VANCOUVER, BC – The winners of the 2016 Vancouver Whitecaps FC Player Awards presented by BMO, were announced by the club on Tuesday and defender Jordan Harvey was voted by fans as the 2016 Whitecaps FC BMO Player of the Year.
Other award recipients are midfielder Nicolas Mezquida (Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero), defender Christian Dean (Humanitarian of the Year), defender Sem de Wit (Whitecaps FC 2 Player of the Year), and midfielder Alphonso Davies and Girls Elite BC Regional Excel Centre (REX) defender Julia Grosso (Most Promising Players). BMO also presented a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to Grosso and WFC U-18 Residency defender/midfielder Joel Harrison.
The Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot award will be handed to the team’s top goalscorer after Sunday afternoon’s match versus Portland Timbers at BC Place. Pedro Morales enters the regular season finale with eight goals. Christian Bolaños has five goals, tied for second with the injured Kekuta Manneh.
See the full list below.
BMO PLAYER OF THE YEAR: JORDAN HARVEY
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.
JOCK MacDONALD UNSUNG HERO: NICOLAS MEZQUIDA
Mezquida, who often draws praise for his work rate and compete level, has three goals and an assist in 27 MLS regular season appearances this season. The 24-year-old also added two goals in the Amway Canadian Championship and started three of Vancouver’s four CONCACAF Champions League victories, helping Whitecaps FC reach the quarter-finals for the first time in club history.
HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR: CHRISTIAN DEAN
It’s been a difficult year for Dean, who dealt with a pair of devastating injuries, but he has never hesitated to give back to the community.
The 23-year-old defender made over 20 community appearances this season – many of which were at BC Children’s Hospital. During a visit in July, he spent nearly three hours at the hospital, staying behind on his own for an additional 30 minutes to catch up with a patient he met in 2014 who had just relapsed.
He has developed several close relationships with past and present patients at BC Children’s Hospital, including a woman named Kieran who passed away late in 2014.
Dean subsequently put her initials on his cleats.
WHITECAPS FC 2 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: SEM DE WIT
21-year-old centre back de Wit was selected by the technical staff as the Whitecaps FC 2 Player of the Year after leading the USL side to a Western Conference Final appearance in only their second year of competition.
The Dutchman was a constant presence on the team’s backline as they notched a 15-point improvement from 2015, while setting new single regular season records in starts (27) and minutes played (2,416). De Wit, who joined WFC2 last February, settled right in with the club, earning a USL Team of the Week nod after his home debut in Week 3.
De Wit made his first team debut in the international friendly versus Crystal Palace FC in July, the first of his four call-ups for the year.
MOST PROMISING PLAYERS: ALPHONSO DAVIES AND JULIA GROSSO
The Most Promising Player awards recognize younger players that exemplify a noticeable development throughout the season. And that was certainly the case for Davies and Grosso.
In February, Davies joined the first team for preseason before signing a professional deal with WFC2, subsequently becoming the youngest player to score a goal in the United Soccer League. The 15-year-old Edmonton resident then signed an MLS contract with the first team in July, becoming the youngest active player in the league and second youngest player all-time.
Davies has made eight MLS regular-season appearances this year. He also appeared in four Amway Canadian Championship matches and three more in the CONCACAF Champions League, where he recorded a goal and an assist in Vancouver’s quarter-final clinching win over Sporting Kansas City.
Grosso, 16, is a member of the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX program in partnership with BC Soccer.
The Vancouver, BC native has been a standout not only with the ‘Caps, but also with the Canadian women’s youth national teams.
Earlier this year, she was the youngest player called up to Canada’s U-20 women’s national team for a pair of matches versus Mexico’s U-20s. The young fullback then helped Canada qualify for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, starting three of four matches and earning a best XI nod in the qualifying tournament, before impressing at the World Cup itself.
YOUTH SOCCER PLAYER, BMO RESP: JULIA GROSSO AND JOEL HARRISON
BMO also presented a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to Grosso and Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency defender/midfielder Joel Harrison. Harrison, a native of Langley, BC, joined the club in August 2015, and appeared in three matches with Whitecaps FC 2 this season in the United Soccer League in addition to his time with the Residency team.