While he flew mostly under the radar during his time at former Division 2 powerhouse Pfeiffer, there was plenty of excitement within the Philadelphia Union organization when Santi Moar was drafted 82nd overall in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft back in January.
The Spaniard, who signed with Bethlehem Steel after a preseason stint with the first team, made good on that promise in his first USL season, scoring six goals and delivering six assists while making 36 key passes in the attack.
His efforts have not gone unnoticed.
On Thursday, the 24-year-old was announced as one of three finalists for the USL Rookie of the Year award.
He has strong company. Reno 1868 FC midfielder Chris Wehan led the league with a dozen assists to go with eight goals for a team that set the league on fire with a single-season record of 75 goals.
Louisville City FC midfielder Richard Ballard is the other finalist, having provided a consistent spark off the bench for the Eastern Conference Champions with three goals and five assists.
Team management and a league-wide media panel with representatives from every USL market determined the finalists for the league’s postseason awards. The Rookie of the Year announcement will be made on Tuesday, November 21.
Moar joins first team defender Jack Elliott as rookie of the year finalists in the organization. Elliott, who was drafted just five spots ahead of Moar, finished third in voting for MLS Rookie of the Year.