New England Soccer Today

Four Local Players Earn NPSL Honors

The postseason NPSL awards have started to roll out, and there’s no shortage of local products on the Northeast Region Best XI, which was revealed on Friday.

A pair of players from both Boston City FC and Elm City Express were featured on the teams. Midfielder Isaac Nana Addai and defender Michael Rincon represented Boston City while forward Tavoy Morgan and midfielder Cris Hernandez of Elm City also received honors.

The Northeast Region of the NPSL includes teams from the Keystone Conference Division, the Atlantic White Conference Division, Atlantic Blue Conference Division, and the Mid-Atlantic Conference Division. The Atlantic White Division and Atlantic Blue Division made up all but two of the selections.

Being named to the regional team of the year was a no-brainer for Addai, who spent his first season with the Lions in 2017 after winning the NPSL Golden Ball (player of the year) and NPSL Golden Boot (top scorer) with the Rhode Island Reds in 2016. Addai led the team with 12 goals and 7 assists in 2017. By the end of the season, the Lions offense ran through Addai, who scored nine times in the final eight games of the regular season after starting striker Jhonata Batista was sidelined with a season-ending injury in early June.

Also earning team of the year honors in their first season with the squad was Rincon, the Revolution Youth Academy alum. Rincon, a Merrimack College graduate, was converted from attacking midfielder to right back before the season, and transformed into one of the best two-way players in the league. Rincon was third on the team with 960 minutes played, contributed solid defense on the right side, and chipped in on the offensive side with three goals and two assists.

Not surprisingly, the Northeast Conference Champion Elm City Express were also well-represented, after winning storming to a 9-1-2 (29 points) record and winning the regional title in their first season.

Hernandez was the team’s heart and soul in the midfield and was a major factor to Elm City leading the division in goals (27) and goal differential (+22). The former Philadelphia Union and New York Cosmos B player only made the score sheet four times, but was the primary playmaker on a side that could pour in goals on cue.

Morgan was a primary beneficiary of the chances provided by Hernandez. The Elm City forward carved out a starting role in June and despite the late start, became the one of the most prolific scorers in the division by season’s end. Morgan scored six goals while also adding a National Player of the Week honor to his name.

Additional all-league teams will be announced next week, and Boston City and Elm City are expected to be well-represented on those selections as well. The full first team is below.

NPSL Northeast Region Best XI

GK Steve Skonieczny, Kingston Stockade FC
D Michael Rincon, Boston City FC
D Nicholas Sica, New Jersey Copa FC
D Dominick Falanga, Brooklyn Italians SC
D Scott Zobre, Kingston Stockade FC
M Cristhian Hernandez, Elm City Express
M Isaac Nana Addai, Boston City FC
M Fabian Lifka, Brooklyn Italians
F Tavoy Morgan, Elm City Express
F Pedro Espindola, Kingston Stockade FC
F Raphael Araujo, New Jersey Copa FC

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