SAN ANTONIO, Texas – There is little question as to the best defense in the United Soccer League.
That would be San Antonio FC.
Defender Sebastien Ibeagha was named USL defender of the year Tuesday, only a day after teammate Diego Restrepo was selected as goalkeeper of the year.
“We are honored as a club to have two individual awards in as many days,” head coach Darren Powell said in a statement. “Sebastien had some stand out performances this year and played an important role in our team’s defensive shape. He was able to come up with some big plays to help the team throughout the year.”
The 25-year-old Ibeagha led the USL in clearances (190) during the regular season and ranked second in minutes played (2,700) for SAFC. The center back led the Silver and Black in several defensive categories, including clearances, aerial duels won (61.4 percent), interceptions (55) and blocks (20). He also helped SAFC record the fewest losses in the USL (four) while posting a league-high 15 shutouts and conceding a league-low 24 goals.
“It’s truly an honor to win this award, but I would be remiss if I failed to mention how big of a role the entire team played in this accomplishment,” Ibeagha said in a press release. “We had a great group this season, and without them we would not have had such a great defensive record. I want to thank the USL for giving me this award, and I’m honored to be among the other finalists who had great seasons.”
SAFC finished the regular season with a 17-4-11 record, taking second in the Western Conference and earning its first playoff berth. The club advanced to the conference semifinals as it was eliminated by OKC Energy FC on penalty kicks.