FC Cincinnati: 4 reasons why Harrison Delbridge was elected to the USL's 1st team
FC Cincinnati had a fantastic cup run earlier this season, and while the season ended with a first-round playoff exit, the city is still buzzing about the team for several reasons.
The most prominent of those reasons is the announcements regarding the stadium that is needed to join the MLS. But, another reason to talk about FC Cincinnati is that their star defender Harrison Delbridge made the USL All-First team. He accomplished this feat for the second consecutive season. Delbridge was named FCC's defender of the year along with being nominated for the USL's defender of the year.
It was a year for the books in the #USL!— USL (@USL) November 8, 2017
Now, see who landed a coveted spot in the 2017 All-League First Team!
→ https://t.co/USv6I0hXzy pic.twitter.com/uwJw4zzzif
That said, what makes Delbridge so special? There are four key stats that show why Harrison Delbridge is such a superb defender.
For starters, he does exactly what defenders are supposed to do. Delbridge easily led the team with 147 clearances. Team captain Austin Berry, who was the team's main center defender, was second with 89. Along with Sem de Wit, those three players were the only ones to clear over 40 balls. Delbridge was patient when he had the time, racking up the team's second most passes, but also relieved the pressure in FCC's defensive third quite often.
As for the other three, two come from Delbridge's expertise in securing the ball from the opponent. Defenders can either intercept the ball or tackle for it. Delbridge, with 123 interceptions, was the most active and agile defender for a team that had a shaky backline at times. He filled his role perfectly. Berry again came in second with just 81 interceptions.
For tackles, FCC's top player was Kenney Walker, the team's 2017 MVP. Being in the midfield and closer to the bulk of action helps with racking up tackles, but Delbridge still finished second on the team with 41 tackles won. Delbridge's slide tackle grew to be a staple of his game and rarely deserved any type of penalty.
Just like in most sports, the team with the higher score wins, right? Well, Harrison Delbridge also helped out in that aspect. Delbridge led the defense with three goals this season, and most of them came out crucial times for FCC. Let's not forgot when Delbridge did this and got us on SportsCenter.
"Bailey Banter... he says this is the goal of the year." pic.twitter.com/ATBwPAn8oQ— Bailey Banter (@BaileyBanterFC) September 17, 2017
Bonus Stat: Delbridge was reliable for FC Cincinnati this season with 30 starts, the most of any field player.