Donatelli & Sebrango claim club awards
Before the team’s final game of the regular season against Portland Timbers on September 9, striker Eddy Sebrango was awarded the Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot award as the team’s top goalscorer with seven goals, while midfielder Tony Donatelli claimed the Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero award. The pair made positive contributions to what was a challenging season for the 2006 USL First Division champions, as both Sebrango and Donatelli gave Whitecaps fans plenty to cheer about during the year.
Despite missing 10 regular season games through injury, Sebrango was the clear winner of the Golden Boot award after finding the back of the net on no less than seven occasions. The Cuban-born striker started his goal tally on the opening day of the season when he struck Vancouver’s winner against Pacific Northwest rivals Seattle Sounders on April 21. Sebrango’s total included a two-goal performance away to USL-1 expansion side California Victory on May 19, as the Whitecaps won 3-1. The 34-year-old’s last goal came less than halfway through the regular season, as he struck the winner in a 1-0 victory at Miami FC on June 22. The former Rochester Raging Rhinos and Montreal Impact hit-man returned from injury to start the team’s last four regular-season games and playoff quarterfinal encounters against Portland Timbers, but he was unable to add his goal total during that spell.
Sebrango is the third recipient of the Golden Boot award, with Jason Jordan (2005) and Joey Gjertsen (2006) being the previous two winners of the club’s goalscoring accolade. The award recognizes a Whitecaps scoring legend in Mobilio. The former Canadian international, who died suddenly in 2004 at the age of 35, was the Whitecaps most prolific forward after scoring 170 goals during his 14-year career with the club.
Donatelli, meanwhile, received the club’s Unsung Hero Award after a productive second season with the Whitecaps. The Glenside, Pennsylvania native was second in scoring behind Sebrango with four goals this term, and was a virtual ever-present in midfield. After helping his hometown Philadelphia KiXX to the 2007 Major Indoor Soccer League championship back in late April, the 23-year-old returned to Vancouver and became an integral part of Bob Lilley’s side this term. Though not always in the headlines, Donatelli’s skill, work ethic and leadership proved to be an important asset to the side and showed the continuing professional growth of the former Temple University stand-out.
Like Sebrango, Donatelli is the third recipient of the club’s Unsung Award, with left fullback Steve Kindel (2005) and captain Jeff Clarke (2006) taking the honours in the previous two seasons. The accolade recognizes the late Jock MacDonald, who served the Whitecaps as equipment manager between 1978 and 2004, before his passing on January 3, 2005. His son, Don MacDonald, currently serves as equipment manager for the men's team.