Major League Soccer has announced its nominees for the 2021 End of the Year Awards. Across all categories, ten players and head coach Robin Fraser were nominated for the league’s most prestigious awards for their performances in the 2021 season.
Voting will be carried out by current league players, club leaders and media members involved in covering the 2021 season, and fans have the opportunity to vote on AT&T Goal of the Year and MLS Save of the Year presented by Allstate by casting their votes on
MLSsoccer.com. Voting kicked off on Friday, October 29 (10 a.m. MT) and will continue through Monday, November 8 (3 p.m. MT). MLS will release a list of finalists prior to the start of the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs.
A full list of the league’s nominees can be found here.
2021 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player: Jack Price, Michael Barrios
Rapids captain Jack Price and top-goal scorer Michael Barrios were selected to the MVP nomination list for their record-breaking performances in Burgundy this season. Price, who is tied for third in assists in the league with 12, has played and started in 28 games for the Rapids in the regular season. Barrios leads the team in goals scored, tallying eight.
MLS Defender of the Year: Auston Trusty, Keegan Rosenberry
Auston Trusty and Keegan Rosenberry’s nominations come at no surprise to Rapids fans, as both have played integral parts in the team’s success in 2021. Aside from goalkeeper William Yarbrough, the defenders have recorded the most minutes played for the Rapids this year and have only missed three of this season’s 32 games combined, proving their consistency and impact on the back line.
MLS Comeback Player of the Year: Michael Barrios
Barrios’ second nomination of the year pays tribute to his move from FC Dallas to Colorado this season. After a stalled last season with Dallas, the striker’s trade to the Rapids showed a reinvigorated style of play, leading Barrios to record the most goals for the club this season. At eight goals scored, he is one away from tying a career high. Barrios’ combined goals and assists recorded this season are among the best achieved in his MLS career.
Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: William Yarbrough
William Yarbrough’s nomination to the End of the Year awards is well deserved, as the goalkeeper has recorded 12 clean sheets this season. He ranks second in the league in shutouts and has made 99 saves in 2021 with two games in hand.
Newcomer of the Year: Lucas Esteves
Signed from Brazilian side S.E. Palmeiras in August, Lucas Esteves has already made an impact in his time with the Rapids. The defender has played in 12 games since his trade to Colorado and scored his first goal with the club to cap off a 3-1 come-from-behind win over Minnesota United FC in October.
Young Player of the Year: Braian Galván, Cole Bassett
Despite being some of the youngest players on the Rapids squad, Braian Galván (21) and Cole Bassett (20) have combined for 54 appearances in 2021. The Argentinian winger recently made headlines and MLS Team of the Week for his performance in the Rapids 2-0 win over Portland as he recorded both assists. Bassett was named to the league’s 22 Under 22 list for the third year in a row this month and has recorded four goals and three assists this season.
MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year: Kellyn Acosta
When he’s not making appearances with Colorado or the USMNT, Kellyn Acosta stays involved in the Rapids community. The midfielder is a member of Black Players for Change and uses his platform to speak out against social injustice. Despite COVID-19 limiting availability to connect with others around him, Acosta has made efforts to make an impact on the community, including making a virtual appearance with healthcare workers during Nurse Appreciation Week. Since long before the pandemic, he has also been a supporter of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, participating in their annual Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show and contributing financially to the program.
Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year: Robin Fraser
In his three seasons at the helm, head coach Robin Fraser has taken the Rapids to new heights. A former Rapids player himself, Fraser has led the team to a playoff berth for the last two years and recorded 12 shutouts and a 12-game unbeaten streak in 2021 alone. Since taking over the manager position in August 2019, he leads all Rapids head coaches in club history in wins (25), points earned (88), goals scored (82), fewest goals conceded (61), goal differential (+21) and clean sheets (17).