yeimar jp

SEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC today announced its 2021 team award recipients, as voted on by Sounders FC’s players and technical staff at the conclusion of the MLS regular season. João Paulo was voted Most Valuable Player for first time, while Yeimar Gómez Andrade earned the club’s Defender of the Year for the second consecutive season. Striker Raúl Ruidíaz took home Seattle’s Golden Boot title for the fourth consecutive year after leading the club with 17 goals in the regular season, while Stefan Frei was named Sounders FC Humanitarian of the Year for the third time in the goalkeeper’s career.

SOUNDERS FC MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – JOÃO PAULO

João Paulo wins his first Sounders FC Team MVP in 2021, starting 28 of 31 regular-season appearances in his second season with Sounders FC in 2021, recording three goals and 11 assists (tied for sixth in MLS). A two-way standout in midfield, João Paulo finished fifth league-wide in touches (2,463), while ranking first in tackles won (42), second in interceptions (36) and third in duels won (176) among players with at least 10 assists. The set piece specialist ranked second in MLS with 42 chances created from set plays and tied for third with six assists from set plays. For his efforts this season, João Paulo was voted a starter in the 2021 MLS All-Star Game, earned Best XI honors and was one of five finalists for Landon Donovan MLS MVP.

SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER OF THE YEAR OF THE YEAR – YEIMAR GÓMEZ ANDRADE

Yeimar appeared in all but one game in 2021, starting 29 and leading a defense that finished tied for first in MLS with just 33 goals allowed. The towering central defender led MLS with 86 interceptions (13 more than any other player) and finished tied for first with 55 tackles won. He also finished second league-wide with 147 clearances, tied for first with 80 headed clearances and eighth with 87 aerials won. Yeimar was rewarded with his first career international callup to Colombia for November’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers. This marks the second Sounders FC Defender of the Year award for Yeimar in as many seasons with the club. He was also voted a starter in the 2021 MLS All-Star Game, earned Best XI honors and was one of three finalists for MLS Defender of the Year.

SOUNDERS FC GOLDEN BOOT – RAÚL RUIDÍAZ

Leading the Rave Green in goals for the fourth consecutive season, Ruidíaz becomes the first player in club history to win four Sounders FC Golden Boot titles. The Peruvian’s 17 regular-season goals tied Obafemi Martins’ club record set in 2014 and finished tied for third in MLS. He also led MLS with seven game-winning goals and was tied for the league-lead with four multi-goal games. Sounders FC went unbeaten in the 13 games (10-0-3) that he recorded a goal. Ruidíaz also added two goals in 2021 League’s Cup action, giving him 19 across all competitions in 2021, which also tied Martins’ club record set in 2014. His play this season earned him a start in the 2021 MLS All-Star Game and a spot on Best XI.

SOUNDERS FC HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR – STEFAN FREI

Frei earns his third Sounders FC Humanitarian of the Year award after previously winning in 2018 and 2019. This past year, Frei used his voice and his platform to advocate for social justice and amplified the importance of voting by working with Washington’s Secretary of State to encourage youth to register to vote early. He also co-led a fan-facing virtual “Goals for Art” class, raising funds for Sounders FC’s charitable arm, RAVE Foundation. He worked with club leadership to ensure that meals being catered to players and staff at the team facility supported local BIPOC and minority-owned businesses, and supported the club’s partnership with Intentionalist, an online resource to help guide intentional spending that supports small businesses and diverse communities.

Additionally, Frei has continued to assist kids battling cancer, using his artistic skill to partner with Seattle-based glass décor company glassybaby to help design a custom piece. Named “Watters” in honor of eight-year-old Lucy Watters who passed away earlier this year, the limited-edition glassybaby sold out in under 90 minutes and proceeds helped support the glassybaby foundation.

Sounders FC was eliminated from the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs on November 23 by Real Salt Lake via penalty kicks following 120 minutes of scoreless action. Second-seeded Seattle’s 13th consecutive postseason berth ended in Round One to seventh-seeded RSL, falling out in the first round for the first time since 2011. The Rave Green’s 2021 campaign finished with the club compiling a 19-9-10 record across all competitions.

SOUNDERS FC HISTORICAL TEAM AWARDS WINNERS

2021

MVP: João Paulo

Defender: Yeimar Gómez Andrade

Humanitarian: Stefan Frei

Golden Boot: Raúl Ruidíaz

2020

MVP: Jordan Morris

Defender: Yeimar Gómez Andrade

Humanitarian: Cristian Roldan

Golden Boot: Raúl Ruidíaz

2019 

MVP: Jordan Morris

Defender: Stefan Frei

Humanitarian: Stefan Frei

Golden Boot: Raúl Ruidíaz

2018

MVP: Stefan Frei

Defender: Chad Marshall

Humanitarian: Stefan Frei

Golden Boot: Raúl Ruidíaz

2017

MVP: Cristian Roldan

Defender: Chad Marshall

Humanitarian: Jordan Morris

Golden Boot: Clint Dempsey

2016

MVP: Osvaldo Alonso

Defender: Chad Marshall

Humanitarian: Jordan Morris

Golden Boot: Jordan Morris

2015

MVP: Obafemi Martins

Defender: Stefan Frei

Humanitarian: Brad Evans

Golden Boot: Obafemi Martins

2014

MVP: Obafemi Martins

Defender: Chad Marshall

Humanitarian: Dylan Remick

Golden Boot: Obafemi Martins

2013

MVP: Osvaldo Alonso

Defender: Leo Gonzalez

Humanitarian: Lamar Neagle

Golden Boot: Eddie Johnson

2012

MVP: Osvaldo Alonso

Defender: Jeff Parke

Humanitarian: David Estrada

Golden Boot: Eddie Johnson

2011

MVP: Osvaldo Alonso

Defender: Jeff Parke

Humanitarian: James Riley

Golden Boot: Fredy Montero

2010

MVP: Osvaldo Alonso

Defender: James Riley

Humanitarian: James Riley

Golden Boot: Fredy Montero

2009

MVP: Kasey Keller

Defender: Tyrone Marshall

Humanitarian: Taylor Graham

Golden Boot: Fredy Montero

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