Sporting Kansas City announced today the winners of the 2021 Sporting Club Awards presented by Audi. The awards recognize outstanding performances over the course of the 2021 MLS regular season.
- Most Valuable Player presented by Audi: Daniel Salloi
- Offensive Player of the Year presented by Fire Door Solutions: Johnny Russell
- Defensive Player of the Year presented by Compass Minerals: Andreu Fontas
- Newcomer of the Year presented by Coca-Cola: Remi Walter
- Goal of the Year presented by Parisi Coffee: Johnny Russell (Oct. 23 at Seattle)
Sporting Kansas City also selected award winners in the following categories:
- Golden Boot presented by Michelob Ultra: Daniel Salloi
- Neal and Jeanne Patterson Humanitarian of the Year: Ilie Sanchez
- Sporting KC II Most Valuable Player presented by Brush Creek Partners: Enoch Mushagalusa
- Bob Gansler Academy Player of the Year presented by Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Center: Dylan Hooper
- Sporting Club Network Member of the Year presented by Price Chopper: Sporting Nebraska
Academy product Daniel Salloi has earned the title of Sporting Kansas City Most Valuable Player after an outstanding 2021 campaign. The 2018 Sporting KC Golden Boot winner was the headliner of a potent Sporting attack that finished second in MLS with 58 goals. Leading the team with 16 goals, eight assists and 24 goal contributions, Salloi helped Sporting finish within three points of first place in the Western Conference. The forward was tied for fifth in MLS in goals, appeared in the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, was MLS Player of the Week in Week 28 and received MLS Team of the Week accolades eight times. Salloi also takes home the Golden Boot award as Sporting’s top scorer.
Johnny Russell is the Sporting KC Offensive Player of the Year for the third time in four years. He has repeated as the award winner in 2021 with another incredible season in Sporting blue. The forward scored 15 goals and netted eight assists, including 12 goals over the final two months of the season. His eight-game scoring streak was the longest in MLS this season and set an all-time Sporting KC record. Becoming the top-scoring Scottish player in MLS history, the Sporting captain was honored as MLS Player of the Week in Week 33 and earned a spot on the MLS Team of the Week four times.
Andreu Fontas came into his fourth season with Sporting Kansas City and produced a record-setting year. The club’s Defensive Player of the Year set MLS single-season highs in touches (3,178), passes (2,818) and passes successful (2,515). Fontas also led Sporting with 55 interceptions and 2,970 minutes played. The Spaniard started and played in 33 of Sporting’s 34 matches and was an anchor on the back line, playing in all eight of Sporting’s clean sheet performances.
Newcomer of the Year Remi Walter signed with Sporting in December and settled into an important role in the midfield. With Ilie Sanchez dropping back into defense, Walter was deployed at the No. 6 and No. 8 midfield positions, scoring a goal and adding an assist. The Frenchman was second on the team in passing accuracy, with 90.8% of his passes connecting with his target.
Russell has landed the Goal of the Year award for his game-winner against Seattle Sounders FC on Oct. 23. While Russell lays claim to the title as the scorer, the goal truly was a team effort. His deft placement into the far post past Stefan Frei capped off a 38-pass sequence and secured a berth in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs for Sporting.
Midfielder Ilie Sanchez has been named the Neal and Jeanne Patterson Humanitarian of the Year for his comprehensive work in the community and with Sporting’s charitable foundation, The Victory Project. Ilie met with fans virtually, coached and supported Special Olympics Kansas City athletes, and went above and beyond with multiple Victory Project honorees, ensuring they would never forget their experience at Children’s Mercy Park.
Forward Enoch Mushagalusa receives Sporting Kansas City II Most Valuable Player honors after a fantastic second season with the club. The 21-year-old forward led the SKC II attack with eight goals. He was a mainstay in head coach Paulo Nagamura’s lineup, appearing in all 32 matches and adding four assists.
Defender Dylan Hooper has received Bob Gansler Academy Player of the Year accolades as one of the Sporting KC Academy’s standout performers. The Shawnee, Kansas, native has spent four seasons with the Academy, regularly featuring in the U-17 and U-19 lineup. The 17-year-old signed an Academy contract with Sporting KC II in 2019.
Sporting Nebraska was selected as the Sporting Club Network Member of the Year. Sporting Nebraska provides opportunities for all levels of play at ages 4-19. The club recently rebranded from Sporting Omaha to Sporting Nebraska after merging with Capital Soccer Association in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Sporting will begin their journey in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs next Saturday, Nov. 20, hosting Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Round One at Children’s Mercy Park. Tickets are available at SeatGeek.com and kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. CT with live coverage on Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, the Bally Sports app, UniMas, TUDN and MLSsoccer.com.