April 25, 2023
by Andrew Ross
TAMPA, Florida -- The best of the best in Major Arena Soccer League 2 have been selected for the 2022-23 season, with members of the Elite Six -- the first team of all stars -- announced today and league-wide winners including Coach of the Year and MVP revealed next Tuesday.
Award winners were picked by select league and team officials based on the 12-game regular season.
Following are M2's Elite Six:
>> Forward Rene Loya Hernandez, Chihuahua Savage II -- The Savage had one of the most balanced and effective offenses in all of M2 last year, but Rene Loya Hernandez stood out among the group of talented forwards in Chihuahua. He had an impressive debut season, with 19 goals and 5 assists and seven times during regular season has two or more goals in a game. His biggest biggest game came Jan. 20 with five goals in win over Empire Jets. He also appeared in one game for M1 Chihuahua Savage last season.
>> Forward Mershad Amadhi, New Mexico Runners -- Amahdi had his way with almost everyone he matched up against this season, and was the league's leading scorer with 48 points and 38 goals, which was also tops in M2. He foreshadowed his big season in h is rookie year last year when he banged in 18 goals in just seven games giving him 56 goals in just 19 regular season games. In his first eight games of the regular season, he scored 32 goals, including a six-goal performance against Colorado on Jan. 21, part of a run of 15 goals over a three-game span.
>> Forward David Trevizo, Amarillo Bombers -- The Bombers offense nearly lapped the field in M2 this season, playing a high intensity brand of attacking soccer that resulted in 146 goals, 24 more than the second highest scoring team. Trevizo was a big part of that, in large part as the team's best playmaker, totaling 38 points, which was third overall n M2. He had 22 assists, second overall in M2, and 13 goals. Now a veteran of 23 M2 games, he has amassed 53 points in those starts, including 37 goals.
>> Midfield/Defense Patrick Kelly, Iowa Raptors -- One of the most experienced players in M2, Kelly led the Raptors all the way to the M2 Championship game. Had 16 points in just eight games, including back-to-back hat tricks in late December and early January against Muskegon and Iowa Demon Hawks. Four of his nine goals were on the power play. He is a native of Kansas City, and is an electrical engineer. Has played in the MASL with the Kansas City Comets and Cedar Rapids Rampage, appearing in 60 games in total with 21 goals and 16 assists.
>> Midfielder/Defense Jose Martinez, RGV Barracudas -- For the second straight season, the Barracudas proved to be one of the M2's best. Last y ear, they lost in the first round of the playoffs before being eliminated in overtime by the eventual champion San Diego Sockers. This year, they took their playoffs hopes right down to the final weekend against Chihuahua. As a defender, Martinez was the team's third leading scorer with nine goals in 11 games. Got seven of his goals in a three game stretch in December and January.
>> Goalkeeper Jakeb Mitchell, Rochester Lancers -- Mitchell was one of the key players as the Lancers made a triumphant return to the field in 2022-23, taking their playoff chances all the way to final weekend of the year. He was the only keeper in the league, with enough qualifying minutes played, to have a goals against average of under 5.00 (4.92), and was third overall in savers percentage at .729. He was also tied for third in wins with six.
Four final awards will be announced next week, including Coach of the Year. Finalists for that award include Jake Schindler of the Rochester Lancers, Chad Webb of the Amarillo Bombers and of the Chihuahua Savage II.