VANCOUVER, BC – The winners of the 2015 Vancouver Whitecaps FC Player Awards presented by BMO, were announced by the club on Sunday and defender Kendall Waston was named the 2015 Whitecaps FC BMO Player of the Year.
The Costa Rican centre back helped lead the 'Caps to a banner season, setting a new club record with 16 wins and 53 points, while allowing only 36 goals, tied for first in MLS.
Other award recipients are striker Octavio Rivero (Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot), defender Jordan Harvey (Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero), goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi (Humanitarian of the Year), midfielder Kianz Froese and Girls Elite Regional Excel Centre (REX) midfielder Emma Regan (Most Promising Players), Ben McKendry (Whitecaps FC 2 Player of the Year), and U-18 Residency defender Matthew Baldisimo (BMO RESP Youth Soccer Player).
See the full list below.
In addition, Whitecaps FC announced the 2015 Academy Centre Players of the Year. Find the full list of Academy award recipients here.
BMO PLAYER OF THE YEAR: KENDALL WASTON
BMO Player of the Year: Kendall Waston
Kendall Waston was the choice for the 2015 BMO Player of the Year, which was selected by fans after members of the club’s technical staff and the media determined the five candidates.
The towering Costa Rican, who was acquired by Whitecaps FC via transfer from Deportivo Saprissa in August 2014, has established himself as an imposing figure on the Vancouver backline, landing in the top 15 in six different statistical categories.
The 27-year old centre back was fourth in the league in clearances with 193 (133 of them are headed clearances, which is second most in MLS), second in aerials won (121), 15th in the league in duels won (183), 13th in interceptions (112), and tied for 11th in blocks (21).
Waston also chipped in a goal for the 'Caps, heading in the match-winner in the 3-1 win versus San Jose Earthquakes on July 26.
His impact has been recognized around the league, evident in his four MLS Team of the Week selections for 2015.
DOMENIC MOBILIO GOLDEN BOOT: OCTAVIO RIVERO
Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot: Octavio Rivero
Octavio Rivero was awarded the Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot as Vancouver’s top goalscorer in 2015.
The Uruguayan Young Designated Player finishes his first MLS season with 10 goals, three more than the next top scorer. Five of Rivero’s goals were game-winners and the ‘Caps were hard to beat in the ten games he found the net with an 8W-1L-1D record.
In addition, Rivero slotted in the match-winner in the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final versus Montreal Impact to steer the 'Caps to their first-ever Voyageurs Cup.
Last September, the MLS selected Rivero to the 24 Under 24 list, as one of the league's top young talents.
The award is named in honour of the late Domenic Mobilio, who in 15 seasons with Vancouver scored 170 goals, more than double the club's next leading scorer. In memory of his great accomplishments, the Mobilio family awards the Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot – a bronzed trophy made from one of Domenic’s left boots – annually.
JOCK MacDONALD UNSUNG HERO AWARD: JORDAN HARVEY
Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero: Jordan Harvey
The Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero Award was awarded to Jordan Harvey, who has been another major factor in Vancouver becoming one of the top defensive clubs in the MLS in 2015.
The 10-year MLS veteran, whose made his 200th MLS regular season start in the regular season finale, has been a steady presence in the Whitecaps FC backline, starting in 25 of his 26 appearances this season while contributing to 10 shutouts.
Defensively, Harvey finished the regular season third on the team in blocks (11), tied for fourth in tackles (42), and fifth in interceptions (64). The Mission Viejo, California native also chipped in on the other end of the pitch, recording an assist in the 4-0 win versus Real Salt Lake on August 8, earning him a bench selection to the MLS Team of the Week.
The Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero Award is awarded in memory of Jock MacDonald's dedication to Whitecaps FC. MacDonald was a founding member of Vancouver 86ers and a key individual to resurrecting professional soccer in the Lower Mainland. His passionate personality and contributions were an important part of the club’s success.
HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR: PAOLO TORNAGHI
Humanitarian of the Year: Paolo Tornaghi
Goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi was named Whitecaps FC’s Humanitarian of the Year, which highlights a player that has shown an active willingness to give back to the community by volunteering and participating in club and community initiatives beyond the regular call of duty.
The personable and positive goalkeeper has made numerous charitable appearances this season, including visits to BC Children’s Hospital, the fourth annual Coast Salish Hope and Health event, as well as several club community camps and clinics.
Tornaghi's abilities and character were on full display in the third week of September. After recording a clean sheet in the 1-0 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) win over C.D. Olimpia, Tornaghi was one of the first players to visit Honduran player Romell Quioto in the hospital, where the latter had to undergo an emergency surgery for a collapsed lung.
On the field, the Italian 'keeper started all four CCL matches in goal for the ‘Caps, with a 1W-2L-1D record, 1.25 goals-against average (GAA), and one clean sheet. In the Amway Canadian Championship, the Italian goalkeeper registered a 1W-0L-2D record with a 1.33 GAA. In the USL, Tornaghi was 2W-4L-1D with a 2.29 GAA and one clean sheet.
MOST PROMISING PLAYERS: KIANZ FROESE AND EMMA REGAN
The Most Promising Player awards, which recognize younger players that exemplify a noticeable development throughout the season, were presented to midfielder Kianz Froese and Girls Elite REX midfielder Emma Regan.
Most Promising Player: Kianz Froese
Froese, 19, notched a number of milestones in his young career this season. The gifted midfielder from Brunkild, Manitoba made his first MLS start at Colorado Rapids on May 23, then scored the match-winner at New York Red Bulls on June 20 for his first goal in league play. He added another game-winning goal on September 19 versus C.D. Olimpia in CCL action.
The Homegrown player, who joined the Whitecaps FC Residency program in 2012, made his first senior international appearance for Canada in the 1-1 friendly draw with Ghana on October 13. In USL play, Froese scored one goal in six appearances for Whitecaps FC 2.
Most Promising Player: Emma Regan
Regan, 15, is one of two captains in the Girls Elite REX program in partnership with BC Soccer. The native of Burnaby, BC has been a standout with both Whitecaps FC and with Canadian youth national teams.
Last year, Regan helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2014 CONCACAF U-15 Championship tournament. Currently, Regan is a member of Canada’s U-17 women’s national team and played at the U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational tournament in Carson, California last February, appearing against the United States and Japan, and serving as captain versus Mexico.
WHITECAPS FC 2 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: BEN MCKENDRY
WFC2 Player of the Year: Ben McKendry
Ben McKendry was selected by the technical staff as the Whitecaps FC 2 Player of the Year for his performance in the club's inaugural USL season.
The Vancouver, BC native was leading Whitecaps FC 2 in appearances (21), starts (20) and minutes played (1625) before being sidelined with injury on July 24. McKendry, who showed a tireless work rate, scored two goals including the game-winner versus Real Monarchs SLC on May 24.
The 21-year old midfielder originally joined Whitecaps FC Residency on September 2010, after being a member of the club’s Prospects program.
YOUTH SOCCER PLAYER, BMO RESP: MATTHEW BALDISIMO
In conjunction with the BMO Player of the Year award, BMO also presented a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to U-18 Residency defender Matthew Baldisimo.
Baldisimo, 17, was a co-captain on the U-16 Residency team that won the Northwest Division of the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA), before topping their playoff group to host a quarter-final match for the first time. He tallied three goals while starting 29 of his 31 appearances.
The Burnaby, BC local also captained Canada's U-17 men's national team at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship tournament, started four of Canada's six games and scored in the opening match against Haiti.
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