Canadian Premier League Award Winners

Canadian Premier League Award Winners

The Canadian Premier League had its awards show tonight, where the winners of the six awards were announced. The awards up for grabs are the Best Canadian Under-21 Player, Goalkeeper of the Year, Defender of the Year, Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, Golden Boot, and Players’ Player of the Year. 

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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. 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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Goalkeeper of the Year – Marco Carducci

Cavalry FC goalkeeper Marco Carducci waves to fans following the victorious home opener against Pacific FC on ATCO Field at Spruce Meadows on May 1. (Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY)

The three nominees for Goalkeeper of the Year are Callum Irving of Pacific FC, Marco Carducci of Cavalry Fc, and Nathan Ingham of Atletico Ottawa. The winner was Marco Carducci of Cavalry FC. 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. Carducci was unable to play at the start of the season as he was recovering from testicular cancer. Which he is now quite outspoken about. Men get checked out if you notice anything. 

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Best Canadian Under-21 Player – Sean Rea

Sean Rea celebrates with Valour teammate Diego Gutiérrez (James McDonald / Valour FC)

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.  The winner was Sean Rea of Valour FC (on loan from CF Montreal).  Sean Rea played the most minutes out of any Valour player this season and lead the league in chances created. In his second season with Valour Rea really made a name for himself in the league. Don’t expect him back at Valour next season with Montreal most likely keeping him as a number of their current starters are rumored to be moving on.

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Golden Boot – Alejandro Diaz 

Alejandro Diaz (right) celebrating a late penalty goal against Halifax on April 23 at Starlight Stadium in Langford. Diaz recently transferred to Norway, setting a new club record. (Simon Fearn/Black Press Media)

Alejandro Diaz formerly of Pacific FC is the winner of the Golden Boot for 2022 with 13 goals in 18 games before he moved on to Norway halfway through the season, it should be expected that had he stayed in the CPL he would have had a much goal higher total. He currently has 5 goals in 10 games for his team in Norway. 

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Defender of the Year – Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson

Hamilton Forge midfielder Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson (13) battles for a ball with Cruz Azul midfielder Romulo Otero (10) during the first half of the first leg of the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ont., on Wednesday, February 16, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nick Iwanyshyn

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. The winner was Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson of Forge FC. Achinioti-Jonsson has 2000 completed passes this season, 400 more than the next-best player, and has 153 recoveries. Achinioti-Jonsson who traditionally is a midfielder had to move to a center-back role due to an injury in the Forge lineup where he has shined this season.

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Player of the Year – Ollie Bassett 

Ollie Bassett, Atlético Ottawa (Brandon Taylor / Forge FC / CPL)

The five nominees for Player of the Year (MVP) are Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson of Forge FC, Manuel Aparicio of Pacific FC, Ollie Bassett of Atletico Ottawa, Sean Rea of Valour FC and Ballou Tabla of Atletico Ottawa. The winner is Ollie Bassett of Atletico Ottawa. 225 players played in the league this year but only Ollie Bassett won it. After coming over from Pacific last year where he did not play as often as he liked, Bassett has firmly cemented himself as one of the best players in the league this year.  Bassett lead Atletico with eight goals and two assists this season and was the player named to most often to team of the week this year. Bassett is under contract for next season with an option of 2024. Unless Atletico Ottawa sells him for a hefty fee, expect him to be in the red and white strips for the foreseeable future. 

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Coach of the Year – Carlos Gonzalez

Carlos Gonzalez meets the media on July 9, 2022 (Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography/CPL)

The three nominees for Coach of the Year are Carlos Gonzalez of Atletico Ottawa, James Merriman of Pacific FC and Bobby Smyrniotis of Forge FC. The winner was Carlos Gonzalez of Atletico Ottawa. Gonzalez has led Atletico Ottawa from last place in 2021 to first place in 2022, and to the playoff finals. He leads the team to the best away record in league history with 28 road points, including 8 wins. This season under Gonzalez guidance Atletico Ottawa got 49 points compared to last season where they only received 26. Gonzalez is still under contract with Atletico Ottawa for another year so expect him to be back again next season. 

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Players’ Player of the Year – Ollie Bassett

Ollie Basset takes a corner for Atlético Ottawa (Tim Austen/Freestyle Photography)

The nominees are Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson of Forge FC, Manuel Aparicio of Pacific FC, Ollie Bassett of Atletico 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 Atletico Ottawa. In total 45 players were nominated for this award. The winner of this award is Ollie Bassett of Atletico Ottawa. This is Bassett’s second award this year, also winning Player of the Year. Ballou Tabla also from Atletico Ottawa finished second for this award. While Alejandro Diaz formerly of Pacific FC finished third in voting.

Atletico Ottawa went on to win the most awards this year winning Coach of the Year, Player of the Year and Players Player of the Year. With Cavalry FC, Forge FC, Valour FC and Pacific FC each winning one award this season. 

Fun fact the players only get the pose with the real award and get a replica award to take home.


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