Teenage midfielder Alphonso Davies has become the youngest winner of the Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award.
Davies was chosen in voting by Canadian coaches and media.
Besiktas midfielder Atiba Hutchinson, who won the award the last four years, was runner-up with Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio third, Red Star Belgrade goalkeeper Milan Borjan fourth and Glasgow Rangers midfielder Scott Arfield fifth.
Davies, the former Vancouver Whitecap who turned 18 in November, is now with Bayern Munich thanks to a record-breaking US$22-million transfer deal that will see him play for the German powerhouse through 2023.
👏 Alphonso Davies wins his 1⃣st Canadian Player of the Year award#CANMNT ⚽️🏆
READ 🍁 https://t.co/OFoWmC27tI
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) December 12, 2018
“He has been a standout performer for club and country and that is just a consistent reality now for Alphonso Davies,” Canada coach John Herdman said in a statement. “For club, he picked up many an accolade, culminating with what looks like one of the biggest signings out country has ever seen.
“For Canada, every time he has been asked to take a responsibility and support the team, even playing out of position, he has shown his character. He is just a humble guy who loves the game and will do whatever it takes to be successful.”
The previous youngest men’s winners were Simeon Jackson and Jim Brennan, who were 22 when they won in 2009 and 1999, respectively. Christine Sinclair was 17 when she won the women’s award for the first time in 2000.
Hutchinson had won the award six times since 2010 — a run interrupted by Will Johnson in 2013 and Dwayne De Rosario in 2011.
On Tuesday, the 35-year-old Sinclair won the Women’s Player of the Year Award for the 14th time.
Davies finished his MLS campaign with eight goals and 11 assists. He was a commissioner’s pick to the August all-star game in Atlanta, where he became the fourth-youngest player to appear in the game.
Davies was first in the league this season in dribbles completed (123, an MLS record) and third in dribbles attempted (224).
On the international front, Davies played three times for Canada in 2018 — all wins in CONCACAF Nations League qualifying.
Born in a refugee camp in Ghana after his parents fled the Liberian civil war, Davies ended up in Edmonton after his family immigrated to Canada. He joined the Whitecaps’ residency program in 2015, working his way up the ranks to make his MLS debut in July 2016.
On Monday, Derek Cornelius and Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year. Earlier, Jacob Orellana was voted Canadian Futsal Player of the Year and Damien Wojtiw Canadian Para Soccer Player of the Year.
Goalkeeper James Pantemis was chosen winner of the Allstate Canadian National Teams Good Hands Award.
-with a file from the Canadian Press