Belmar named a finalist for USL Rookie of the Year Award

PORTLAND, Ore. – While his former teammates have been holding the opposition from scoring, former VCU standout Kharlton Belmar is being recognized for his ability to do the exact opposite.

Belmar was named as one of three finalists for the USL Rookie of the Year award, the league announced today. He joins Brady Ballew of Tulsa Roughnecks FC and Ken Tribbett off the Harrisburg City Islanders.

Belmar was the leading scorer for the Portland Timbers 2 club, tallying 12 goals and three assists in 28 games. He finished the year ranked seventh overall in goals and points in the USL.

Three times, he was selected to the USL Team of the Week, earning Player of the Week honors after scoring two goals against Arizona United SC on April 25. The former Ram was featured in all 28 of Portland's USL matches, starting 27 games and recording three multi-goal games. He also started against England's Newcastle United in an international friendly held at Providence Park on July 21 and featured in two 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches, scoring the go-ahead goal on May 19 against the Michigan Bucks in the second round of the tournament.

A second-round pick (No. 34 overall) by the Portland Timbers in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft out of VCU, Belmar also was a member of the Timbers U-23s Premier Development League (PDL) team in 2014 before beginning his professional career with T2 during their inaugural USL season.

While with the Rams, Belmar was a two-time All-Atlantic 10 honoree, finishing his career with 18 goals, including a career-high eight during his junior season.

The 2015 USL Awards will be announced from Oct. 26-30, alongside the 2015 USL All-League Teams. The Rookie of the Year award will be announced Thursday, Oct. 29. Voting was conducted by team management and a national panel of media in each USL market. Fans will also get the opportunity to vote this week, ahead of the final announcement.