After an incredible 2022 USL League Two season, the coaches were called upon to vote for the players they thought were the most outstanding. In reach conference, coaches selected eleven players, via a voting system, to our All-Conference teams.
There was more competition than ever in the Eastern Conference this season, and as Long Island Rough Riders showed, iron sharpens iron. They had an all-time talented roster that took them all the way to the USL League Two Final, where they faced Ventura County Fusion. They're well-represented on the list, as are many other dominant figures throughout the season.
GK - Wessel Speel (LIR) - A powerful figure in the Long Island defense, Speel's towering presence struck fear in the hearts of all attackers that wished to penetrate the Long Island goal. The Rough Riders were one of the most dominant teams in the country, especially early in the season, and that started with Speel at the back.
D - Moise Bombito (SEA) - One of the leading candidates for Defender of the Year, Bombito couldn't stop making huge plays for Seacoast United Phantoms. He led the back line of what was likely the best defensive squad in the league, and was praised by his own coaches as well as his rivals for his efforts.
D - Bjarne Thiesen (LIR) - The Long Island captain and a fan favorite, as the big German defender made his presence felt and then some as a member of the Rough Riders. Coming back to lead them for another summer turned out to be a worthwhile endeavor, as he made big plays, scored big goals, and led the Rough Riders to a big season.
D - Nicholas Oberrauch (WMP) - Another captain on our list, Oberrauch was a major factor in leading Western Mass Pioneers to a dominant win streak after a sluggish start. The Pioneers looked to be in trouble after three games, but it was Oberrauch's leadership, along with their other all-conference selection, that helped right the ship for another fantastic year in Ludlow, Mass.
D - Samory Powder (HVH) - Powder was voted by fans and coaches as the League Two Defender and Player of the Year. With six goals and six assists from the right back position, Powder ran riot in one of the best Metropolitan Divisions that League Two has seen.
M - Taig Healy (SEA) - Healy was Seacoast United's leading scorer and top overall goal contributor to help complement their stellar defense. 11 total contributions on the season, including a hat-trick performance against AC Connecticut in June, saw him garner the recognition to get on this list.
M - Diba Nwegbo (VER) - If you've seen a Vermont Green match, you've witnessed the passion and technical ability of Diba Nwegbo. Nwegbo scored more often than he didn't, including turning a speedy hat trick in a big win over Black Rock FC. He was the expansion club's leading goalscorer, and he only played 600 minutes, averaging a goal scored every 66 minutes.
M - Peter Stroud (MOT/TOB) - Stroud is one of the most lauded young college soccer players in the country. After a season that saw him split time between FC Motown and Tobacco Road FC, Stroud is appearing on every preseason watch list for the upcoming college season.
F - Ben Stitz (CHR) - The top goal contribution man, not only on his team, but in the entire league. Stitz couldn't be stopped this year, with 27 total contributions that put him in the thick of the Golden Boot race, on top of his assist title.
F - Ryan Carmichael (LIR) - Carmicahel was Long Island's top goal contributor, and in an exclusive club of players with double digit goals this season. He notched five goals in his last two regular season matches, and then scored in every playoff match he was in for the Rough Riders en route to their Playoff Final appearance.
F - Braudilio Rodrigues (WMP) - When Rodrigues scored, Pioneers won. It's as simple as that. When Rodrigues scored one of his ten goals on the season for Pioneers, the club was 6-0-0. He was the key member in the Western Mass attack, and when he was on, the whole team was on.
GK: Max Collingwood (WVU) - Collingwood was a major part of West Virginia United's last gasp upsets against NC Fusion U-23 to qualify for the playoffs, and Nona FC in the first round of the playoffs. Collingwood made spectacular save after spectacular save, and his performances have earned him this spot, to be etched into League Two history.
D - Joel Sangwa (NONA) - Sangwa was a pillar at the back for an undefeated Nona FC side that only conceded ten goals in their 14 games. The central defender was key to the best team in Florida, and garnered that recognition from opposing coaches.
D - Ben Weimann (NCF) - Weimann was a prime candidate for Defender of the Year, just losing out to Hudson Valley Hammers right back Samory Powder. Weimann played just about every single possible minute for one of the best teams in the league, pushing them all the way to a national semifinal appearance against Long Island Rough Riders.
