Castellanos becomes the first Argentine and first NYCFC player to claim the scoring title
NEW YORK (Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021) – New York City FC forward Valentín “Taty” Castellanos has won the 2021 MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi after scoring a league-high 19 goals in a tightly contested race that came down the final day of the regular season on MLS Decision Day. Castellanos claims the honor via the assist tiebreaker, with his eight helpers holding off D.C. United’s Ola Kamara, who also notched 19 goals over the campaign with five assists.
- Highlights of Castellanos’ Golden Boot season can be found here;
- Castellano soundbyte reactions after tonight’s match will be available here
The first NYCFC player to win the award in club history, Castellanos began the season on a tear – scoring a goal in four straight matches to open the 2021 regular season. However, it was his late-season surge of nine goals in 11 matches from July 25 through Sept. 22 that springboarded him into the race for the Golden Boot presented by Audi. Ending the season with that same momentum, Castellanos emerged as the frontrunner, notching six goals in the last four games, leading NYCFC’s unbeaten streak over that span and solidifying the club’s No. 4 finish in the Eastern Conference to clinch their spot in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Castellanos also becomes the league’s first player from Argentina to claim the scoring crown and the third player from South America to win the Golden Boot presented by Audi since 2018 alongside Atlanta United’s Josef Martínez (2018) and LAFC’s Diego Rossi (2020). Castellanos’ career high of 19 goals for NYCFC surpass his previous marker of 11 achieved in 2019.
Through his prolific goalscoring efforts, Castellanos has raised a total of $19,500 for MLS academies through the ‘Audi Goals Drive Progress’ program, a multi-year initiative launched by Audi and dedicated to expanding the breadth of academy resources through contributions toward player education, housing and transportation. To ensure that young players are supported as they endeavor to maintain excellence on the pitch and in the classroom, the funds raised by Castellanos include $500 per goal scored during the 2021 MLS regular season to be distributed to all MLS academies and an additional $10,000 contribution to the NYCFC Academy for winning the Golden Boot presented by Audi.
“Audi is proud to support MLS and its journey to showcase the next generation of soccer talent,” said Adam Perez, Experiential Marketing Specialist, Audi of America. “We’re pleased to congratulate Valentín Castellanos on his Golden Boot win, and look forward to our continued commitment to the growth of soccer in the U.S. as well as driving individual progress both on and off the pitch through our ‘Audi Goals Drive Progress’ program.
Below are quotes from New York City FC’s Valentín “Taty” Castellanos on winning the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi.
Thoughts on winning the golden boot…
“I am very very happy, it’s a dream of mine, when you come to this league and being a forward you want to win it (Golden Boot), you want to be at the top of the goal scoring table. The most important as a group was to qualify to the playoffs and play at home, and individually you have your reward, and I am very happy for that. I’m very happy with my teammates, without them I wouldn’t have been able to win anything, also the coaching staff, the First Team staff members and everyone from the Club. I am celebrating with them, and they are also very happy. It’s true happiness, that I teared up when I was on the field. I am also celebrating with my family, that have helped me a lot, my friends and for me that was fundamental. So, I’m very happy about that.”
Thought on what has helped him have his best season at the Club…
“It has be constant hard work. It has been a very tough year, we have played a lot of games in a row, it was has been incredible work by all my teammates. Me, in particular, I have played a lot of games, and that has help me grow personally. Getting a lot of experience, I feel like I am now a player that is going through a good period on the field, so I am very happy about that.”
On what has contributed to the current goal streak to end the season…
“Hard work and consistency. I don’t think I would have been able to achieve it without the help of my teammates. It’s a mutual job and I am very happy because it has been a incredible year for me personally and now hopefully my scoring streak continues in the playoffs so I can help my teammates out.”
On this next goal with the goal the Club…
“Obviously to win. Win and become a champion. It would be something wonderful and its pending because I have already won the Golden Boot, so now I just want to be an (MLS Cup) champion.”
On whom he is thankful for this season…
“It’s not just one person, it’s everyone, like I was saying before. It’s a job that we all accomplish, it’s game that not only 11 are playing on the field, but we are playing with 40-50 people that are working all day to help us be better. Whether it be the chef, all the staff members of the Club, everybody. Inside the Club we are all rooting for each other, so I am celebrating this (accolade) with them, and I hope we come out as champions for everyone to celebrate.”