At Nashville SC’s end of the season awards banquet for staff and players, the club passed out its 2019 USL Championship season honors. Taylor Washington, Matt Pickens, Lebo Moloto and Daniel Ríos were all honored with awards at the event.
Community Service Award – Taylor Washington
For the second consecutive season, defender Taylor Washington went home with the Community Service Award. Washington’s heart for service to Nashville has been apparent throughout the last two years. In 2019, Washington made 12 player appearances, the most of any player on the team. He also has made numerous appearances on his own at schools, hospitals, and events. One highlight of Washington’s 2019 season was when he was asked to be the Keynote speaker at the Special Olympic’s Opening Ceremonies for the 2019 State Summer Games. Washington was invited as the Keynote speaker because of the connection he has made with the athletes over two years in Nashville, and his role in connecting with the Nashville community. He joined a distinguished list of former Special Olympics Keynote speakers that includes Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, who spoke last year at the event.
Defensive MVP – Matt Pickens
Nashville SC’s first-ever professional signing, goalkeeper Matt Pickens was named the team’s defensive MVP. Pickens had a career season where he recorded 14 clean sheets and posted a microscopic 0.64 goals against average, earning the USL Championship’s Golden Glove. The GAA was the second-lowest in league history over a season, and the 14 clean sheets tied his total last season as the second-most in a single season in the league. Pickens has saved two penalties in 2019 and recorded his first playoff win for Nashville SC last weekend in the club’s 3-1 over Charleston Battery.
Offensive MVP – Lebo Moloto
For the second consecutive season, Lebo Moloto was named Nashville SC’s Offensive MVP. Following his match-opening goal on Saturday, Moloto has recorded six goals and 10 assists in the 2019. It’s the second consecutive season he has scored five goals and assisted five, the only player on Nashville to do so. He was also one of just five USL Championship players to record double-digit assists in 2019. Coming off a season-ending knee injury suffered late in the 2018 season, Moloto bounced back in 2019 and is currently in excellent form leading Nashville SC to a current five-match winning streak.
Team MVP – Daniel Ríos
In his first season with the club, Daniel Ríos was named the Team MVP for his incredible 2019 season. Nashville’s first MLS signing, Ríos has scored 21 goals in 2019, becoming the first-ever USL Championship player to score at least 20 in back-to-back seasons. The 20 goals were the most in the Eastern Conference and were two behind Solomon Asante of Phoenix Rising FC for the league’s Golden Boot. Ríos, who will go down as Nashville SC’s all-time USL Championship scoring leader, also contributed a pair of assists in his 2019 campaign. He scored the match-winning goal for Nashville in its first-ever playoff victory on Saturday over Charleston Battery, and has six match-winning goals this season.