The end of the season is upon us, with one more game to play, the CPL awards season is here and with it comes six awards to give out. Including Players’ Player of the Year which is new for this season. The awards are as follows:
- Best Canadian Under-21 Player
- Goalkeeper of the Year
- Defender of the Year
- Coach of the Year
- Player of the Year
- Players’ Player of the year
How the Awards Work
Three players/coaches get nominated for U21 Player, Goalkeeper, Coach and Defender of the year, while five players get nominated for MVP and ten players got nominated for Players’ Player of the year.
The way nominations for U21 Player, Goalkeeper, MVP and Defender of the year are decided is by the league office, with the winners decided by voting for selected media members (not me).
Coach of the year is voted on by the head coaches themselves and one assistant coach per club. With the caveat that head coaches cannot vote for themselves, self and assistant coaches cannot vote for their head coach.
Players’ Player of the year is a new award this year in the CPL. The way that this award works is instead of media members voting to decide who the best player is the players themselves vote for their MVP. Much like the head coach award, players cannot vote for themselves or another player on their team, and the player they vote for has to have played at least one CPL match.
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The three nominees for the Canadian U-21 Player of the Year are, Osaze De Rosario of York United, Sean Rea of Valour FC (on loan from CF Montreal), and Woobens Pacius of Forge FC. De Rosario played 27 games, scored 12 goals and finished second in the golden boot race this season. Sean Rea played the most minutes out of any Valour player this season and lead the league in chances created. Woobens Pacius scored 10 goals in 27 games for Forge including a run of form where he scored 7 goals in six games in July and August. My pick for this award would have to be Osaze De Rosario.
The three nominees for Goalkeeper of the Year are, Callum Irving of Pacific FC, Marco Carducci of Cavalry Fc, and Nathan Ingham of Atlético Ottawa. Irving played the second-most games of any keeper in the league and is tied with Ingham with saves this season at 63. Carducci is technically tied for clean sheets with Henry of Forge FC with 10 but Carducci played fewer games this season. He allowed 25 goals in 24 matches this season. Ingham has 8 clean sheets this season and was tied for most saves at 63. He also allowed just one or fewer goals in 21 matches this season. My pick is tied for either Carducci or Ingham.
The three nominees for Defender of the Year are Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson of Forge FC, Amer Didic of Pacific FC and Dominick Zator of York United. Achinioti-Jonsson has 2000 completed passes this season, 400 more than the next-best player, and has 153 recoveries. Didic lead the league in clearances at 122 and aerial dual won with 65 and scored a couple of very nice goals this season as well. Zator leads the league in minutes played at 2506, finishing just 14 minutes shy of every possible minute this season. He leads the league in blocks with 27. I do think the head office snubbed Diego Espejo by not nominating him. My pick for defender of the year is Amer Didic.
The five nominees for Player of the Year (MVP) are Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson of Forge FC, Manuel Aparicio of Pacific FC, Ollie Bassett of Atlético Ottawa, Sean Rea of Valour FC and Ballou Tabla of Atlético Ottawa. Achinioti-Jonsson played 27 out of 28 games this season, and lead a Forge backline that conceded the least amount of goals in the league this season. Aparicio only played 17 games this season but was named to the team of the week six times, and player of the week once. Bassett lead Atlético with 8 goals and two assists this season and was the most-named player to the team of the week this year. Rea set a league record nine assists this season and scored five goals, he was player of the month in August. Tabla appeared in all but one game this season and scored six goals and had four assists, including a bicycle kick goal from the 18-yard box against Cavalry. My MVP pick is Ollie Basset.
The three nominees for Coach of the Year are Carlos Gonzalez of Atlético Ottawa, James Merriman of Pacific FC and Bobby Smyrniotis of Forge FC. Gonzalez has led Atlético Ottawa from last place in 2021 to first place in 2022, and to the playoff finals. He leads the team to have the best away record in league history with 28 road points, including 8 wins. Merriman led Pacific to the playoffs after the off-season departure of Kah and the mid-season departure of Diaz, he also lead the team to their first-ever appearance in Concacaf Leauge. Smyrniotis led Forge to their fourth consecutive playoffs, and has been nominated for this award four times but has yet to win. He lead Forge to be the best-attacking team and best-defending team this season. My pick for the award is Carlos Gonzalez.
The sixth and final award is Players’ Player of the year with ten nominations. The nominees are Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson of Forge FC, Manuel Aparicio of Pacific FC, Ollie Bassett of Atlético Ottawa, Mo Babouli of York United, Kyle Bekker of Forge FC, Alejandro Diaz of Pacific FC, Ali Musse of Cavalry FC, Woobens Pacius of Forge FC, Sean Rea of Valour FC, and Ballou Tabla of Atlético Ottawa. My pick would be Ollie Basset.
The players with the most nominations are Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson of Forge FC and Sean Rea of Valour FC with three nominations each, while Manuel Aparicio of Pacific FC, Ollie Bassett of Atlético Ottawa, Woobens Pacius of Forge FC, and Ballou Tabla of Atlético Ottawa all have two nominations. The team with the most total nominations is Forge FC with seven followed by Atlético Ottawa with six.
The winners are announced Saturday at 7 pm in Ottawa. The ceremony can be streamed live on YouTube.
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