The third category for our 2019 Awards Week is the Attacker of the Year Award. Awards will be calculated by factoring in 50% of the fan vote and 50% of the Speedway Soccer vote. Voting will close at 4PM on Wednesday, November 6.
Below are the candidates for 2019 Attacker of the Year.
Belmar started the season incredibly brightly, but struggled to turn involvement into production. Played 1,819 minutes in 33 appearances, and scored three goals, including a vital winner in Tampa Bay. Towards the end of the season he contributed mostly off the bench. Showed flashes of brilliance all season, but wasn't quite able to turn that into consistent production.
One of the most hyped acquisitions of the offseason, the 2018 Golden Boot winner started the season brightly. Every time Lancaster stepped on the pitch he showed the quality that scored a record setting 26 goals last season, but the same injury issues that derailed his career at Tottenham came back to haunt him in Nashville. He managed just 730 minutes and only started seven matches, but still managed to finish third on the team with five goals. Overall, a disappointing campaign.
As was the case last season, Mensah took the first half of the season to get fully fit, but once he got up and running he was often the best player on the pitch. Racked up 1,442 minutes in 31 appearances, and finished second on the team with six goals and three assists. Played as a center forward at times, but found his best form on the right wing, where his 1v1 ability and pace allowed him to terrorize the opposing defense. One of the most promising young players in the league.
Nashville's number 10 returned after a serious knee injury at the end of the 2018 season, and picked up right where he left off. Moloto lead the team with 10 assists and 67 chances created, and scored six goals. His set piece delivery improved noticeably over the course of the season, and his movement and passing in the final third were absolutely vital to Nashville's productivity going forward.
The first ever MLS signing for Nashville, Daniel Ríos more than lived up to expectations. The first ever player in USL history with back-to-back 20 goal seasons, Ríos's finishing ability was a much needed improvement for Nashville. Lead the team with 21 goals (good for second in the Golden Boot race) and appearances, playing 2,648 minutes over 33 matches. Consistently one of the best players on the pitch, and showed plenty of potential to succeed at the next level.
After picking up a concussion in preseason, Winn found it tough to break into the starting XI at the start of the season, playing mostly off the bench. Towards the back half of the season he nailed down a starting spot on the wing, and finished with 1,372 minutes over 27 matches. One of the paciest players in the squad, Winn was always dangerous when able to isolate his defenders. He scored three goals and assisted another, and showed flashes of potential all season.