Canadian Men’s Soccer Player of the Year Award

A weekly sports column from the 100 Mile Free Press

Former Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder was awarded the Canadian Men’s Soccer Player of the Year Award on Dec. 12. The award combines club and national team performances to select the winner.

And it was well deserved for Davies, who is also the youngest player to win the award. He turned 18 on Nov. 2.

His final game (of 65) in Vancouver was played on Oct. 28, scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers. In January, he will be moving to one of the biggest clubs in Europe, Bayern Munich of German. He’s also made nine appearances for the Canadian Men’s National team and scored three goals.

There is no doubt that Davies is Soccer Canada’s Connor McDavid at this moment and all eyes will be on him to see how he turns out with Bayern Munich and what they will do with him. He will have to battle with youngsters Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry, as well as established and experienced veterans in Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben to nail down the winger role at the club.

My guess is that he will be loaned out to one of the weaker German teams in the Bundesliga, such as Hannover 96 and FC Nürnberg, that way Munich’s manager Niko Kovac can get a good look at what Davies can do in the league. However, with Robben (who has already said this will be probably his last season with the club) and Ribéry in their mid-30’s, Davies could get some starts on the team if he isn’t sent on loan.

Atiba Hutchinson, who won the award six times since 2010 is now 35 and only played nine times for his club in Turkey this season. However, Hutchinson was still named as the runner-up to the award with Toronto FC’s Jonathon Osorio coming in third. Milan Borjan, Canada’s first choice goalkeeper who plays for Serbian club Red Star Belgrade came in fourth and Scott Airfield of the Glasgow Rangers came in fifth.

Hutchinson only appeared in two international games this season.

Osorio probably had his best year with Toronto FC, playing in all 30 league games and scoring 10 goals. Additionally, he scored seven goals in 12 games in the Canadian Championship and CONCACAF Champions League. He also played in three international games this year.

Borjan helped Red Star Belgrade win the 2017-18 Serbian SuperLiga and has been instrumental for them this season with the club currently in first place as of Dec. 15. In the 2017-18 season, Borjan played 31 league games. This season he has appeared in 14 of 18. Internationally, he only played in two games.

As a goalie, it was probably unlikely that he would have received the award, to begin with, despite his success with his club. Added that to the Serbian SuperLiga being the 19th best league in Europe, per UEFA rankings, probably adds to the decision.

The goalie to win the Canadian Men’s Soccer Player of the Year Award was Pat Onstad in 2003.

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