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Janicki Named USSF D-2 Defensive Player Of The Year

October 20, 2010 - U.S. Soccer Federation D-2 (USSF D-2) - Vancouver Whitecaps News Release

VANCOUVER, BC - The United States Soccer Federation Division-2 Professional League announced today that Vancouver Whitecaps FC centre back Greg Janicki has been named Defensive Player of the Year.

"Greg was very solid for us at the back and contributed to our many clean sheets during the year," said Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson. "We have seen him grow into a very dependable defender this season and are delighted to see the league and media recognize him as the Defensive Player of the Year."

The New Baltimore, Michigan, native was an anchor in Whitecaps FC backline during the 2010 season, with Vancouver surrendering a league low 22 goals. The 6-foot-3 defender started all but one of his 26 regular season appearances for 2,293 minutes of action, with the 26-year-old also finishing in a three-way tie in the club's goalscoring charts with four goals. Janicki's goals came at home to Rochester Rhinos on May 22, away on two occasions to Canadian rivals Montreal Impact (June 30 & July 28), and away to Crystal Palace Baltimore on September 11. In all competitions in 2010, Janicki appeared in 33 total matches for 2,953 minutes of action.

"It's an honour to receive this award," added Janicki. "After leaving D.C. United, it was good for me to play a lot here and gain some confidence back. That's was the most important thing I wanted to get out of this year in Vancouver - to play a lot and play the way I know I can play. I think this award is a testament to the way all of us played in the backline this season. Everyone stepped up when they needed to and it helped us earn results."

Prior to joining Whitecaps FC, Janicki was a member of Major League Soccer side D.C. United from 2008 to 2009. The centre back also played four years of NCAA Division I soccer with Michigan State University.

In addition to the Defensive Player of the Year award, the USSF D-2 Pro League also announced today that Austin Aztex striker Maxwell Griffin was named the league's Rookie of the Year, while former Whitecaps FC and current Rochester Rhinos head coach Bob Lilley earned the league's Coach of the Year honour. With 15 goals during the regular season, Portland Timbers midfielder Ryan Pore was recognized as the USSF D-2 goalscoring champion.

The awards for USSF D-2 Most Valuable Player, Goalkeeper of the Year, and Best XI will be announced on Thursday, October 21.

The USSF D-2 Pro League awards were selected by a panel of journalists, which comprised of members of print, television, radio, and online media that hailed from each of the 12 USSF D-2 Pro League clubs' local markets, as well as the general manager and head coach of each club (Note: the goalscoring champion is based on statistics and was not decided by votes).

Whitecaps FC fans can purchase 2011 MLS season tickets by putting down a $50 deposit. MLS season ticket prices start at $319, and will include a minimum of 17 matches throughout the season. For additional information about MLS season ticket deposits, visit whitecapsfc.com.

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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.

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