Former Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama snubbed in MLS accolades

© CF Montreal

STARS ABROAD Former Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama snubbed in MLS accolades

Festus Chuma 16:00 - 26.10.2023

Wanyama disappointed as CF Montreal teammates shine, failing to secure any accolades in the 2023 MLS season.

Former Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama, a prominent figure in Major League Soccer (MLS), endured a season devoid of accolades as CF Montreal celebrated the remarkable achievements of its homegrown talents.

In a surprising turn of events, Wanyama, who has been a stalwart in the league, found himself without any individual honors at the conclusion of the 2023 MLS season.

CF Montreal announced has announced that midfielder Mathieu Choinière had been named Player of the Year for the 2023 season, claiming the prestigious Giuseppe-Saputo Trophy.

Choinière's outstanding contributions on the field earned him not only this accolade but also the Jason Di-Tullio Trophy, awarded to the player who best exemplifies the "La Grinta" state of mind, a spirit deeply cherished by the club.

The 24-year-old Choinière, who rose through the ranks of CF Montreal's Academy, made a significant impact this season.

He ended the campaign as the team's top scorer and provider, with five goals and five assists to his name.

Furthermore, Choinière's season was punctuated by his selection for the MLS All-Star Game, a notable accomplishment for the Saint-Alexandre native.

He now leads in several categories among players who have come through the Club's Academy, including the number of matches played (102), matches started (72), minutes played (6,575), and most winning assists (4).

Choinière managed to outshine other finalists, striker Mahala Opoku and goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois, in the award race.

In contrast, Sirois, a 22-year-old rookie, made an indelible mark in his debut MLS season. He was a contender for both the Defensive Player and Giuseppe-Saputo trophies this year and emerged victorious as the Defensive Player of the Year.

Sirois was a revelation in 2023, setting new Club records with 11 shutouts in MLS, including an impressive nine at home.

Sirois now holds the Club's second-best goals-against average in MLS (1,465) and has established himself as the fourth most prolific goalkeeper in terms of starts and minutes played in Club history. He beat out competition from defenders Gabriele Corbo and Joel Waterman for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Vice-President and CEO of sports at CF Montreal, Olivier Renard, expressed his satisfaction with the results.

"I am not surprised by the results for Mathieu. He was exemplary from the start to the end of the season. He totally deserves the Most Outstanding Player award that fans give him, as do his teammates' choice because it demonstrates what he represents to them in the locker room. No surprise either for Jonathan who could have deserved the Giuseppe-Saputo trophy too.

After two years on loan, he accomplished great things with us this season, notably setting a new mark for shutouts. He is a good example of a player who progressed in the organization, who remained focused on his role and his objectives, to finally be a first team starter with his hometown club," he said.

The Jason Di-Tullio Trophy, awarded since 2022, is voted on by the team's players and serves as an annual distinction in honor of former CF Montreal player and assistant coach Jason Di Tullio.

The trophy symbolizes the values of courage and determination that Di Tullio exhibited during his career and especially during his battle against cancer.

The expression "La Grinta" is synonymous with the legacy of this remarkable individual, and the award is given annually to a player who embodies his fiery and combative spirit.

While Wanyama and his CF Montreal team faced disappointment in terms of silverware this season, losing out in the Leagues Cup Round of 16 and the Canadian Championship final to Vancouver Whitecaps, the Club can take pride in the outstanding performances of Choinière and Sirois. 

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