D - Bissaffi Dotte (AVL) - Dotte, our third center back on the list, was a massive part of Asheville City SC's defense in their playoff win over Brazos Valley Cavalry in the first round. Facing Golden Boot winner Ethan Stevenson, and without top scorer Kemy Amiche, Dotte and the Asheville back line held Stevenson scoreless for the first time all season. He was the towering figure on their back line all year.
D - Moses Mensah (KNOX) - Another player that's gotten preseason love from all over the country ahead of the NCAA Division I season, Moses Mensah was the leading figure in a stout Knoxville defense that prided itself on physical dominance.
M - Tom Marriott (SCB) - Marriott was the leading scorer and overall goal contributor for a solid South Carolina United Bantams side. The midfielder had two critical one-goal, one-assist matches for the team as they hunted a playoff spot after an early losing streak, falling just short at the end.
M - Joao Gomeiro (NCF) - Gomeiro, along with teammates Alex Horveno and Ben Weimann, was the driving force behind a dominant NC Fusion U-23 side, especially in the midfield. Winning balls, turning up field and putting them back in the net were all in Gomeiro's toolkit as he had a dominant League Two season. He scored 10 goals and added three assists, including two in the playoffs.
M - JC Ngando (TRM) - Ngando was the shining star for a South Georgia Tormenta II team that often looked to him for their attack. He obliged in a major way, leading the club in both goals and assists over the summer. He was a big part of their four-in-five winning streak towards the end of the season, putting in two goals and two assists in his final three matches.
F - Ethan Stevenson (BVC) - Not much else needs to be said about our Golden Boot winner. Stevenson scored in every single Brazos Valley Cavalry regular season match, putting in six braces to push the Cavalry attack on. They fell early in the playoffs, but Stevenson's scoring rate will go down among the best in League Two history.
F - Quesi Weston (LAK) - In May and June, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better striker than Quesi Weston. He was putting away goal after goal for LA Krewe, including seven in his first five matches to go with two assists. It got him onto the May Team of the Month as a striker, and he was a necessary outlet for the club all year.
F - Kemy Amiche (AVL) - Another darling of the preseason NCAA lists, Amiche was dominant for Asheville City SC all season. You can't talk about Amiche's season without mentioning his FIVE goal performance against South Carolina United Bantams, which thrust him into the thick of the Golden Boot race, where he fell just short at the end of the season. Amiche scored 12 goals in 12 games, adding four assists on top of it to make for a wonderful season.
GK - Evan Barker (MAN) - Barker posted one of the best save percentages in the conference, at 75.8%, while facing more shots than just about any keeper in the entire league. He frequented our Save of the Week nominations, and with good reason. He saved shot after shot in a difficult Deep North division, and kept a clean sheet against Des Moines Menace.
D - Tyler Freitas (PEO) - Along with Des Moines Menace, Peoria City were the dominant force in the Deep North division. Freitas anchored the Peoria defense, while his brother Justin led the team in scoring. Freitas was only booked once in all his matches with Peoria throughout the season.
D - Kori Cupid (DMN) - The first of many Des Moines Menace players to make the All-Conference team, Kori Cupid was a force at the back for the conference finalists. He scored two goals and added two assists as a defender, conceding only nine goals in ten games.
D - Tom Abrahamsson (FWN) - Abrahamsson's defining moment of the season was a laser free kick against Dayton Dutch Lions in June, but he provided so much more for the Indiana club. Abrahamsson helped keep six clean sheets in twelve matches as a member of the back line.
D - Hugo Bacharach (FCB) - The big man at the back for a Flint City Bucks club that made a late run, Bacharach was an incredibly important piece for the side. He played every minute of their run that saw the Bucks crowned Central Conference champions.
M - Curt Calov (AAA) - With three goals and four assists on the season, Calov was one of the leading goal contributors on a team that barely missed playoff action. The Great Lakes division had one of the most exciting playoff races, and Calov's production was one of the biggest parts of AFC Ann Arbor's bid for one of the playoff spots.
M - Eliot Goldthorp (DMN) - One of the reliable goal contributors for the Menace, Goldthorp found himself in attacking positions all season, but truly made his greatest mark in the playoffs. Four goals in three games against the best teams in the playoffs to propel the Menace all the way to the Central Conference Finals was a dominant run to close the year.
