Orji Okwonkwo Named Impact Most Valuable Player
MONTREAL - The Montreal Impact announced on Tuesday that Nigerian midfielder Orji Okwonkwo has been named the club's Most Valuable Player in 2019, receiving the Giuseppe-Saputo Trophy, while French full-back Bacary Sagna was named Defensive Player of the Year.
In his first season with the Impact, at just 21 years old, Okwonkwo finished the year with eight goals, the highest total for a player in his first year with the club since Didier Drogba scored 11 in 2015. He added two assists in 28 games, including 24 starts, and 1,784 minutes.
Okwonkwo finished tied for second on the team for goals and shots (55) and tied for 10th in MLS with two multi-goal games, recording a brace in wins versus Portland and Philadelphia.
Acquired on loan from Bologna F.C. 1909 at the start of the season, Okwonkwo stood out on June 26 in a 2-1 win against the Portland Timbers, scoring the game-winning goal on a volley for which he was awarded the MLS Goal of the Week for week 17.
Defender Bacary Sagna also honoured
Full-back Bacary Sagna was named Defensive Player of the Year in his second season with the club.
The former French international brought his experience, leadership and calmness to Montreal's defensive unit throughout the season, finishing fourth within the Impact and first amongst the defenders with a total of 2,630 minutes of play in all competitions, helping the club win the 2019 Canadian Championship. He registered one assist in five starts and 450 minutes.
He scored his second goal with the Impact this season on August 10 in Chicago and concluded the season third on the team with three assists, fourth with 25 starts, fifth with 2,180 minutes and seventh with 26 games played.
Giuseppe-Saputo Trophy recipients (MLS):
2019: Orji Okwonkwo
2018: Ignacio Piatti
2017: Ignacio Piatti
2016: Ignacio Piatti
2015: Ignacio Piatti
2014: Andrés Romero
2013: Marco Di Vaio
2012: Patrice Bernier
Defensive Player of the Year (MLS):
2019: Bacary Sagna
2018: Evan Bush
2017: Daniel Lovitz
2016: Hassoun Camara
2015: Laurent Ciman
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