Three MLS players and one alum were shortlisted for the Canadian men’s national team player of the year award on Wednesday, as Canada Soccer announced the list of nominees for its 2018 awards.
Vancouver WhitecapsHomegrown phenom Alphonso Davies, Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio and the Montreal Impact’s Samuel Piette were named to the CanMNT list, as was Impact academy product Ballou Tabla, now with FC Barcelona B.
Davies made the list after a breakthrough season in which he scored eight goals and 11 assists in 31 MLS matches (27 starts), skyrocketed to global repute and was sold to Bayern Munich for an MLS-record transfer fee. Davies registered three caps with the national team during Concacaf Nations League qualification, collecting four assists.
Osorio enjoyed a career year for TFC in 2018, marked by 10 goals and seven assists in 30 MLS appearances. He also won the Concacaf Champions League Golden Boot award with four goals in that competition, where the Reds reached the championship final only to fall agonizingly to Chivas Guadalajara in a penalty-kick shootout. The Toronto Homegrown also finished as the co-leading scorer in Canadian Championship play as TFC successfully defended their title in that tournament. Osorio had a goal and assist in three matches with the national team in 2018.
Piette, a Montreal native who returned from a stint in Europe to sign with the Impact in August 2017, anchored his club’s midfield all season, starting every single one of the Impact's league matches in a No. 6 role and chipping in three assists. He performed similar duty for the CanMNT as Les Rouges worked their way through Concacaf Nations League qualifying.
The Canadian Youth International Players of the Year award list also featured ample MLS representation, with Montreal prospects Mathieu Choiniere and Shamit Shome named, as well as Toronto’s Julian Dunn and Noble Okello.
Voting on the Canada Soccer awards is open for media and coaches from Nov. 27 through Dec. 6; media and coaches will vote for the Canadian Players of the Year, while only coaches will vote on the new Canadian Youth International Players of the Year award.
Both a male and female player will be selected for each award. Canada Soccer staff coaches will select the 2018 Canadian Para Soccer Player of the Year and the Canadian Futsal Player of the Year. The Canadian Players of the Year awards will be announced on Dec. 11 and 12, while the Youth International Players of the Year will be revealed on Dec. 10.
The federation will also hand out a “Good Hands Award” to the top save by any of Canada’s national-team goalkeepers, which fans can vote on at CanadaSoccer.com and through their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts through Saturday.