TAMPA, Fla. – In one way, you could look at the end of the 2019 Championship season as the starting point for Wilson Harris’ upward ascent.
Now at the end of this past campaign, the path forward for the 20-year-old – who on Thursday was revealed as the Championship’s 2020 Young Player of the Year – has broadened even wider.
Harris put himself firmly on the radar in the Championship in the final third of the 2019 Championship season. Beginning in mid-August, the SKC Academy product produced a run of 10 goals in the club’s final 11 regular-season contests. This season, Harris picked up close to where he left off, finishing the regular season with eight goals in 16 games to tie for 11th overall in the Championship.
In the process, he became the youngest player to surpass 20 goals in the Championship’s history, while overall for his career Harris has averaged a goal every 139.9 minutes. His goals have come at a 35.4 percent conversion rate, an indicator of the instinctive and clinical finishing Harris has shown in his 55 regular-season appearances in the Championship.
It came as no surprise, then, that in October it was announced Sporting Kansas City has made Harris the latest Homegrown Signing to join the club, following in the footsteps of 2019 Young Player of the Year finalist Felipe Hernandez.
Harris claimed 19 percent of the vote to win the award. San Antonio FC’s Jose Gallegos finished second with 13 percent, while Sacramento Republic FC’s Hayden Sargis finished third with 10 percent. Twenty-five players in total received votes for the award.
The 2020 USL Championship Awards were voted on by team technical staffs and executives and a league-wide media panel that included representation from every USL Championship market. Voting was conducted following the conclusion of the 2020 Championship regular season.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Ben Lundt, Louisville City FC
Defender of the Year: Forrest Lasso, Tampa Bay Rowdies
Coach of the Year: Troy Lesesne, New Mexico United & Ian Russell, Reno 1868 FC
Young Player of the Year: Wilson Harris, Sporting Kansas City II
Most Valuable Player: November 6
2011: Luke Mulholland, Wilmington Hammerheads FC
2012: Jose Cuevas, Charleston Battery
2013: Nate Robinson, Richmond Kickers
2014: John McCarthy, Rochester Rhinos
2015: Kharlton Belmar, Portland Timbers 2
2016: Brandon Allen, New York Red Bulls II
2017: Chris Wehan, Reno 1868 FC
2018: Efrain Alvarez, LA Galaxy II
2019: Cristian Parano, San Antonio FC
(Note: USL Championship Rookie of the Year, 2011-17)