league history to record 20 goals in a regular season. Murphy averaged a goal every 106 minutes on a shot conversion rate of 28.6 percent, and accounted for 41.6 percent of 901 FC’s goals as the side reached the postseason for the first time

 

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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