ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (November 8, 2017) — Tampa Bay Rowdies midfielder Marcel Schäfer has been named to the All-League First Team, the USL announced Wednesday afternoon.
Schäfer earned a spot in the Best XI with seven goals and 11 assists in his first season in North America.
The 33-year old German signed with the Rowdies in March, leaving Germany's VfL Wolfsburg as the club's captain and record holder for Bundesliga appearances as a field player.
He made his Rowdies debut in Tampa Bay's season opener against Orlando City B and spent the early part of the season splitting his time between left back and defensive midfielder.
Eventually, Schäfer solidified his place in the midfield and became one of the focal points in the Rowdies' attack.
The full All-League First Team is below.
GK – Diego Restrepo, San Antonio FC: Restrepo led the USL with 12 shutouts, while also posting a 76.4 save percentage and a 0.80 goals-against average for the best defense in the USL.
D – Paco Craig, Louisville City FC: Craig led Louisville with 71 interceptions and 112 clearances, as City recorded 12 regular-season shutouts, while also scoring two goals and notching two assists.
D – Harrison Delbridge, FC Cincinnati: Delbridge led the USL with 120 interceptions and scored three goals, as the big center back proved a continual threat from set pieces.
D – Sebastien Ibeagha, San Antonio FC: Ibeagha marshalled an SAFC backline that conceded a league-fewest 24 goals and posted a league-high 15 shutouts, while recording a league-high 190 clearances.
D – Forrest Lasso, Charleston Battery: Lasso finished in the top five in the USL with 27 blocked shots, and he also recorded six goals to finish second in the league among defenders, playing an important role in Charleston’s attack.
M – Marcel Schäfer, Tampa Bay Rowdies: The former German international finished tied for second in the USL with 11 assists and scored five regular-season goals in a stellar first year for the Rowdies.
M – Sebastian Velasquez, Real Monarchs SLC: Velasquez recorded nine goals and six assists for the Monarchs, and he made 37 key passes from open play to help the Monarchs claim the USL Regular Season Championship.
M – Chris Wehan, Reno 1868 FC: Wehan took the USL by storm in his rookie season, leading the USL with 12 assists while adding eight goals, as 1868 FC set a league record with 75 regular-season goals.
F – Chandler Hoffman, Real Monarchs SLC: Hoffman had a career-high 16 goals and seven assists in the regular season to help the Monarchs claim the USL Regular Season Championship.
F – Dane Kelly, Reno 1868 FC: The USL’s all-time regular-season scoring leader claimed the USL Golden Boot for the first time with 18 goals, which helped earn his first call-up to Jamaica’s National Team.
F – Enzo Martinez, Charlotte Independence: Martinez built on a stellar 2016 season with even bigger numbers, finishing tied for second in the league with 16 goals while adding five assists.