MLS NEXT announces 2021-2022 regular season award winners
NEW YORK – MLS NEXT announced the winners of the MVP, Goal of the Year and Sportsmanship Award for the 2021-2022 MLS NEXT Season.
Players and teams from each of the four age groups (U15, U16, U17, U19) were selected for their performances over the second-ever 2021-2022 MLS NEXT season.
The four MLS NEXT ’21-’22 MVPs were selected by the MLS NEXT Player Selection Committee, which is made up of MLS Player Development department personnel. Each MLS NEXT ’21-’22 Goal of the Year was chosen by fans, who participated in a social media vote to select the best goals of the season. The 2021-22 Sportsmanship Award was given to teams based off of a disciplinary point system that took into account players and staff yellow card and red card totals, which were then adjusted for the number of games played by that club. First and second runners-up were also highlighted for their outstanding sportsmanship during the 2021-22 season.
2021-22 U15 MLS NEXT Awards
U15 MLS NEXT ’21-’22 MVP – Ruben Ramos Jr. – LA Galaxy
Ruben Ramos Jr. becomes the second consecutive LA Galaxy player to win the U15 MLS NEXT MVP presented by adidas, joining Paulo Rudisill from last season. Ramos Jr. had a terrific scoring season for the Galaxy, producing 24 goals in as many games over the course of the season. The forward stood out at MLS NEXT Flex when he led the Galaxy to a 3-0-0 record, scoring five times in the tournament. Ramos Jr. also scored a second-half hat trick in one of the matches to help the team qualify for the 2022 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs. At the season-culminating event, he scored three times in four games, which helped LA to a semifinal appearance for the first time in club history.
U15 MLS NEXT ’21-’22 Goal of the Year – Sebastian Gomez – Seattle Sounders FC (WATCH)
U15 MLS NEXT ’21-’22 Sportsmanship Award – PA Classics
- First Runner-Up: Rochester New York FC Youth
- Second Runner-Up: ALBION SC San Diego
2021-22 U16 MLS NEXT Awards
U16 MLS NEXT ’21-’22 MVP – Roka Tsunehara – De Anza Force
Forward Roka Tsunehara was starred for De Anza Force this season, scoring 25 goals in 24 games over the course of the 2021-22 season. De Anza dominated the U16 regular season, posting an age-division-high 42 points and averaging over four goals scored a game. The ever-consistent Tsunehara shined at the 2022 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs when he scored four goals in as many games to lead the Force to a semifinal appearance. His innate ability to find the net in clutch situations was evident in the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs quarterfinal match against Weston FC, when he scored a decisive game-winning penalty kick in the 90th minute to propel De Anza to the semifinals.
U16 MLS NEXT ’21-’22 Goal of the Year – Alessandro Maldonado – D.C. United (WATCH)
U16 MLS NEXT ’21-’22 Sportsmanship Award – Sockers FC
- First Runner-Up: PA Classics
- Second Runner-Up: Michigan Wolves
2021-22 U17 MLS NEXT Awards
U17 MLS NEXT ’21-’22 MVP – Bryan Moyado – LAFC
Bryan Moyado was the midfield engine behind one of the country’s best U17 teams and orchestrated both sides of the ball for LAFC. He appeared in all 24 games during the year, scoring three goals for a side that advanced to the 2022 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs semifinals. Moyado has previously earned call-ups to the U-15 and U-19 United States Youth National Team training camp.
U17 MLS NEXT ’21-’22 Goal of the Year – Juan Hurtado – Weston FC (WATCH)
U17 MLS NEXT ’21-’22 Sportsmanship Award – PA Classics
- First Runner-Up: Rochester New York FC Youth
- Second Runner-Up: Phoenix Rising FC
2021-22 U19 MLS NEXT Awards
U19 MLS NEXT ’21-’22 MVP – Colin Griffith – PDA
A pure goal scorer, PDA’s Colin Griffith was one of the most dangerous strikers in all of MLS NEXT during the 2021-22 season, scoring 28 goals in just 18 games. The future Maryland Terrapin, Griffith was a driving force in helping PDA average a U19-best 4.22 goals per match (38 total). In the 2022 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs, Griffith recorded three goals, including two in the Round of 16 matchup against Sockers FC that helped PDA reach the quarterfinals. The forward has represented the youth national teams of Barbados and appeared at the 2019 Concacaf Boys Under-15 Championship.
U19 MLS NEXT ’21-’22 Goal of the Year – Mitchell Ferguson – Portland Timbers (WATCH)
U19 MLS NEXT ’21-’22 Sportsmanship Award – PA Classics
- First Runner-Up: Queen City Mutiny
- Second Runner-Up: Sporting Kansas City
North America’s leading platform for elite boys’ soccer features competition across six age groups: U13, U14, U15, U16, U17 and U19. The full list of member clubs can be found HERE. More information about MLS NEXT can be found HERE. Further updates about the 2022-23 MLS NEXT Season will be available in the coming weeks.