TAMPA, Fla. – Six standout strikes from the 2018 USL season have advanced one step closer to being crowned as the 2018 USL Fans’ Choice Goal of the Year, with three matchups set to decide the first three goals to reach the Semifinals next week in the knockout format that will be decided by a fan vote on USLChampionship.com.
Among the big winners in the First Round were Rio Grande Valley FC’s Jesus Enriquez, who recorded the highest poll number with 72 percent in his matchup with Sacramento Republic FC’s Matthew Harding. San Antonio FC’s Alex Bruce and FC Cincinnati’s Kenney Walker also came in at 66 percent in their respective matchups, while the Swope Park Rangers’ Wan Kuzain claimed the narrowest victory as he knocked off USL Golden Boot-winner Cameron Lancaster of Louisville City FC with 53 percent.
For the six goals that were eliminated, next week’s vote in “The Rebound” awaits, but here are the next three matchups. Voting will continue through 12 p.m. ET on Monday, December 10.
2018 Fans’ Choice Goal of the Year Voting Schedule
Second Round: 12/3-12/10
USL Fans’ Choice Goal of the Year Finalists
Matchup 1: Jesus Enriquez vs. Cristian Portilla
Jesus Enriquez (RGV) - #FRSvRGV, 5/9/18: Enriquez produced a dazzling finish from the top-left corner of the penalty area that gave the goalkeeper little chance as it curled into the top-right corner of the net when the Toros earned 2-2 draw in Fresno.
Cristian Portilla (OTT) - #TORvOTT, 9/6/18: Portilla’s olimpico from a corner kick on the right was judged to perfection as it curled into the left corner of the net in Fury FC’s 4-3 victory against Toronto FC II.
Matchup 2: Wan Kuzain vs Kenney Walker
Wan Kuzain (SPR) - #SPRvTUL, 8/29/18: Kuzain produced a spectacular free kick that landed him on SportsCenter’s Top 10 for the second time this year, firing a dipping shot that picked out the bottom-left corner at Children’s Mercy Park.
Kenney Walker (CIN) - #CINvOTT, 4/28/18: Walker unleashed a remarkable volley from 50 yards out that flew into the right corner of the net, earning the FCC midfielder top spot in ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 that night.
Matchup 3: Jason Johnson vs Alex Bruce
Jason Johnson (PHX) - #PHXvTUL, 6/16/18: Johnson landed at No. 2 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 for an incredible scissor-kick finish from 15 yards that found the top-left corner of the net to leave fans and teammates stunned.
Alex Bruce (SA) - #SAvOKC, 7/4/18: Bruce came off the bench and fired a spectacular curling finish from 25 yards into the top-right corner that earned his side a point against visiting Energy FC.