It’s been a tough season for players on the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2016, but on Tuesday the club announced their Team Award winners, recognizing the players that actually met expectation this year. The club actually did a good job of it, too, at least in my opinion.
32 year old Jordan Harvey, who continues to thrive while being under-estimated, was named the BMO Player of the Year. Harvey was one of the only reliable players on the Whitecaps backline, and his contributions cannot be understated. My picks were either Harvey or David Ousted, and I’m glad the club saw fit to recognize a player that may have flown under the radar for many.
The 32-year-old left back has started all 27 of his MLS regular season appearances this season, accumulating the third most minutes on the team, despite missing five matches due to injury.
Harvey is also tied for second on the team in tackles and third in interceptions, in addition to chipping in with a pair of goals. He scored Vancouver's first goal of 2016 in their season-opening defeat to Montreal Impact and also found the back of the net in a 3-0 win over FC Dallas.
The sixth-year Whitecaps FC player, who has previously won the Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero and the Humanitarian of the Year awards, garnered 48.17% of the fan voting
Congrats on the year, Jordo.
The Jock MacDonald award for Unsung Hero went to Nicolas Mezquida, again something I think is a very good call. I had Jordan Harvey picking up this award, but Nico’s performance in 2016 was surely nothing to shrug at. In a sea of disappointing players and a myriad of offensive disappointment, Nico was actually pretty darn effective. His three goals and one assist are clearly not earth shattering, however they don’t tell the whole story. With the Whitecaps desperately needing players to step up and contribute to the attack, more often than not, Nico was the one whom answered the call. I’ll put it bluntly; He was better than Pedro Morales this year.
“He’s infectious,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “I love Nico to bits. He deserves the award because every time he deals with disappointment, he comes back and responds and reacts in the right way. He’s got great character.”
The Humanitarian of the Year went to a player that didn’t actually put on a kit this season; Center Back Christian Dean. The 23 year old obviously made good use of his recovery time, making over 20 community appearances, the majority at BC Children’s Hospital. I think it’s very encouraging to see a youngster pick up the award, and I definitely have a lot more respect for Dean as a player.
“He’s had a lot of heartbreak this season,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “No player wants to be injured. He was right on the verge of playing in that first game and picked up an injury, then he reinjured himself and deals with the sad loss of his father, which was heartbreaking. Anyone who has gone through that will understand.”
“And he lost his way a little bit,” Robinson added. “But now he’s back, he’s managed to refocus, and everything that he will go on to do at this football club will gladly be seen by his father, who will be watching down on him.”
Alphonso Davies was a natural selection for the most promising player, which also went to Julia Grosso, a player for the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX.
Congratulations to all of the players that were honored