M - Ryley Kraft (DMN) - Des Moines' set-piece taker and corner delivery man throughout the season, Ryley Kraft was one of the most dangerous players in the league over a dead ball all year. Five goals and five assists underscores his contribution as both scorer and passer, a key player for the nearly-undefeated Menace.
F - Kainan Cironak dos Santos (SBL) - dos Santos was an electric goalscorer for South Bend Lions, with 10 goals on the season. He scored three braces, including a double on the final day of the season, when South Bend qualified for the playoffs with an 8-0 win over Dayton Dutch Lions.
F - Telvin Vah (STC) - Vah was the main offensive hub for a St. Croix side that struggled to score goals at times. Vah contributed to over half of the squad's goals over the course of the summer, scoring both times in St. Croix's matches against the always-stingy FC Manitoba.
F - Matt Whelan (KAL) - 14 goal contributions, including 11 goals, meant Whelan was the first name on every opposing scouting report. He charged Kalamazoo to big wins that caught them one of the coveted Great Lakes division playoff spots, where they eventually fell to Kings Hammer FC on penalties.
GK - Jason Smith (PCW) - Our lone Mountain Division representative on the All-Conference teams, Smith kept his goal line clear at a strong rate all season, allowing only one score per game. The Red Wolves, led by Smith, smashed the travel-heavy division en route to yet another playoff appearance.
D - Lesia Thetsane (BAL) - Thetsane had to miss a portion of the season due to his participation in the African Cup of Nations qualifier matches against Comoros and Ivory Coast, but when he played, the Lesotho international was often the best player on the pitch. His work winning the ball and working it forward was a key part of Ballard's game plan, and it helped take them all the way to the Western Conference Final.
D - Javi Ruiz Duran (51O) - Duran, formerly of FC Barcelona's youth system, could be plugged in anywhere 51O needed him. One of only a few over-age players on one of the youngest rosters in the league, he could in the ball, take it forward, and score with the best in the league. A natural forward that also plays wide, he was there as a mentor and key player for a 51O side that made noise in the playoffs.
D - Kolade Salaudeen (OVF) - OVF Alliance's number 4, Salaudeen contributed four assists of the club's 21 goals. They outscored their opponents on the year, and Salaudeen was especially good out of halftime, allowing only seven goals after the break.
D - Robin Terry (LUN) - Only two players logged more minutes for Lane United this season than Terry. He was a constant presence for the Northwest side, and when he played, United only lost twice. He helped keep two clean sheets in big wins over OVF Alliance and PDX FC.
M - Kevyn Lo (SFG) - Lo played every minute of San Francisco's playoff run, and was one of four players on the squad to do so. Throughout the season, Lo controlled play for the Glens in the midfield, and was a key piece to both their defense and attack. The club has a lot to thank Lo for as one of the key pieces to their historic season.
M - Marley Edwards (VEN) - The scorer of the Playoff Final-winning goal, Marley Edwards was a key outlet during Ventura County Fusion's title run. He tied with Nathaniel Opoku for the team lead in goals scored during the playoffs, even eclipsing his own mark for the entire regular season. His form was stellar, and helped carry the Fusion all the way to a second star.
M - Jose Sosa (CFC) - An early playoff exit stings after what was a magnificent season from Capital FC Atletico, which saw them win the Northwest division once again by defeating Ballard FC twice. Jose Sosa played fantastically in the club's loss to San Francisco Glens, contributing to both the team's goals after a stellar season which saw the No. 10 score three more goals on top of that.
F - Logan Farrington (VEN) - Nathaniel Opoku and Marley Edwards may have stolen the show in the postseason, but it was Logan Farrington that was a main feature of Ventura County Fusion's playoff push. The Fusion No. 9 scored four goals in three consecutive July wins to ensure Fusion's spot in the playoffs, setting them up for their title run.
F - Ian Mejia (BAL) - Ballard's leading scorer, Mejia was a consistent presence up top for the Bridges. His 109th-minute bicycle kick goal against San Francisco Glens SC will live long in the memory of Ballard fans, as it propelled them to the Western Conference Finals in their first season.
F - Nathaniel Opoku (VEN) - The Playoff Final MVP, and a young player with a bright future in the soccer world. His close control and shooting touch clicked together for Opoku this season, as he scored banger after banger in Ventura's magical run. He also tied for the club lead in goals in the regular season as he continued to grow. Opoku's fingerprints are all over the trophy that now resides in Ventura, California.