EDITORIAL – Last Word on Soccer in conjunction with the Colorado Rapids independent media are excited to announce the fourth annual Colorado Rapids Independent Press Corps Season Awards. As the independent media covering this team, we take seriously the opportunity to cover the amazing 2021 Colorado Rapids season and constructively cover the club.
Contributors from Last Word on Soccer, Burgundy Wave, The Denver Post, The Denver Gazette, Rapids Rant, MLS Now, and Holding The High Line participated this year.
2021 Colorado Rapids Independent Press Corps Season Awards
This fourth year of awards consist of nine individual and three event/team awards based on relevancy and significance.
Player of the Year:
The most outstanding player for the club in 2021.
Winner: Jack Price
Runner-Up: Michael Barrios
Four assists from captain Jack Price has Colorado Rapids riding high in the Western Conference 🔑 (➡️ @CaptainMorganUS) pic.twitter.com/tBwfLdH4hF
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 22, 2021
Newcomer of the Year:
The most outstanding player who was in their first year with the club ever.
Winner: Michael Barrios
¿Como se dice “livewire” en español?
How Michael Barrios has predictably transformed the way #Rapids96 play in transition.
An #HTHL feature article by @LWOSMattPollard. https://t.co/uLSCenI9h7
— Holding The High Line (@rapids96podcast) August 19, 2021
Young Player of the Year:
The most outstanding player aged 23 or younger as of January 1, 2021.
Winner: Auston Trusty
Runner-Up: Braian Galván
Trusty v Wilson. Crazy that trusty has much better numbers with the ball. Also proves that Trusty was truly one of the best center backs in MLS this season#Rapids96 pic.twitter.com/2DVSGwjN8r
— 🎉FIRST IN THE WEST-liam hopkins (@lamae_shopkins) November 8, 2021
Underrated Player of the Year:
The most undervalued/unsung player.
Winner: Danny Wilson
Danny Wilson’s #Rapids96 turnaround personifies ‘The Rapids Way’ and #KeepFighting. I explore his transformation in confidence, leadership, and defensive quality for the @rapids96podcast Substack: https://t.co/mWQbQCW1Mv pic.twitter.com/TjEWeV3BLH
— Matt Pollard (@LWOSMattPollard) November 25, 2021
Most Improved Player of the Year:
The player who is most improved between last season and this season. Players who were not with the Rapids first team in 2020 are eligible.
Winner: Auston Trusty
#Rapids96 young defender looks to rebound.
Why 2021 could be Auston Trusty’s breakout year with #MLS .@ColoradoRapids.
Via @Burgundywave‘s Liam Hopkins> https://t.co/FvRfPdXqvH. @SBNation @SBNationSoccer @AODenver pic.twitter.com/qPkrWIfNUt
— John A. Babiak (@Photog_JohnB) April 16, 2021
Loan Player of the Year:
The player who was the most outstanding while on loan away from the Rapids first team in 2021.
Winner: Kortne Ford
Runner-Up: Sebastian Anderson
“All for you Momma, keep fighting” 💗👕
Kortne Ford dedicates this goal to his mom 👩👦#SAvCOS | @SanAntonioFC pic.twitter.com/90XFT6f7fE
— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) October 31, 2021
Ford went on loan to San Antonio FC. He played regularly at center back, leading SAFC to a home game in the first round of the playoffs. They lost in the Conference Finals to Orange County SC. Ford recently started a GoFundMe for his mother Laurie, who’s ended her cancer treatment to focus on quality of life. “I’ve known them for my entire seven years here. There’s no stronger person than Laurie. [She and Kortne] are going to be a part of this club for a long time,” Rapids Executive Vice President and General Manager told Last Word.
Best Game of the Year:
The most impressive result or performance of the season.
Winner: 5-2 at home vs LAFC on November 7
Worst Game of the Year:
The least impressive/most disappointing result/performance.
Winner: 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake on July 24
Aaaaaaaaaand, moving on.
Goal of the Year:
The most significant/memorable goal of the season, including PKs.
Winner: Michael Barrios at Portland Timbers on September 15 in a 2-2 draw.
How did that one go in?!
Michael Barrios scores from the tightest of angles 📐 pic.twitter.com/6SuL9amn41
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 16, 2021
Play of the Year:
The most significant/memorable play of the year that was not a goal. Assists are eligible including assists to goals that are nominated for Goal of the Year.
Winner: Braian Galván’s assist to Mark-Anthony Kaye to win the August 21 game vs RSL
What a time to score your first #Rapids96 goal!! 🔥#COLvRSL pic.twitter.com/c9wj9fvgIj
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) August 22, 2021
Story of the Year:
The most significant/memorable narrative/talking point around the club.
Winner: Winning the Western Conference despite all the doubters, no All-Star, one Designated Player, and not being in first till Decision Day
On the first place Colorado Rapids and how it was three years in the making.
Robin Fraser: “Literally the first day I led training with the team” he knew this group could be special.
Pádraig Smith: “We felt we could build something, we really did.”https://t.co/CIaxhasioL
— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) November 23, 2021
Quote of the Year:
The quote that stands out the most from any Rapids player, coach, or front office member.
Winner: “Roly Poly Dinky Doodle.” – Jack Price
What a man that @jacko_8 😂 pic.twitter.com/CchS7Ajwsu
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) July 8, 2021
The Rapids press corps still isn’t sure what exactly it means. That’s part of what makes it and Price so endearing.
Photo Credit: John A. Babiak @Photog_JohnB