Earthquakes hand out team awards
SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose Earthquakes announced the 2004 team awards today prior to Game One of the club's Western Conference Semifinal match-up against the Kansas City Wizards. Brian Ching earned the 2004 Earthquakes Honda Most Valuable Player and was the team's Budweiser Scoring Champion. Goalkeeper Pat Onstad earned the Defensive Player of the Year with San Jose, while Craig Waibel and Todd Dunivant were named the co-winners of the U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year. In two locally sponsored awards, midfielder Richard Mulrooney received the California Customs award and Eddie Robinson was the Geneva McAlavey Community Outreach award winner.
Ching, 26, enjoyed a true breakout season in 2004. The only Hawaiian player in MLS picked up right where he left off after his 2003 season was cut short by a ruptured right Achilles tendon. Ching recovered from the devastating injury and exploded for a league-leading 12 goals and four assists to become the Quakes Budweiser Scoring Champion. Ching earned MLS Player of the Week honors for his two-goal effort on July 17 vs. Colorado. Ching was rewarded with his first selection to the MLS All-Star game, where he scored a goal, and also played in his first World Cup Qualifying matches with the United States National Team. Ching impressed at the international level as well, scoring two goals in his first two World Qualifying appearances for the U.S.
Onstad, 36, earned the team's Defensive Player of the Year award for the first time after claiming the MLS 2003 Goalkeeper of the Year award. Onstad enjoyed a stellar second season while continuing to play with the Canadian National Team in World Cup Qualifying. Onstad once again played a huge role in the Quakes success in 2004, appearing in 25 games with a 1.28 goals against average and earning six shutouts. Onstad was named to his first MLS All-Star game while twice being named MLS Player of the Week (in Week 2 and Week 7). Following the All-Star break, Onstad stepped his play up a level, stringing together five shutouts in six MLS games and earning the August MLS Player of the Month award.
Craig Waibel and Todd Dunivant both made a huge impact in the Bay Area community during the 2004 season, and for their incredible off the field efforts, they are the co-winners of the U.S. Soccer Humanitarian of the Year award.
The Earthquakes 2003 Humanitarian of the Year, Craig Waibel continued to give back to the Bay Area in 2004, and was involved with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Camp Okizu. Waibel is one of the most popular Quakes in the community for his continued participation in events like the Toys for Tots drive, DPS Team Championships, various school assemblies, coaching clinics and youth soccer practices. Waibel also created and executed specific clinic packages to use as auction items for various charities in the Bay Area and continues to help the community relations department by offering suggestions and ideas. Waibel was also the Quakes 2004 Make Sun Safety your goal spokesmen.
Earthquakes defender Todd Dunivant successfully raised over $20,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Man of the Year campaign in honor of his brother Luke Dunivant, a cancer survivor. Todd raised money for LLS in various ways, and was named the Silicon Valley Chapter LLS 2004 Man of the Year. Dunivant also was actively involved in numerous grass-roots appearances for the Earthquakes in 2004.
The Quakes iron man in 2004, Richard Mulrooney was one of the most valuable player's for the club and was recognized with the 2004 California Customs Award, given to the player whose contributions on and off the field have helped the team be successful. Mulrooney was the only member of the Quakes to play every minute of every game in the 2004 regular season and was selected to the MLS All-Star Game for the second time in his career, notching an assist in the game as he was rewarded for his aggressive, decisive attacking style. Mulrooney scored one goal to go with his eight assists in 2004, the second-highest assist total of his six-year MLS career.
For his dedication to the local community, defender Eddie Robinson earned the Geneva McAlavey Community Outreach award for 2004. Robinson appeared at a number of schools to talk about reading and the importance of education. He made the most official community appearances of any Earthquakes player in 2004, being a part of numerous grass roots events throughout the Bay Area.