Sporting KC pronounces 2022 award winners

September 24, 2022

Sporting Kansas Metropolis introduced recipients of the membership’s annual awards on Friday evening at Youngsters’s Mercy Park throughout Pitch Black introduced by Audi.

Votes solid by Sporting gamers and followers decided the next award winners:

  • Most Useful Participant introduced by Audi: Johnny Russell
  • Offensive Participant of the Yr introduced by Anheuser Busch: Daniel Salloi
  • Defensive Participant of the Yr introduced by Brush Creek Companions: Andreu Fontas
  • Newcomers of the Yr introduced by Coca-Cola: Willy Agada and Erik Thommy
  • Aim of the Yr introduced by Parisi Espresso: Roger Espinoza (July 9)

Sporting Kansas Metropolis additionally chosen award winners within the following classes:

  • Neal and Jeanne Patterson Humanitarians of the Yr: Johnny Russell and Khiry Shelton
  • Sporting KC II Most Useful Participant: Jahon Rad
  • Bob Gansler Academy Participant of the Yr introduced by Youngsters’s Mercy: Alex Umana
  • Sporting Membership Community Member of the Yr introduced by Value Chopper: Sporting Springfield

As well as, the membership’s Golden Boot introduced by Compass Minerals might be awarded to the crew’s high regular-season purpose scorer following Sporting’s season finale on Oct. 9. Russell is presently in pole place for the respect with eight common season objectives, adopted intently by Salloi and Agada with seven objectives every forward of the ultimate two matches of the marketing campaign.

Voted Sporting Kansas Metropolis’s Most Useful Participant this yr, Russell has contributed a team-leading 10 objectives to associate with two assists throughout all competitions in 2022. The Scotsman has 80 common season purpose contributions (48 objectives, 32 assists) since signing with SKC in 2018, which ranks third most amongst all MLS gamers. As well as, Sporting’s membership captain has grow to be considered one of solely two energetic MLS gamers to attain six or extra objectives in every of the previous 5 common season campaigns.

An MLS All-Star and MVP finalist a yr in the past, Salloi has recorded 9 objectives and 4 assists in all competitions in 2022 because the Hungarian worldwide as soon as once more leads the membership in purpose contributions and was voted Sporting’s Offensive Participant of the Yr. A Sporting KC Academy product, Salloi has grow to be one of many high scoring Homegrown Gamers in MLS historical past with 41 profession objectives in MLS matches and the 26-year-old signed a brand new four-year contract in August to stay with Sporting via 2026.

For a second straight yr, Fontas collected the membership’s Defensive Participant of the Yr award. The 32-year-old centerback as soon as once more leads the crew in passes (1,692), touches (1,966) and clearances (93) whereas additionally contributing a career-high two objectives in 26 appearances. In two seasons as a starter for Sporting Kansas Metropolis in 2021 and 2022, the Spaniard leads all MLS gamers in objectives added (8.03) – a sophisticated metric that measures a participant’s on-ball contribution in each assault and protection – because the begin of 2021, rating forward of final yr’s league MVP Carles Gil (8.01) and this yr’s Golden Boot chief and MVP frontrunner Hany Mukhtar (6.73).

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Agada and Thommy have been every named Newcomers of the Yr after arriving in the summertime switch window. The duo debuted on July 23 and have sparked a powerful run of type for Sporting KC because the crew is now unbeaten in six straight matches and amidst a run of 5 consecutive wins at house. The 23-year-old Agada has seven objectives in his final seven begins and the Nigerian striker’s 9 purpose contributions (seven objectives and two assists) rank third most amongst MLS summer time signings behind Federico Bernardeschi (11) and Cucho Hernandez (11). Amongst gamers with 5 objectives, Agada ranks second in MLS this season in objectives per 90 minutes performed (0.85) and second in membership historical past for objectives per recreation (0.70) in a single season. The 28-year-old Thommy has grow to be a dynamic playmaking presence within the midfield, contributing three objectives and an help whereas main the crew in probabilities created (18) since his debut. The Bundesliga veteran presently ranks second in Main League Soccer in profitable dribble proportion (85.7).

Espinoza took house the crew’s Aim of the Yr for his gorgeous strike from 44 yards out in a 2-1 highway win at CF Montreal on July 9. The 35-year-old World Cup veteran gained the ball inside the middle circle at midfield and launched a spectacular shot that looped over the outstretched arm of the goalkeeper for the game-tying purpose within the twenty ninth minute. Espinoza’s equalizer – his thirteenth MLS purpose in 13 seasons – was named AT&T MLS Aim of the Week for Week 19 and stands because the second-longest purpose from open play over the past three MLS seasons. Amongst Sporting KC gamers, Espinoza’s purpose is the longest from the run of play – and the second-longest distance purpose total – in an MLS match in the course of the Opta period (2010-present).

