A clean sweep of the best regular-season record and playoff supremacy has been rewarded by the naming of Rochester Rhinos’ Bob Lilley as USL Coach of the Year.
Rochester is the second team in the revamped league’s five-year history to do the double. Lilley, who coached the Rhinos from 2009 to 2011 and returned to the club last year, guided Rochester through a remarkable 2015 season. The Rhinos lost just one regular-season game, were unbeaten in the playoffs, and fell on penalty kicks to Charlotte in the U.S. Open Cup. They also set league records for shutouts in the regular season (17) and fewest goals conceded (15). Lilley, 49,
The Rhinos’ outstanding defense also set USL records for most shutouts in a regular season (17 in 28 games) and fewest goals conceded (15). Lilley’s instituting a pressing style that doesn’t disrupt the team’s defensive shape enabled Rochester to outscore teams by a ratio of 3 to 1.
The 2015 USL Awards were determined in voting by team officials and media members, and votes submitted by fans in an online poll. The league is announcing one award a day this week per this schedule: