2009 Whitecaps men's team awards

In a special pre-match ceremony before the Vancouver Whitecaps first round, first leg, playoff match versus Carolina RailHawks on September 24, Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi presented the 2009 Whitecaps men's team annual awards. Goalkeeper Jay Nolly was named the Whitecaps Most Valuable Player after playing every minute of the 2009 season. He also led all players in the United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) for minutes played with 2,700. Born in Orlando, Florida, the native of Littleton, Colorado, recorded a goals-against average of 1.20 during the USL-1 regular season, including seven shutouts. He also claimed three clean sheets and posted a goals-against average of 0.25 in all four matches of the 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship. Striker Charles Gbeke earned the Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot award as the team’s top goalscorer after firing home 13 goals in all competitions this season. Born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the native of Longueuil, Quebec, was the USL-1's top regular season scorer with 12 goals, while he finished in a tie for second in the league with 25 points. Gbeke was named USL-1 Player of the Week for Week 20, while he made the league's Team of the Week on three occasions. On May 20 in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, the striker found the scoresheet in a 2-0 away win over former club Montreal Impact. Left fullback Takashi Hirano was named as the men's team's Outstanding Defender of 2009. The native of Shimizu City, Japan, started all but two of his 32 appearances for the Whitecaps this season, having recorded two assists in all competitions during the campaign. He earned a spot in the USL-1 Team of the Week for Week 20 following his defensive performances in the 1-1 draw at Carolina RailHawks on August 18 and the 2-0 home win over Miami FC Blues on August 23. Striker Marcus Haber claimed both the Newcomer of the Year and Fan Favourite awards after a successful first season with his hometown club. The native of Vancouver, BC, was one of seven USL-1 players to appear in every regular season match for his club. The Canadian youth international finished second in Whitecaps scoring with nine goals in all competitions, with his eight goals in USL-1 leaving the 20-year-old in a tie for seventh in the league's goalscoring charts. He also finished seventh in USL-1 with 20 points, and was named to the league's Team of the Week on two occasions. Finally, winger Vicente Arze and defender/midfielder Lyle Martin were this year’s joint recipients of the Whitecaps Blue & White Award. Both Arze and Martin showed an active willingness to give back to the community by volunteering and participating in club and community initiatives beyond the regular call of duty during the season.

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