The USL League 2 season saw thousands of goals on the board. This week we honor the players who dedicated their seasons to keep the ball out of the net. The nominees for Save of the Year are:
Ayoub Ahmed (MOR) vs. Long Island Rough Riders, 5/22: The Morris Elite may have struggled this season, but Ahmed’s glorious moments will last forever. A deep cross that leads to a header, Ahmed leans to the right and expects a strike far his post. It goes to Ahmed’s left and he turns it completely sideways as he shifts his weight.
Brant Heron (VBU) vs. Northern Virginia FC, 5/7: I’m still not sure how Herron got around this. NoVa put together a picture-perfect attack, releasing a player on the right with a quick break. Herron defends a nearby post and prepares for a one-on-one battle. The ball comes to Heron’s right and doesn’t have time to dive in, so Heron puts out his boot and deflects it to the side of the goal in the corner.
Bryant Pratt (KHR) vs. Kalamazoo FC, 7/22: Bryant Pratt turned in a superstar performance against Kalamazoo FC and was one of the biggest reasons to take them to penalties in the first round of the League 2 playoffs. The shootout seemed to last forever, with both teams matching each other’s shots after the fifth round. It wasn’t until the tenth round (his kick of the 20th penalty) that Pratt got past Kalamazoo before the final penalty. Reach after guessing the right direction his save forced them to face his De Moines Menace.
Wessel Spiel (LIR) vs Ventura County Fusion, 8/6: In the 79th minute of the Ligue 2 play-off final, Wessel Spiel were dominating. One of the most impressive keepers among the sticks all season, Spiel anchored a strong Long Island defense. Spiel was called up more often as Ventura County applied more pressure in the second half. A whip shot that was heading for the top bin made an acrobatic effort when the keeper flew through the air and deflected the shot.
Alexander Pierce (CAL) vs. Florida Elite Soccer Academy, 6/11: Pierce displayed his biggest reflexes of the season in an away game against the Florida Elite Soccer Academy. From the corner kick, Pearce waits 6 yards in the box for the strike and decides which way to dive. A clean header sends the ball to a sure goal – except Pearce dove in the right direction and shut down the shot.