USL announced the winners of the 2016 league awards this week, and there were several MLS ties among those honored.
Three members of the 2016 USL Cup champion New York Red Bulls II won awards. Forward Brandon Allen, a Homegrown signing last offseason for the Red Bulls' MLS team and loaned out to the USL side for the season, was named USL Rookie of the Year. Teammate Aaron Long, who was loaned up to the MLS team in September, won the USL Defender of the Year award.
And NYRBII head coach John Wolyniec, a local product who had three stints with the Red Bulls organization as a player, was named USL Coach of the Year.
USL MVP went to FC Cincinnati forward Sean Okoli, who earned the Golden Boot this year for the league. Okoli, a Seattle Sounders academy product, has MLS experience with the Sounders and New England Revolution.
Okoli's Cincinnati teammate Mitch Hildebrandt was given the USL Goalkeeper of the Year award. Hildebrandt has not previously played in MLS, although prior to joining FC Cincinnati he played for Minnesota United FC, which will enter MLS in 2017.