The 2014 All-NPSL Team has been announced this week and two players from Chattanooga have been named to the squad.
Greg Hartley and Luke Winter have had their names added to the team, as Chattanooga FC prepares for the 2014 National Premier Soccer League Championship game this weekend in Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.
“I have no words for it,” the goalie humbly said. “It’s great to be selected, especially since Luke has been able to share this achievement with me. We’ve both have had a great season and congratulations to all the other players that have made the team.”
Hartley, native of Manchester, England, has led an impressive campaign in 2014, as he has guided his club to an impressive post season. After leading his club to 6-1, 3-0, and 5-1 wins in the final three regular season matches of 2014, Chattanooga has only surrendered two goals in the five playoffs matches they have participated in. In that span, Hartley has collected three shut outs (4-0 against New Orleans Jesters in Southeast Final, 2-0 against Miami United FC in the South Regional Semifinal and 2-0 against the Tulsa Athletics in the South Regional Finals).
“Its great that people recognize your talents and it just been an amazing week,” he added. “To win this award since there is only one goalkeeper in the NPSL that can win it is fantastic. It feels great to know that people from all around the country are out there watching you play.”
Hartley and Winter had also given CFC their first ever U.S. Open Cup win in May over the Wilmington Hammerheads, with a 3-1 win over the USL PRO side. It was the first-ever win by a NPSL team over a professional team in the U.S. Open Cup.
In that match, Winter scored a pair of goals, as he has been instrumental to CFC making it to the NPSL Final. With goals against the Sacramento Gold in the National Semifinals and a goal against the Tulsa Athletics to seal the 2-0 South Regional Championship, the Norwich, England native has been able to find the goal in the most opportune times.
“First of all, I just want to say that I am shocked,” Winter said of making the team. “It’s fantastic to get that recognition. It’s great to see that the hard work and coming in with a great attitude pays off.”
Winter, playing in his fifth year with the club, has made sure that his club has gotten the most of his services, even though he is just a part of the machine that is Chattanooga.
“I was very surprised that I was pick because I don’t even see myself as the best goal scorer on the team,” he added. “It’s a great individual honor, but I could not have done it without my teammates.”
Other members of the All-NPSL Team include defenders Andrea Grieco (Miami United), Josh Rogers (Detroit City FC), Nick DiSomma (Fort Pitt Regiment), and Fernando DeAlba (Sacramento Gold). Midfielders winners include Russell Ciccerone (FC Buffalo), Manolo Pina (Sacramento Gold) and a pair of teammates from the other NPSL Finalist New York Red Bulls U-23s, Sean Sheridan and Victor Manosalvas. Winter is joined by the other forward Matt Brown (Lansing United) to round out the eleven.
“If this was an NPSL side, they would be pretty hard to beat,” Hartley said.
The All-NPSL team was voted on by the members of the media that covered the NPSL in the 2014 season. Chattanooga FC and New York Red Bulls U-23 kick off Saturday night (Aug 2) at 9:30 p.m. ET after the Major League Soccer match between New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution.