CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma and goalkeeper Evan Newton claimed 2018 United Soccer League season statistical awards, the USL announced today. Ledesma was named the 2018 USL Assists Champion after setting a new league record with 16 assists on the year. In addition, Newton was honored as the winner of the 2018 USL Golden Glove for finishing the season with the lowest goals against average among all qualifying goalkeepers.
Ledesma capped a sensational season for the Orange and Blue by registering 16 goals and 16 assists in 31 appearances in 2018.
With 16 assists, the Argentine established a new USL single-season assist record, passing the old mark of 12 assists, previously set by Matthew Dallman (Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, 2013) and Chris Wehan (Reno 1868 FC, 2017). Ledesma became the first player in the USL’s modern era to record 15 goals and 15 assists in a single season while finishing two assists ahead of Orange County SC’s Aodhan Quinn (14) and three ahead of North Carolina FC’s Kyle Bekker and Reno 1868 FC’s Antoine Hoppenot (13 each).
Ledesma has earned USL Player of the Month twice this year, claiming the honor in June and September. Additionally, he was voted to USL Team of the Week seven times, scored the USL Goal of the Week twice, honored as USL Player of the week once and voted Midseason Most Valuable Player by fans.
Newton had a strong season in net for the Orange and Blue, posting a 12-2-6 record and nine shutouts with a league-leading 0.80 goals against average across 20 USL appearances. Newton made 56 saves on 72 shots, saving 77.8 percent of the shots he faced. FCC’s goalkeeper earned the honor over Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC’s Dan Lynd (0.81 GAA) and Nashville SC’s Matt Pickens (0.90 GAA).
Newton earned USL Save of the Week on three occasions this season and was named to Team of the Week once. In his last seven regular-season appearances, Newton posted a 5-0-2 record with four shutouts and made 23-of-26 saves, saving 88.4 percent of the shots he faced.
FC Cincinnati (23-3-8, 77 pts.) will enter the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs as the tournament’s number one overall seed as the regular-season champion. The Orange and Blue will begin play when they host Nashville SC (12-9-13, 49 pts.) at Nippert Stadium for an Eastern Conference Quarterfinal match at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20. Tickets are on sale now.
For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. For more information about FC Cincinnati tickets - including 2018 USL Cup Playoffs tickets - call 513-977-KICK (5425) or visit fccincinnati.com/tickets.