COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Saturday, October 27, 2012) – The Colorado Rapids announced their 2012 team award winners in a special post-game ceremony tonight after the Rapids defeated Houston Dynamo 2-0 in the season finale. Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens earned top honors as the team’s Most Valuable Player, and also claimed the first ever Fan Favorite Award. Newcomers Jaime Castrillón (Golden Boot) and Martín Rivero (Young Player of the Year) also took home prizes, while Drew Moor picked up his third consecutive Defensive Player of the Year.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER/FAN FAVORITE – Matt Pickens had a career year in 2012, setting a number of franchise records and dazzling fans with outstanding saves on a weekly basis. For his performance throughout the year, he was named the Rapids Most Valuable Player, which is voted on by Rapids players and coaches, as well as the Fan Favorite Award, selected by fans in a vote on www.ColoradoRapids.com. This season, Pickens earned his 29th career shutout for the Rapids, passing the previous leader, Joe Cannon, who earned 25 clean sheets from 2003-06. Pickens also passed Marcus Hahnemann in career wins for the Rapids with 41 total victories. Before being injured on Oct. 6, Pickens held the record for most consecutive games started among all active MLS players with 75.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Drew Moor continued his excellent play in the back and solidified his status MLS’ Iron Man by playing every minute of the 2012 season. He earned his third consecutive Rapids Defensive Player of the Year award, as voted by Rapids players and coaches, making him the first player to win three times in club history. After midfielder Pablo Mastroeni was sidelined due to injury in April, Moor took over the captain’s role for the remainder of the season. The defender from Dallas, Texas scored three goals this season, including the very first goal of the 2012 campaign on March 10 against Columbus Crew, and added two assists.
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Martín Rivero joined the Rapids in preseason, and at just 22 years old, the mercurial midfielder earned plaudits for his creativity, technique, and determination. He earned the Rapids Young Player of the Year award, through a vote by Rapids players and coaches of players 24-years-old and younger. The midfielder from Argentina quickly established himself on the Rapids starting lineup, and contributed a team-high eight assists and two goals in 30 games played.
GOLDEN BOOT – Jaime Castrillón continued his knack for showing up in the right place at the right time, scoring eight goals in 2012 to lead the team and earn the Rapids Golden Boot. The midfielder from Medellín, Colombia, was signed by the Rapids on January 25, 2012 having spent most of his professional career playing in Colombia. In a total of 30 games played, Castrillón scored three game-winning goals and added three assists in his first season in Major League Soccer.
HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR – Pablo Mastroeni was named the Colorado Rapids Humanitarian of the Year, using his vast work in the community to make a huge impact in 2012. He volunteered his time and expertise at soccer clinics for underprivileged kids throughout Denver and all the way to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The Rapids captain also visited children with cancer at Flashes of Hope, helped charitable fundraising at many events, and connected with the community at Denver’s Cinco de Mayo and Festival Colombiano celebrations. Through his philanthropic efforts, Mastroeni made a positive impact on the lives of many children and families in 2012.
DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Shane O’Neill was named the 2012 Colorado Rapids Development Academy Player of the Year, as selected by Colorado Rapids Academy staff. O’Neill helped lead the Rapids U-18 team to the Development Academy finals, scoring 10 goals in his 15 matches with the team. He was signed as the club’s second ever Homegrown Player on June 19 this year, and made his MLS debut on September 30 in a 3-0 home victory over the Portland Timbers. O’Neill was also called up to the United States Under-20 National Team for the first time, making his U.S. debut against Canada in October.
The Rapids closed out the 2012 regular season tonight with a 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, ending the year with a record of 11-19-4. The team will train for three more weeks before taking some time off during the off-season, returning to Colorado in January to begin preseason. Tickets to the 2013 season opener will go on sale in February, but fans can lock in their seats now for every match next year by purchasing 2013 Season Tickets at the box office or by calling 303-825-GOAL.