TAMPA, FL -- United Soccer Leagues announced Thursday the 2005 USL First Division All-League teams, honoring 22 of the top players in the organization's top flight as voted on by the league's coaches and general managers.
Montreal Impact midfielder-forward Mauro Biello was honored as an All-League player for a record-tying sixth time with a spot on the First Team this season. He was previously selected to the First team in 2004, 1999, 1998, 1997 and the Second team in 2002.
Biello joins three other players as the most recognized All-League honorees. The 13-year veteran is the first attacking player to reach the milestone with defenders Danny Pena, Robin Fraser and Scott Schweitzer the only other six-time honorees. He surpasses a group of five players recognized five times that includes Chance Fry, Craig Demmin, Dominic Kinnear, Marcelo Balboa and Steve Trittschuh.
Also joining the ranks of the mo st honored All-League players is Impact teammate Gabriel Gervais, who becomes the 16th player to be honored four times. The two-time Defender of the Year is on the First team for the fourth straight year.
Biello and Gervais are two of the league-high four Impact players on the All-League Teams with Greg Sutton and Nevio Pizzolitto also being honored. The Portland Timbers and Minnesota Thunder had three players each honored.
2005 All-League First Team
Goalkeeper - Greg Sutton (Montreal Impact)
For the third consecutive year, Sutton posted the league's lowest goals against average to capture the Goalkeeper of the Year honor. He gave up just 11 goals in 24 games (2,160 minutes) for an average of 0.46. He also finished first in wins and shutouts with 15 each.
Defender - Gabe Gervais (Montreal Impact)
After winning the Defender of the Year honor the past two seasons, it is no surprise to see Gervais return to the First Team for a fourth straight year after leading Montreal's back line to the league's lowest goals allowed total (15).
Defender - Taylor Graham (Seattle Sounders)
With the loss of 2003 All-League defender and team captain Danny Jackson for the year on the second day of training camp to an ACL tear, Graham stepped up to help lead the Sounders to the third best defensive performance on the year with 25 goals allowed. The former Kansas City Wizard player played every minute for the Sounders and recorded two goals. He scored both in a win over Portland, earning the Player of the Week honor.
Defender - Scot Thompson (Portland Timbers)
The second-year Timber back only missed two games this season, both while he was away on trial with Sunderland of the English Premier League after making an impression in a scoreless draw against the Black Cats in an exhibition. He also tallied four goals and two assists this season.
Midfielder - Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (Portland Timbers)
Alcarez-Cuellar led the league in assists for the second straight year with 12, doubling the next closest players. He also added one goal this season. He was named to the All-League Second Team after leading the leading in assists with 10 last season.
Midfielder - Mauro Biello (Montreal Impact)
The six-time All-League honoree continues to excel in the league, finishing seventh in points (21) and fifth in goals (9) to lead the team in both categories. He also recorded three assists on the season. It was the fourth time he has led his team in scoring, four with the Impact and once with Rochester.
Midfielder - Steve Klein (Vancouver Whitecaps)
After two seasons and a championship with Charleston, Klein reunited with former coach Bob Lilley in Vancouver for his seventh USL First Division season and missed only one match on the campaign, finishing second on the team in goals (7), assists (4) and points (18).
Midfielder - Kirk Wilson (Rochester Raging Rhinos)
Wilson returns as All-League selection for the first time since being named to the Second Team in 1998 while playing for El Paso. He finished fifth in the league in goals (9), assists (5) and points (23) while leading the Rhinos to second place.
Forward - Fabian Dawkins (Atlanta Silverbacks)
A newcomer to the league, Dawkins scored five goals in the first five games and proved a test for most back lines the rest of the year as he went on to finish second in the league in goals (15) and points (34).
Forward - Jason Jordan (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Jordan finished as the team's leading scorer for fourth straight year and for the fifth time overall. This season his numbers were also good for the league's Scoring and Goal Scoring Championships with 17 goals and 37 points. He also had three assists.
Forward - Mauricio Salles (Puerto Rico Islanders)
Salles led his side in scoring for the second straight year, finishing third in the league in goals (14) and points (29) this year. His Islanders missed the postseason by one point.
2005 All-League Second Team
Goalkeeper - Preston Burpo (Seattle Sounders)
Burpo earned his second All-League Second Team selection after being honored in 2002. He finished second in the league in goals against average (0.85) and shutouts (12). He also finished third in wins (11) and played in all but one game for the Sounders.
Defender - Ben Hollingsworth (Charleston Battery)
The rookie had a standout season for the Battery as the club continued in its rebuilding phase, proving to be a versatile player that also saw action up top for the club at forward. He finished tied for the team lead in scoring with four goals and nine points. He played all but two games in his first season.
Defender - Peter Luzak (Richmond Kickers)
An All-League First Team selection last year, Luzak helped guide the Kickers to the playoffs, playing in all but one game for the team. He also registered a goal and an assist on the year.
Defender - Nevio Pizzolitto (Montreal Impact)
A member of the league's best defense the past three years, Pizzolitto earned his second straight All-League Second Team honor. He played in 24 games this season, tallying a goal and two assists.
Midfielder - Darren Caskey (Virginia Beach Mariners)
A former British youth international with EPL experience, Caskey was an instant leader on the squad. He finished the campaign leading the team in goals (5), assists (5) and points (15).
Midfielder - Jeff Matteo (Minnesota Thunder)
The second-year Thunder player saw action in 24 games and tallied two goals and four assists in the club's first season without leader Amos Magee in the lineup.
Midfielder - Rodrigo Rios (Atlanta Silverbacks)
Another newcomer to the league with teammate Fabian Dawkins, Rios finished second in the league in assists with six. He also finished second on the team in points with 14.
Midfielder - Petter Villegas (Puerto Rico Islanders)
The former MLS MetroStar helped lead Puerto Rico to within one point of the postseason. Villegas finished the year 10th in the league in points (18) and second in assists (6). He was third on the team in points and goals (6) behind Mauricio Salles and Corey Woolfolk and tied teammate Noah Delgado in assists.
Forward - Dan Antoniuk (Portland Timbers)
Down the stretch, the third-year Timbers striker was critical in the clubs run to the playoffs with seven goals in their last five games. He finished the year fourth in the league in goals (13) and points (28).
Forward - Johnny Menyongar (Minnesota Thunder)
Menyongar received his third All-League honor after previously being named to the Second Team in 2000 and 2002. He finished seventh in the league in points (40), ninth in goals (8) and fifth in assists (5), leading the team in all three. He also helped lead the club to the US Open Cup Semifinals.
Forward - Melvin Tarley (Minnesota Thunder)
In his third year with the team, Tarley exploded onto the scene with seven goals in the league, but grabbed more attention in the US Open Cup, where he helped lead the Thunder past three MLS sides with six goals in the tournament. His performance led to a loan to Real Salt Lake, who were the first to fall to the Thunder in the Cup.