Photo by Matthew Ralph/Brotherly Game
Reading United center back and captain Lamine Conte has been named the 2019 USL League Two Defensive Player of the Year. A rising senior at Louisville, Conte led one of the league’s stingiest defenses this season. He was selected to receive this award by a vote among League Two clubs.
"Lamine is a coach’s dream. The textbook definition of a captain," said Reading United team administrator Chase Rusden. "High soccer IQ, physical, aggressive, dominant in the air. More technical than your average center back. Great communicator. Lamine is a true leader for his teammates on and off the field. His work ethic is second to none and he was a constant source of inspiration and motivation for his teammates."
A dominant presence at the back, Conte combines his high soccer intellect and ability to read the game with strength and speed, making him a tough matchup for any opposing forward. In the 1,090 minutes that Conte was on the pitch this season, Reading conceded only 11 goals, keeping five clean sheets and losing just once. His leadership earned him the captain’s armband, and Conte was a key factor in the Pennsylvania side capturing its second consecutive Eastern Conference title.