Earthquakes Announce 2020 Club Award Winners
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Earthquakes today announced their 2020 club award winners, which includes Cristian Espinoza as Offensive Player of the Year; Judson as Defensive Player of the Year; Jackson Yueill as Young Player of the Year; Shea Salinas for the Media Good Guy Award; and Chris Wondolowski for both Players' Player of the Year and the Andrew Bedard Spirit of the Game Award/Humanitarian of the Year.
Cristian Espinoza earns the Offensive Player of the Year award for the second time in two seasons with the club. He tallied three goals and a team-high nine assists, fourth most in Major League Soccer. Each of his three goals were game-winners, including his 72nd-minute strike vs. LAFC on November 4 to clinch a playoff berth. He appeared in all 23 regular season matches, starting all but one. He was also directly involved in all three goals during the team's playoff match vs. Sporting Kansas City, recording two assists.
Judson is named the club's Defensive Player of the Year for the first time in his two seasons with San Jose. He ranked first in MLS in both tackles (82) and tackles won (54) by a substantial margin. Judson missed the first two matches of the season to injury but appeared in each of the team's final 22 matches, including playoffs. He is the first midfielder to win the award in club history.
Jackson Yueill earns the club's Young Player of the Year award, given to the most impactful player 23 years of age or younger on matchday one, for the second time in as many seasons. Yueill tallied one goal and one assist in 21 starts, including 90-minute performances in all but one start. San Jose held a winning record with Yueill in the starting lineup (8-7-6) and were winless without him (0-2-0). He played a team-high 1,861 minutes during the regular season in 2020.
Shea Salinas is named the Media Good Guy Award winner, as voted on by members of the club's local media and broadcast teams, for the second year running. The award recognizes the player that's deemed most open and welcoming to media requests.
Chris Wondolowski is named the Players' Player of the Year for the second season in a row. The honor recognizes the best teammate and locker room presence, as voted on by players. In addition to scoring a team-high seven goals in the regular season, and a 97th-minute equalizer to force overtime during playoffs, Wondolowski also served as the club's leader for a number of off-field initiatives.
Chris Wondolowski earns his second Andrew Bedard Spirit of the Game/Humanitarian of the Year Award (2011). Wondolowski has consistently been the Earthquakes' most outspoken and supportive player for a number of environmental and societal initiatives in 2020. He was a prominent figure during the team's Kick Childhood Cancer honorary captain campaign, served as a proud voice of leadership in the Native American community, and also served as spokesperson for San Jose Environmental Services. Additionally, Wondolowski played an important role in the Black Lives Matter movement, appearing in the Black Players for Change voting PSA and spearheading the team's decision to postpone a match (Aug. 26 vs. POR) in order to shine light on racial injustice. Wondolowski even held a 30-minute press conference to discuss his stance on the movement and the team's decision not to play.
The award is named for Andrew Bedard, a young Earthquakes fan who passed away at eight years old in 2004. The Andrew Bedard Spirit of the Game Award will be presented annually to the Earthquakes player that works hard in the community and best embodies Andrew's positive attitude both on and off the field. For more information on the Andrew Bedard Spirit of the Game Award, please visit www.sjearthquakes.com/spiritofthegame/award .
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