The USL announced today its 2017 USL All-League Teams and goalkeeper Earl Edwards, Jr. was named to the second team.
After spending the last two years backing up Donovan Ricketts, Tally Hall, and Joe Bendik at Orlando City, Edwards spent the majority of the 2017 season with Orlando City B in the USL. The 25-year-old played in 23 games for the reserve side, accumulating 2,070 minutes before being called up to the first team to replace injured backup Josh Saunders.
Despite only playing in 23 of the team’s 32 games, Edwards accumulated nine clean sheets and made 80 saves, ranking him seventh and eighth in the league, respectively. His save percentage of 75.2 percent placed him sixth in the league. He is one of only two goalkeepers in the league — the other being Fabian Cerda of Tulsa Roughnecks FC — to rank in the top 10 in all three categories. Adding to his impressive season, the goalkeeper saved two penalties, against FC Cincinnati on Aug. 5 and against Ottawa Fury FC on Aug. 16.
Edwards gave up a total of 26 goals in 23 games, ranking him 13th in the league, and had a goals-against average of 1.13 which ranked him 10th in the league.
Edwards was named the USL Player of the Month in August when he recorded three clean sheets in five appearances, and an impressive 88.5 save percentage.
After an impressive run, Edwards’ USL season ended in late August when he was called up to the MLS squad to replace Saunders. He would back up Bendik until the last game of the season against the Philadelphia Union when he made his MLS debut, conceding six goals and making one save.
Edwards, a UCLA product, was selected by Orlando City in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft in the third round (No. 43 overall). Prior to this season, he had played no competitive matches with the first team outside of a couple of U.S. Open Cup appearances.
2017 USL All-League Teams
GK – Diego Restrepo, San Antonio FC
D – Paco Craig, Louisville City FC
D – Harrison Delbridge, FC Cincinnati
D – Sebastien Ibeagha, San Antonio FC
D – Forrest Lasso, Charleston Battery
M – Marcel Schäfer, Tampa Bay Rowdies
M – Sebastian Velasquez, Real Monarchs SLC
M – Chris Wehan, Reno 1868 FC
F – Chandler Hoffman, Real Monarchs SLC
F – Dane Kelly, Reno 1868 FC
F – Enzo Martinez, Charlotte Independence
GK – Earl Edwards Jr., Orlando City B
D – Ryan Felix, Rochester Rhinos
D – James Kiffe, Sacramento Republic FC
D – Taylor Mueller, Charleston Battery
D – Jimmy Ockford, Reno 1868 FC
M – Vincent Bezecourt, New York Red Bulls II
M – Billy Forbes, San Antonio FC
M – Justin Portillo, Charleston Battery
F – Juan Pablo Caffa, Tulsa Roughnecks FC
F – Corey Hertzog, Pittsburgh Riverhounds
F – Romario Williams, Charleston Battery