(FOX40.COM) — Sacramento Republic FC’s Danny Vitiello was named the USL Championship Goalkeeper of the Year for the 2023 season, the league announced Tuesday.
Vitiello is the first Republic FC goalkeeper to earn the yearly honor. The award comes after Vitiello backed the stingiest defense in the league this season, recording 11 shutouts and 82 saves, both of which are career-best.
Following a tremendous season, the goalkeeper earned All-League First Team and his second career Golden Glove, making him the second player in league history to earn the honor twice.
Vitiello finished the 2023 regular season as the club’s all-time in clean sheets, recording 23 in 65 appearances in his first two seasons in Sacramento.
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“I’m incredibly humbled and honored to be named Goalkeeper of the Year, especially competing with some of the top guys and fiercest competitors out there, so hats off to them,” Vitiello said in a statement. “There is absolutely no way this award would be possible alone — I have to give a huge thank you and a lot of credit to my teammates, my coaches and the Sacramento Republic FC organization and fans.”
“Thank you for driving my desire to be the best I can be every day and making my job easy,” Vitiello continued. “Playing soccer for a living has always been a dream of mine and I always promise never to take a day for granted.”
The Massapequa, New York native also thanked his wife along with his friends and family on the East Coast.
“I feel like the best has yet to come and I am looking forward to continuing to prove myself every day,” Vitiello said.
The award is based on votes by the club’s technical staff, executives and a league-wide panel that represents every USL Championship market.
Vitiello claimed 49% of the vote, beating out Oakland Roots SC’s Paul Blanchette, and Detroit City FC’s Nathan Steinwascher.
Voting was conducted following the conclusion of the 2023 regular season.
Earlier this month, Republic FC announced that Vitiello and defender Conor Donovan signed multi-year contract extensions