San Antonio FC forward Jose Gallegos was named a finalist for the 2020 USL Championship Young Player of the Year Award, the league announced today. The 18-year-old SAFC Pro Academy Product is looking to be the second consecutive SAFC player to win the award after Cristian Parano took home the honors in 2019.
Gallegos appeared in all 16 regular season matches for San Antonio FC in 2020, starting 12 and compiling 1,076 minutes played while helping the club finish first in Group D and clinch its second playoff berth all-time. The San Antonio native and Central Catholic graduate was tied for the most key passes (23) for SAFC while adding the third-most tackles (36) and shots (21). Gallegos scored two goals and was tied for second on the club with three assists. In addition, the 18-year-old recorded 41 successful dribbles in the regular season, ranking second in the USL Championship.
After being identified by the SAFC Pro Academy Elite Training Program, Gallegos originally joined the first team in 2019 on an academy player agreement before signing his first professional contract in February. Overall with SAFC, Gallegos has appeared in 30 league matches while compiling 1,676 minutes played, three goals, four assists and 33 chances created.
Gallegos is joined by Wilson Harris of Sporting KC II and Hayden Sargis of Sacramento Republic FC as finalists for the award this year. In addition to Parano’s honor last season, San Antonio FC has had two other players win USL Championship awards – both coming after the 2017 season. Defender Sebastien Ibeagha was named the Defender of the Year while Diego Restrepo earned Goalkeeper of the Year honors after a second-place finish in the Western Conference by SAFC that season.
The 2020 USL Championship Awards are voted on by team management and a league-wide media panel that included representation from every USL market.