Sporting’s annual Humanitarian of the Yr award is known as after the late Sporting KC proprietor Neal Patterson and his spouse Jeanne, each of whom handed away from most cancers in 2017 after leaving a outstanding philanthropic influence on the Kansas Metropolis group. Russell and Shelton have been honored as co-Humanitarians of the Yr on Friday for embracing energetic roles each regionally and nationally.

Russell has championed The Victory Venture by collaborating in a number of interactive occasions tied to the inspiration, together with digital visits to youth sufferers at Youngsters’s Mercy Hospital, a J. Rieger & Co. tasting with company from The Victory Gala, a team-centric exercise at Breakout KC and an look on the Sporting Invitational. The Sporting KC captain additionally welcomed Victory Venture honorees at crew trainings, warmly connecting company to his teammates and creating unforgettable moments for visiting youngsters and their households. Throughout Childhood Most cancers Consciousness Month in September, Russell helped increase consciousness for pediatric most cancers as a Kick Childhood Most cancers ambassador. He additionally hosted the Johnny Russell Professional Participant Camp on Sept. 5, the day after Sporting performed on the highway in Los Angeles, by teaching and interesting with youth soccer gamers from throughout the town.

Shelton has acquired the Neal and Jeanne Patterson Humanitarian of the Yr honor for the second time after first incomes the award in 2020. On the forefront, Shelton continued his partnership with Shadow Buddies by supplying dolls for teenagers receiving therapy at Youngsters’s Mercy Hospital, together with the launch of the brand new ID Buddy and Diabetes Buddy. He volunteered at a number of Victory Venture experiences, attending the Victory Gala and collaborating in an gear donation drive for Boys & Women Golf equipment of Better Kansas Metropolis. Shelton presently mentors an area little one as a Huge at Huge Brothers Huge Sisters Kansas Metropolis and continues to function Sporting’s consultant on Black Gamers for Change, a coalition of Main League Soccer gamers that establishes packages and insurance policies to handle systemic racism and assist the Black group achieve each well being equality and financial alternative.

Rad was acknowledged as Sporting KC II’s Most Useful Participant after recording a career-high 21 appearances for head coach Benny Feilhaber within the crew’s inaugural MLS NEXT Professional marketing campaign this season. The 21-year-old showcased his versatility – logging minutes as each a defender and as a midfielder – whereas additionally captaining the membership. A product of the Sporting KC Academy, Rad moved to Kansas Metropolis from his native North Carolina in 2016 and first joined Sporting KC II on an academy contract from 2018-2020. Now in his fifth season with SKCII, Rad is the longest tenured member of the squad and has performed in 54 profession matches after making 33 appearances within the USL Championship from 2018-2021.

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Umana was honored because the Academy Participant of the Yr after serving to the Sporting KC Academy U-19s qualify for the 2021-22 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs as runners-up within the Frontier Division. A local of Lincoln, Nebraska, the 18-year-old ahead first joined the Sporting KC Academy in 2016 as a member of the U-13s. Umana was referred to as up the El Salvador U-20 Males’s Nationwide Crew for the 2022 Dallas Cup in April – the place he scored objectives in three consecutive video games to assist El Salvador attain the ultimate – and most just lately made three appearances for El Salvador on the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship in June. The Olathe South Excessive College alum now attends Yale College and has made three appearances in his freshman season for the Bulldogs, who’re the one unbeaten crew within the Ivy League.

Based in 1999 and a Sporting KC Academy Affiliate since 2016, Sporting Springfield was chosen because the Sporting Membership Community Member of the Yr. Led by Government Director Eric Sorlie, Sporting Springfield provides leisure and aggressive programming for female and male gamers within the U-4 via U-19 age teams in Southwest Missouri. The membership’s participant improvement mannequin was highlighted this yr by the skilled debut of 17-year-old Sporting KC II defender Draven Barnett, who made 4 appearances in MLS NEXT Professional and is presently a freshman at Temple College. As well as, Sporting Springfield joined the ECNL Boys Heartland Convention in 2022 and the membership grew to become the anchor tenant within the new Betty & Bobby Allison Sports activities City Advanced spanning 82 acres with 12 out of doors fields and two indoor fields.

Sporting Kansas Metropolis will goal to increase the membership’s unbeaten run on Sunday, Oct. 2 within the crew’s house finale in opposition to Seattle Sounders FC. The Western Convention conflict might be nationally televised on FS1 and FOX Deportes with kick off set for 4:25 p.m. CT at Youngsters’s Mercy Park. Tickets for the membership’s annual Fan Appreciation Match can be found on-line at SeatGeek.com and the primary 5,000 followers in attendance will obtain Sporting KC key chains courtesy of match sponsor UMKC.