Whitecaps FC announce winners for 2017 BMO Player Awards

WFC BMO Player of the Year - Waston - 2017

VANCOUVER, BC – Kendall Waston is the 2017 Whitecaps FC BMO Player of the Year.

Waston was honoured on Tuesday at the club’s 2017 Whitecaps FC BMO Player Awards, along with Tim Parker (Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero), Russell Teibert (Humanitarian of the Year), Jake Nerwinski (Most Promising Player), David Norman Jr. (WFC2 Player of the Year), Jordyn Huitema (Most Promising Player/BMO RESP Youth Soccer Player), and Ali Zohar (BMO RESP Youth Soccer Player).

See the full list of award recipients below.

BMO Player of the Year: Kendall Waston

Waston took on the role of Whitecaps FC captain in 2017 – and he has not disappointed. The Costa Rican centre back has been rock solid in the middle of defence, leading the team in clearances, interceptions, and blocks. His 103 headed clearances are tops in MLS. Waston, who has earned four MLS Team of the Week selections, has also contributed offensively with three goals and one assist. The 'Caps are 13W-8L-3D with him in the starting lineup. Waston was voted 2017 BMO Player of the Year in a poll on whitecapsfc.com this month.

Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero: Tim Parker

Parker has established himself as a leader for this club in 2017. The 24-year-old centre back, who has served as an alternate captain, has started all but two of Vancouver’s MLS regular season matches for a team-high 2,790 minutes played. Parker leads the team with 69 aerials won and is second in clearances, interceptions, and blocks. He has also chipped in with a goal and an assist and was twice named the Whitecaps FC Player of the Month.

In memory of Jock MacDonald's dedication to the club, the Unsung Hero Award was created in 2005. Jock was a founding member of the 86ers soccer club and a key to resurrecting professional soccer in Vancouver. His gracious personality and contributions were an important part of the club’s success. The Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero Award is presented annually to a player that demonstrates these values. The club’s technical staff selected Parker as the 2017 recipient.  

Humanitarian of the Year: Russell Teibert

Teibert actively volunteered his time to raise awareness and funds for street youth that access services at Covenant House Vancouver. He organized a team car wash fundraiser for the club’s #BuckUp for Mental Health campaign and participated in the Covenant House Sleep Out, among many other charitable efforts and appearances. The club’s community relations staff selected Teibert as the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year.

Most Promising Players: Jake Nerwinski and Jordyn Huitema

Nerwinski, the seventh overall selection in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, has recorded five assists in 18 matches this season. The rookie right back, who turned 23 today, also earned two MLS Team of the Week selections, three Man of the Match honours, and was the Whitecaps FC Player of the Month for July.

Huitema, 16, is a member of the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite Super REX Centre in partnership with BC Soccer. The Chilliwack, B.C. native is coming off a year in which she debuted and scored her first two goals with the Canadian senior women’s national team. She also became the first player to score for Canada’s U-17, U-20, and senior women’s national teams in one year.

The club’s technical staff selected Nerwinski and Huitema as the 2017 Most Promising Players.  

WFC2 Player of the Year: David Norman Jr.

Norman started 25 of his 26 appearances in 2017 – his first season as a professional. The 19-year-old central midfielder recorded team-highs in assists (three), chances created (38), and duels won (144), while also finishing second on the team in tackles (59), and scored his first professional goal in WFC2’s regular season finale on Friday. The club’s technical staff selected Norman Jr. as the 2017 WFC2 Player of the Year.

Youth Soccer Player, BMO RESP: Jordyn Huitema and Ali Zohar

In conjunction with the BMO Player of the Year award, BMO also presented a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to Huitema and U-17 Whitecaps FC Residency midfielder Ali Zohar for their performance in the classroom and on the pitch. Last season, Zohar started 31 of 36 appearances and helped the Whitecaps FC U-16s reach the Development Academy semifinals. The club’s technical staff selected Huitema and Zohar as this year’s recipients.