Canada Soccer’s young footballers Simi Awujo and Ismaël Koné were named 2022 Canada Soccer Young Players of the Year. The two young players were recognised for their performances and progress as part of Canada Soccer’s National Teams Program, notably each making their international “A” debuts in 2022. Awujo represented Canada at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022 while Koné featured in all three matches at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Canada Soccer Player Awards, with the two winners of the Canada Soccer Players of the Year to be announced Wednesday and Thursday.

Simi Awujo made her first three international “A” appearances for Canada in September and October 2022 against Australia, Argentina and Morocco. She was notably part of the build up on Canada’s winning goal against Australia as well as another goal against Morocco. She also made 10 youth international appearances for Canada, won a Concacaf youth medal in March when Canada qualified for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and was named Canada’s Player of the Match twice at Costa Rica 2022.

Ismaël Koné featured in all three matches for Canada in the group stage at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, notably appearing as the Men’s National Team’s youngest player at age 20. In all, he made eight international “A” appearances, helped Canada win the Concacaf Final Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, and scored his first international goal in November. At the club level from January to November, he scored four goals and five assists in 32 appearances as a pro rookie with CF Montréal.

Looking to the year ahead, Awujo will continue her progress to the Women’s National Team and hopefully a spot at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 while studying at the University of Southern California. Koné, meanwhile, will begin a new professional journey in the Championship after a December transfer to Watford FC in England following the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.