Chicago Fire FC Announces 2022 Award Winners

November 25, 2022 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Chicago Fire FC News Release

CHICAGO - Chicago Fire FC today announced the Club's 2022 award winners, naming Designated Player Xherdan Shaqiri the 2022 Most Valuable Player and captain Rafael Czichos the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year. Additionally, forward Jhon Durán received the 2022 Golden Boot.

Most Valuable Player: Acquired by the Fire as a Designated Player in February 2022, Shaqiri's experience was instrumental in guiding the young squad from the midfield. The skillful playmaker led the team in assists (11) and was second on the team in goals scored (7). His 11 assists were tied with Cuauhtémoc Blanco for second-most in a single season since 2008. Only Nicolás Gaitán has recorded more during that 15-year stretch, with 12 assists in 2019. He also led the team in passes into the final third (178), entries into the final third (176), passes into the 18-yard box (108) and completed passes into the box from open play (66).

Defensive Player of the Year: In his first season with the Chicago Fire, Czichos was given the captain's armband and marshalled the team from the backline. His leadership was felt across the entire field as he played 26 games (26 starts) and contributed three goals and one assist as a center back. The German registered the second-highest headed shots on the team (12) behind forward Durán (13). Additionally, he was sixth in MLS among all center backs in line-breaking passes. Czichos also led the team in total passes (1,237), clearances (106) and blocks (19), and was third on the team in interceptions (46). He led the team with a 70 percent tackle win rate, ranking sixth in the league in tackles among starting center backs (58). He also had 172 recoveries during the season and was seventh among all center backs in defensive regains (147), in which the team won the ball back within five seconds of him making a defensive action.

Golden Boot: Durán earned the Club's Golden Boot for 2023 after leading the team with eight goals during the 2022 MLS regular season. Despite a slow start, Durán scored three braces in his first MLS season. The 18-year-old striker became only one of six players in MLS history to record multiple multi-goal games in a single season at 18 years old or younger. His first two-goal game was the 2-0 win against Toronto on July 13. He also scored twice in the 3-1 win against Inter Miami on Sept. 10 and in the 3-2 win over FC Cincinnati on Oct. 1. His first goal of the season came in the 2-1 loss to FC Cincinnati on May 14 and his other single-goal game was the 3-2 loss against Charlotte FC on Sept. 17. Durán is the youngest player in Club history to win the Golden Boot and is the eighth player to win it in his first season with the Club, following Nemanja Nikolić (2017), David Accam (2015), Mike Magee (2013), Dominic Oduro (2011), Chris Rolfe (2005), Eric Wynalda (2001) and Ante Razov (1998). His performance and growth over the season earned the young forward his first call-up to the senior Colombia Men's National Team.

• Discuss this story on the Major League Soccer message board...

Major League Soccer Stories from November 25, 2022

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central