TAMPA, Fla. – The field in the 2018 USL Fans’ Choice Save of the Year saw six standout stops advance through the opening week of the content, leaving three matchups to decide the first three saves that will reach the Semifinals next week to be decided by a fan vote on USLChampionship.com.
The Charleston Battery’s Joe Kuzminsky was the biggest winner in the opening round, claiming 70 percent of the vote against Ottawa Fury FC’s Maxime Crepeau, while the Second Round will see two of North Carolina FC goalkeeper Alex Tambakis’ top saves from the season square off. The battle between Phoenix Rising FC’s two goalkeepers came closest to the wire, with Zac Lubin edging out Carl Woszczynski with 53 percent of the poll.
For the six saves 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 Tuesday, December 11.
2018 Fans’ Choice Save of the Year Voting Schedule
First Round: 11/27-12/4
Second Round: 12/4-12/11
USL Fans’ Choice Save of the Year Finalists
Matchup 1: Joe Kuzminsky vs Zac Lubin
Joe Kuzminsky (CHS) - #TBRvCHS, 8/8/18: Kuzminsky made a dazzling right-hand reaction stop to deny Tampa Bay Rowdies forward Junior Flemmings from opening the scoring on a clear-cut chance at Al Lang Stadium.
Zac Lubin (PHX) - #SPRvPHX, 5/26/18: Lubin showed off his reflexes in denying two chances for the Swope Park Rangers, tipping Tyler Blackwood’s initial shot off the left post before recovering to keep out Rodrigo Savaria’s effort on the rebound.
Matchup 2: Alex Tambakis vs Alex Tambakis
Alex Tambakis (NC) - #NCvLOU, 6/23/18: Tambakis produced an excellent stop to keep out a long-range strike by Louisville City FC’s Speedy Williams, palming the effort to the top-left corner over the crossbar in his side’s 2-2 draw.
Alex Tambakis (NC) - #NCvTOR, 7/21/18: Tambakis’ footwork was on point as he moved across his goal well to produce a diving save on a long-range shot by Toronto FC II’s Tim Kubel that was heading for his top-left corner.
Matchup 3: Diego Restrepo vs Trevor Spangenberg
Diego Restrepo (SA) - #SAvLA, 8/4/18: Restrepo dove back towards his own goal and parried an ambitious dipping effort from the LA Galaxy II’s Frank Lopez onto his own crossbar before reclaiming possession and ending the threat.
Trevor Spangenberg (RIC) - #LOUvRIC, 4/14/18: Spangenberg made three saves in the space of 15 seconds, including a point-blank rebound denial of Louisville’s Cameron Lancaster, for one of the most impressive short stretches of stops in the regular season.