The Staff of Cincinnati Soccer Talk is bringing back our End of Season Awards for the 2018 FC Cincinnati season. On Monday we released our 2018 Fan-Vote Player of the Year Emmanuel Ledesma. On Tuesday we released our 2018 Goal of the Year, followed by Wednesday’s Funny Awards and Thursday’s 2018 Moment of the Year. Today we will release our final award, the 2018 Staff-Voted Player of the Year.
Our staff nominated three players to go alongside the Fan-Voted Player of the Year award. We had a member of CST give their opinion on why this person should win. Check out the results below:
1.) Emmanuel Ledesma
Yosief – Emmanuel Ledesma has been the most electric player in the USL this season. We rarely go a month without one of his goals finding its way to the Sportscenter Top 10. He has had 16 goals in this campaign, coupled with a USL-record 15 assists. Hidden among those numbers have been 63 key passes, a clear indicator he has always been creating. He has been the player to orchestrate and achieve the team’s 2017 goal of 62 goals. Whether it be a a screamer outside of the box or a clean cross to a teammate, no player has been more valuable to FC Cincinnati than Ledesma this year.
2.) Corben Bone – Third Year on this List
Rob – The correct answer is Emmanuel Ledesma. But when we did our midseason awards, we had a listener challenge us with a “hard mode” where we couldn’t pick Ledesma. I liked the idea so much I decided to run with it here. So using that angle, my answer is Corben Bone.
Through the last home game on Sept. 29, Bone led the team in appearances (30) and minutes (2,446). He’s played 85 percent of the USL season through 32 games. He does whatever coach Alan Koch needs him to do. Early in the season, he played as the 10 in the middle of the 4-2-3-1. Then he played on the side of the midfield diamond. He answers the call every single time. And he can be counted on to deliver in the clutch with three straight game-winning goals as the club sought the USL Regular Season Championship — the puddle-skipper in Louisville and two in the last 10 minutes against Toronto and Penn.
3.) Forrest Lasso
Brad – No question that Emmanual Ledesma had a tremendous 2018 season, but my MVP goes out to the best player on a defense that has led to the 21-match unbeaten streak. Forrest Lasso has been the rock in the back line of a top five defense that helped FCC notch a +33 goal differential during the current streak, taking the club to the top of the table. He holds the team lead by a wide margin in clearances, aerial duels won, and is top three in almost every defensive category of the club. His presence alone shuts down most of the activity in the box, limiting opponents to low percentage chances. Ledesma might be the best player on the pitch but I’d argue that Forrest Lasso is the MOST VALUABLE.
Winner: Emmanuel Ledesma