Captain Pedro Morales named BMO Player of the Year

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Pedro Morales

2014 WHITECAPS FC PLAYER AWARDS PRESENTED BY BMO UNVEILED TODAY AT THE BMO MAIN OFFICE BRANCH
Captain Pedro Morales named BMO Player of the Year

(ISN) – VANCOUVER, BC – The winners of the 2014 Vancouver Whitecaps FC Player Awards, presented by BMO, were unveiled on Wednesday at a special awards ceremony at the BMO Main Branch.

Whitecaps FC Designated Player Pedro Morales was voted as the 2014 Whitecaps FC BMO Player of the Year in addition to claiming the Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot Award as the team’s leading goalscorer.

Other award recipients were midfielder Matias Laba (Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero), goalkeeper David Ousted (Humanitarian of the Year), goalkeeper Marco Carducci and Girls Elite defender Simmrin Dhaliwal (Most Promising Players), and U-18 Residency defender Jeevin Kang (BMO RESP Youth Soccer Player). See the full list below.

BMO PLAYER OF THE YEAR: PEDRO MORALES

The Chilean Designated Player was the overwhelming choice for the 2014 BMO Player of the Year, which was selected by fans after members of the club’s technical staff determined the six candidates.

Morales, who joined Whitecaps FC from Spain’s La Liga in March, has quickly established himself as one of the league’s most dangerous attacking midfielders and has been key to Vancouver’s success. His stats speak for themselves in that regard.

Morales, who took over as captain following the retirement of Jay DeMerit, leads the team with 10 goals and 11 assists – making him the first Whitecaps FC player to reach double digits in both categories in a single MLS season.

The ‘Caps captain, who is fifth in MLS with 81 chances created, also added a goal and an assist in one Amway Canadian Championship appearance.

Another telling stat: the ‘Caps have posted an 9W-1L-4D record when the Chilean records a goal or assist this season. With attacking ability that has often proved the difference, it’s no surprise that Morales has won a team-high five Budweiser Man of the Match awards this season.

DOMENIC MOBILIO GOLDEN BOOT: PEDRO MORALES

Morales was also awarded the Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot as Vancouver’s top goalscorer in 2014.

Going into Saturday’s regular season finale, Morales has scored a team-high 10 goals in MLS competition (the next closest player has six). Three of Morales’ goals were game-winners and the ‘Caps are undefeated in the seven games he’s scored.

The award is named in honour of the late Domenic Mobilio, who in 15 seasons with Vancouver scored 170 goals, more than double the club’s next leading scorer. In memory of his great accomplishments, the Mobilio family awards the Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot – a bronzed trophy made from one of Domenic’s left boots – annually.

JOCK MacDONALD UNSUNG HERO AWARD: MATIAS LABA

The Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero Award was awarded to Matias Laba, who has been one of Vancouver’s most consistent players this season.

The 22-year-old leads MLS with 148 tackles, which is more than any player had all of last season. Laba, who also leads all midfielders with 84 interceptions, has been an absolute force for Whitecaps FC in midfield. His work rate and relentless defending has played a big part in Vancouver’s 12 clean sheets, which is tied for the highest total in MLS this season.

The Argentine midfielder has started 30 of his 31 appearances this season, logging an assist in a 4-3 win over Portland Timbers back in June. Laba, who came in at 12th in the league’s annual 24 under 24 list, has been named Whitecaps FC Budweiser Man of the Match three times this season.

The Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero Award is awarded in memory of Jock MacDonald’s dedication to Whitecaps FC. MacDonald was a founding member of Vancouver 86ers and a key individual to resurrecting professional soccer in the Lower Mainland. His passionate personality and contributions were an important part of the club’s success.

HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR: DAVID OUSTED

Goalkeeper David Ousted was named Whitecaps FC’s Humanitarian of the Year, which highlights a player that has shown an active willingness to give back to the community by volunteering and participating in club and community initiatives beyond the regular call of duty.

The personable goalkeeper leads the team in charitable appearances this season. Highlights include visits to BC Children’s Hospital, the third annual Coast Salish Hope and Health event, Canadian Cancer Society’s Camp Goodtimes, Canucks Autism Network Sports Day,​ and several community camps and clinics.

On the field, Ousted is the only Whitecaps FC player to have played every minute of every match this season. The Danish shot-stopper has recorded a league-high 12 clean sheets and been named Whitecaps FC Budweiser Man of the Match three times.

MOST PROMISING PLAYERS: MARCO CARDUCCI AND SIMMRIN DHALIWAL

The Most Promising Player awards, which recognize younger players that exemplify a noticeable development throughout the season, were presented to goalkeeper Marco Carducci and Girls Elite defender Simmrin Dhaliwal.

Carducci, 18, joined Whitecaps FC’s MLS roster in March after spending two and a half years with the club’s Residency program. The Calgary, Alberta native started both legs of the 2014 Amway Canadian Championship semifinal and recorded his first professional win in the second leg. Carducci, who allowed just two goals in four appearances for Whitecaps FC during the 2014 preseason, also continues to shine with Vancouver’s U-18 Residency side. The young shot-stopper has posted a perfect 5W-0L-0D record thus far, recording three clean sheets and a 0.60 goals against average.

Dhaliwal, 17, was selected as an underage player for Whitecaps FC’s U-18 Girls Elite program at the age of 15 years old. She’s been a standout for both the club and the Canadian youth program ever since. Highlights include gold medal with Whitecaps FC Girls Elite at the 2013 Gothia World Youth Cup in Sweden and with Team BC at the 2013 Canada Games in Quebec. The Surrey native also started all four matches for Canada at the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.

YOUTH SOCCER PLAYER, BMO RESP: JEEVIN KANG

In conjunction with the BMO Player of the Year award, BMO also presented a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to U-18 Residency defender Jeevin Kang.

Kang, 17, has risen through the ranks with the club’s Residency program, starting with the U-14 Pre-Residency side in 2012 and working his way up to the U-18s. Last year, Kang started 24 of his 26 appearances with the U-16s, helping them reach the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) quarterfinals for the first time in club history. The Surrey native also recently earned his first call-up to the Canadian U-18 men’s national team.

Ever since joining the club, Kang has proven to be a consistent performer on and off the field. He willingly engages his local community, conducts himself with high standards, and “is the perfect role model as a player and person,” according to Residency technical director Craig Dalrymple.

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