COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids announced their 2014 team award winners in a special post-game ceremony after the Rapids fell to FC Dallas 1-0 on Fan Appreciation Night presented by Ciao at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Dillon Powers repeated as Most Valuable Player, Shane O’Neill was named Defensive Player of the Year, and Dillon Serna took home Young Player of the Year honors, while Vicente Sánchez was voted Fan Favorite. Also honored were Chris Klute as the club’s Humanitarian of the Year, and Quentin Pearson as the Development Academy Player of the Year for the second year in a row.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER– Dillon Powers was named Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year having been a constant force during a difficult season in his second MLS campaign. Powers has outdone his Rookie year scoring mark, contributing six goals and a team-high nine assists. After veteran defender Drew Moor’s season was ended early with an ACL tear, Powers assumed the role of captain, becoming the club’s youngest player to wear the armband. The 23-year-old was also recognized by Major League Soccer as one of the top ‘24 Under 24’, coming in at #11 on the list for his versatility and continuance of his 2013 Rookie of the Year performance.
FAN FAVORITE AWARD – Vicente Sánchez made a name for himself in the Mexican and Uruguayan first leagues before coming to Colorado, and it took no time for him to win over the hearts of Rapids fans with his creative midfield play, selfless passing and acrobatic goal celebrations. In his first full season with the Rapids, he was a catalyst for the team’s strong start scoring four goals in the first three matches of the season and was voted Fan Favorite by fans on www.ColoradoRapids.com.
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Dillon Serna had big shoes to fill after former Rapids Academy teammate Shane O’Neill had a standout first season in MLS. But Serna took on that challenge and earned his own piece of history, becoming the first Homegrown Player to score a goal for the Rapids when he showed maturity beyond his years in front of goal to take a quick shot over a rushing Seattle goalkeeper. He followed it up with two more goals this season, including an absolute stunner against D.C. United on August 17 that was voted Goal of the Week in MLS. He earned call-ups to the U.S. Youth National teams and was listed as an honorable mention on MLS’ ’24 Under 24’.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Shane O’Neill had a standout first year in MLS last season, after signing as a Homegrown Player in 2012, and continued his impressive play in 2014 to earn Defensive Player of the Year. Even through an injury that caused him to miss nine matches during the summer, O’Neill’s presence had a considerable effect on the Rapids defense, which is even more impressive coming from a 21-year-old. The Boulder resident furthered his national team experience and was called up several times during the season and was named #19 on MLS’ ’24 Under 24’.
HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR – Chris Klute was named the Colorado Rapids Humanitarian of the Year, giving his time and effort in service to the community throughout 2014. Klute has dedicated hours of service the Commerce City Clinic, Rapids Recess and the Broomfield Pro League Camp. For his third straight year, the defender was an integral piece in the Rapids Special Olympics program, participating in practices, matches and parties with the Special Olympics athletes.
DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Quentin Pearson was named the Colorado Rapids Development Academy Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. A member of the Rapids Under-18 Team, he has proven to be one of the most consistent players in the Rapids Academy over the last couple of years. His performances at every level, including training with the Rapids first team, have justified his inclusion in both MLS Reserve matches and U.S. national team competitions.
GOLDEN BOOT – The Rapids Golden Boot winner will be officially decided following next week’s match at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, October 25, at 8 p.m. MT live on Altitude, but rookie Deshorn Brown has the lead with 10 goals, four ahead of his closest competition Vicente Sánchez. Having recently returned from a trip to Japan with the Jamaican national team, Brown has one game left to secure the award for a second year in a row.
NOTE: MVP, Defensive Player, and Young Player were determined by a vote of Rapids players and technical staff. Fan Favorite was selected by an online vote at www.ColoradoRapids.com. Humanitarian was chosen by Kroenke Sports Charities and Rapids Community Relations staff. Academy Player was picked by Rapids Academy staff. Golden Boot is given to the team’s leading scorer after the final match of the regular season.