CINCINNATI -- FC Cincinnati center back Forrest Lasso was voted USL "defender of the year," the league announced Monday.
Lasso was a key figure in helping FC Cincinnati claim the USL regular season championship this year, according to the team. He had the third-most minutes played on the team and had 223 clearances, the most in the league.
"It’s a special accolade for me personally," Lasso said. "I think if you look at our backline, our defensive unit, our keepers, our holding mids, it took all of us. You ask anybody who plays the game, defending starts at the top, so even our 9s, 7s, 11s, they all did the job. But for me individually, it’s a special moment."
Lasso is originally from North Carolina and spent two seasons playing for the Charleston Battery before coming to Cincinnati.
"It’s something when I first entered the league back in 2015, I saw the guys that won 'defender of the year' and thought I can do tha," he said. "So, it’s something I’ve had in the back of my mind. But, when it came to gameday, it was the last thing I was thinking about. I was trying to think about our team success and making sure the guys to the left and right were on the same page, which at the end of the day made my job a little bit better."
Lasso is one of three finalists for USL awards from FC Cincinnati. Alan Koch is in the running for "coach of the year," which will be announced Tuesday, and Emmanuel Ledesma is in the running for USL MVP, which will be announced Wednesday.