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Sounders FC announces 2019 team awards

SEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC today announced its 2019 team award recipients, as voted on by Sounders FC's technical staff and players at the conclusion of the MLS regular season. Forward Jordan Morris was voted Most Valuable Player for the first time, while goalkeeper Stefan Frei earned the club’s Defender of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year each for the second time. Forward Raúl Ruidíaz took home the club’s Golden Boot title for the second consecutive season after leading the club with 11 goals in the regular season.

SOUNDERS FC MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – JORDAN MORRIS

Morris earns his first team MVP award, becoming the sixth player in club history to earn the award. After suffering a torn ACL in February of 2018 that caused him to miss the entirety of last season, Morris came storming back in 2019 with an impressive 10 goals and career-high seven assists in 26 regular-season appearances. His campaign started with a bang, scoring twice in the 4-1 season-opening win against FC Cincinnati on March 2, before really catching stride in the summer, where he tallied six goals and five assists in his final 10 starts of the season. Always dangerous in the attack, the Mercer Island native ranked seventh in MLS with a shots on goal percentage of 47.6%, meaning 20 of his 42 total shots were on target. He became the first Seattle player to record a hat trick in the postseason during the club's 4-3 win over FC Dallas in the first round of the 2019 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.

A valuable member of Seattle's attack, the club recorded an 8-1-2 regular-season record in games where Morris recorded a goal or assist (the lone loss came in a 3-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City on August 4 in which Morris scored a brace), as the Rave Green qualified for its league-record 11th consecutive berth in the postseason. His 24 career MLS regular-season goals currently rank sixth in club history. Morris also returned as a staple of the U.S. Men's National Team, making 13 appearances while recording two goals and a team-leading six assists in 2019.

SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER OF THE YEAR & HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR – STEFAN FREI

Frei earns his second award each for Defender of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year after previously earning the honors in 2015 and 2018, respectively. One of seven players league-wide to play every minute of the 2019 regular season, Frei ranked fourth in MLS with a career-high 116 saves and tied for fourth with 10 shutouts, to go along with a goals against average of 1.44. Frei recorded 10 saves twice this season (one short of his career high of 11), first in a 4-2 road win over Chicago on March 16 and another in a 1-0 shutout victory at San Jose on September 29. The 11-year MLS veteran now ranks fifth in league history with 115 goalkeeper wins, tied for fifth with 76 shutouts and ninth with 929 saves.

On the Humanitarian front, Frei was instrumental in granting a Make-A-Wish experience for Bheem Goyal, an eight-year-old battling Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia who underwent eight months of intense chemotherapy earlier this year. What started as an invitation from Frei for Bheem to train with him and Sounders FC goalkeepers for a day turned into Bheem being named as the youngest goalkeeper in Sounders FC history, making his MLS debut in goal in front of 40,000 fans during Sounders FC's friendly vs. Borussia Dortmund.

This is not Frei's first time lending a hand to kick childhood cancer. Over the past few years he has worked with Sounders FC fan Christine O'Connell to design custom scarves where 100% of proceeds go to Strong Against Cancer at Children's Hospital. Over the past couple years, they have helped raise over $70,000 for cancer research at Seattle Children's Hospital through Scarves Fighting Cancer.

SOUNDERS FC GOLDEN BOOT – RAÚL RUIDÍAZ

Ruidíaz led Sounders FC with 11 goals in the regular season, marking the second consecutive season that he has led the club in scoring. He becomes the fourth Sounders FC player to repeat as the club’s Golden Boot winner, following Fredy Montero (2009-2011), Eddie Johnson (2012-2013) and Obafemi Martins (2014-2015). Ruidíaz’s 21 regular season goals for Sounders FC rank eighth in club history in just 31 games played. Even more remarkable was the fact that he tallied his 11 goals in just 22 appearances, ranking him tied for eighth in MLS with 0.50 goals per game. Ruidíaz also tallied in impressive four goals and four assists in four 2019 postseason games as the Rave Green captured this year’s MLS Cup title. 

The Peruvian joins Montero, Clint Dempsey and Martins as the only players in club history to record double-digit goals in consecutive seasons. Including the tail end of the 2018 season, Ruidíaz also established a new club record by scoring in eight consecutive appearances (including postseason) from September 29, 2018 - March 16, 2019.

Sounders FC won the 2019 MLS Cup on November 10 with a 3-1 victory over Toronto FC at CenturyLink Field. Kelvin Leerdam, Víctor Rodríguez and Raúl Ruidíaz all scored for Seattle as the Rave Green captured its second championship in four seasons. Seattle previously won the 2016 title before falling in 2017, both against Toronto at BMO Field. The crowd of 69,274 provided the largest standalone attendance for a sporting event in the history of CenturyLink Field, as well as the largest for a soccer match in the history of Washington state.

SOUNDERS FC HISTORICAL TEAM AWARDS WINNERS

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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