Nineteen year-old Jonathan David has beaten off challenges from Alphonso Davies, Scott Arfield and Mark-Anthony Kaye to be named Canadian Men’s Player of the Year 2019.
The young Brooklyn-born striker claimed 20 goals and 12 assists in league and cup for his Belgian club KAA Gent over the first 11 months of the calendar year, straddling seasons 2018/19 and 2019/20. He also scored 8 times in 9 matches for the international team in 2019, taking his overall international record to 11 goals and 12 caps.
His 8 international goals in 2019 and his 6 during the CONCACAF Gold Cup are each Canadian records.
Davies, who finished second, has been starring for German giants Bayern Munich, and as recently as last evening helped his club complete a perfect 18 points from 6 Champions League group games as they comfortably defeated Jose Mourinho’s Spurs 3-1. The young Canadian had a hand in the second goal, hitting the post, allowing experienced team-mate Thomas Muller to slam home the rebound.
Rangers and Canada captain, Scott Arfield took the third spot, after leading Canada to its first victory over the USA in over three decades, helping his club back to the top of Scottish football as well as maintaining a good run of form in the Europa League, where he has an important game against Young Boys of Berne (SWI) this evening.
Since the turn of the century, only five other Canadian men have scored 20-plus goals in a calendar year: Tomasz Radzinski (24 goals scored in 2000, 27 in 1999), Simeon Jackson (23, 2009), Olivier Occean (21, 2011, and 20, 2015), Dwayne De Rosario (20, 2011) and Cyle Larin (22, 2015).
David was born in Brooklyn to Haitian parents and moved to back to Port-au-Prince, Haiti when he was three months old. At the age of six he and his parents immigrated to Canada, settling in Ottawa.
Growing up, David never watched Canadian or MLS soccer and harboured no desire to play professionally in North America. Instead, he was single-mindedly focused on playing professionally in Europe.
Focus maintained, he should be a mainstay of the Canadian international set-up for many years to come when further international goals are expected to flow.
Others in the top six included, Toronto FC’s Jonathan Osorio, LAFC’s Mark-Anthony Kaye and goalkeeper, Milan Borjan who won the 2018/19 Serbian Championship with Crvena Zvezda (or red Star Belgrade)