Huntsville, Ala. (Sept. 21, 2023) – Huntsville City Football Club announced the winners of the club’s awards in its inaugural season. Players and staff received their awards at a private ceremony held earlier today at the Athletic Club Alabama.
Midfielder Kemy Amiche won the Player of the Year award after leading the team in goal contributions (14) tied for the team lead in assists with Ollie Wright (6) and is second on the team in goals (8). He also leads the team in shots (62) and shots on target (29). On loan from parent club Nashville Soccer Club, Amiche was named MLS NEXT Pro Player of Matchday 12 following a two goal, one assist performance as a substitute against St. Louis CITY 2 on June 11.
Forward Azaad Liadi won the Golden Boot and Players’ Player awards after a successful 12-goal season. Liadi’s first goal of the season on March 26 against Crown Legacy will forever be tied to Huntsville City FC’s history as the first goal in club history, which also delivered him MLS NEXT Pro Goal of Matchweek 1. The 25-year-old continued to make history on Aug. 19 when he recorded the club’s first hat trick in a match against Philadelphia Union II which also earned him MLS NEXT Pro Player of Matchday 23.
Midfielder Ollie Wright won the Supporters Player and Community awards. Off the field, Wright has made a concerted effort to get to know the Huntsville community. This summer, Wright joined head coach Jack Collison at the Elite Soccer Camp to help train young kids how to play the sport and inspiring the next generation of players. During Huntsville City FC night at the Rocket City Trash Pandas game on July 25, the 24-year-old participated in a skit with Trash Pandas mascot Sprocket and two fans. Wright also joined fans at the team’s watch party while missing the team’s 2-1 win over Toronto FC II on June 15. On the field, the midfielder is tied for the team lead in assists this season with Kemy Amiche (6) and was nominated for MLS NEXT Pro Goal of Matchweek 3 after scoring on a sensational kick from outside the box in Huntsville’s 2-2 draw against FC Cincinnati 2 on April 9.
In a testament to years of steadfast dedication and growth, Director of Operations Patrick Zazzaro was recognized with the Front Office Team Member award. Zazzaro began his professional journey in event operations with Nashville SC, as the club transitioned from the USL Championship to Major League Soccer. Since then, Zazzaro has showcased a remarkable ability to adapt and thrive, making substantial contributions throughout the organization’s initial seasons and being instrumental in the grand opening of GEODIS Park. In 2023, after a successful period with NSC, Zazzaro transitioned to Huntsville, where he took charge of initiating and managing the re-opening and operations at the Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium. As the Director of Event Operations, he now oversees all aspects of events at "The Joe", efficiently coordinating ingame operations and being reliable and instrumental in establishing the stadium as an entertainment destination in North Alabama.
Come Sunday, players and staff will look to clinch Huntsville City FC’s first ever playoff berth when they host Chicago Fire II at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday, Sept. 24 at the Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium. Tickets for the final match of the regular season can be purchased here.