Rashid Nuhu recorded nine shutouts this past season. (Photo courtesy of Fordham University)
Union Omaha goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu has been named USL League One goalkeeper of the year, the league announced Monday.
Nuhu, a former standout at Fordham University, won the award for the first time in his career following his first appearance on the League One first team and second consecutive Golden Glove award this season.
In his three years in Omaha, Nuhu has emerged as one of the premier goalkeepers in USL League One. The 26-year-old had another sensational year, spearheading a dominant Owl defense that allowed a league-low 33 goals. He posted a 69 percent save percentage and recorded nine clean sheets, the third most in a league season.
“I am so proud of Rashid,” head coach Jay Mims said. “It was not the ending we all wanted, but that does not take away the incredible run our team had this season. Rashid was a big part, leading the way again for our club. It is such a great accomplishment to be number one in goals against for a second consecutive season in such a competitive league.”
Despite missing seven of Omaha’s 30 matches, Nuhu helped Omaha to an 8-4-11 record. He conceded 22 goals in 23 appearances.
“I’m very grateful and privileged to receive this award,” Nuhu said. “This was a huge personal goal of mine going into the season. I could not be happier that I get the honor to check this box.
“I will use this opportunity to thank God for making this possible; to thank my friends and family for being the best support system and keeping me in it; to thank Kevin [Piedrahita] for putting me in the best position each training session to get better; to thank my coaches for pushing me on and off the field to excel and always improve; and to thank my team, my brothers.”
A product of Ghana’s prestigious Right to Dream Academy, Nuhu began his American soccer career at Fordham University in 2015. Drafted 70th overall in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft by the Red Bulls, Nuhu made his professional debut in the USL Championship with Red Bulls II in 2019. The Ghanaian goalkeeper’s career took off following his signing with League One expansion side Union Omaha in 2020. With the Owls, Nuhu has amassed the second-most clean sheets in league history (25) and 133 saves across regular season and postseason play to earn a championship in 2021 and back-to-back Golden Gloves.
Nuhu received 48 percent of the ballot to earn the award. Former New York City FC goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald, the 2021 League One goalkeeper of the year and 2022 All-League second team selection, finished second on 31 percent with his league-record 105 saves, while Greenville’s Paul Christensen finished third on 21 percent for a season-high 10 clean sheets.
The 2022 USL League One Awards were voted on by club technical staffs and executives.