mountroyalsoccer.com has announced its individual player awards for the 2020 season.
Our three-man panel was unanimous for all three awards - MVP, Defender of the Year and Most Disappointing Player of the Year.
MVP 2020 -
Romell Quioto has had no real peers in a Montreal Impact uniform this season. A close-season arrival from Houston Dynamo, who received Victor Cabrera in exchange didn’t waste any time in making his mark, scoring in the 22nd minute of his debut against Deportivo Saprissa.
It was the sign of things to come. Eight more goals followed in MLS allowing to Quioto to claim the top-scorers award at the club as well. To that you can add 6 MLS assists and total of 23 appearances so far in all competitions.
Quioto was also on hand to net the winning goal in the last MLS regular season game against DC United and secure Montreal Impact’s play-off spot. He provided an assist in the same game. Some would say two assists but he wasn’t officially credited with an assist on the Impact’s first goal scored by Bojan.
Romell was a straightforward choice for the panellists during a short discussion which can be heard on The Ball Is Round Podcast (episode 4, recorded yesterday). #TBIRMontreal
DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2020
Discussions by the panel on all three awards are included in the pod and equally, in a poor year for defenders at the Impact, there wasn’t much opposition for Luis Binks, who at 19, carried off the Defender of the Year Award.
Binks joined the club straight from Tottenham Hotspur, despite none other than Jose Mourinho trying to talk him into staying with the North London giant. Like Quioto he made an early impression with his authoritative displays, picking up plaudits around the league.
In a difficult season his form dipped towards the end, but Impact fans were relieved to learn earlier this month that Luis will be remaining in Montreal for a further 12 months following his transfer to Serie A’s Bologna.
Binks has made 24 appearances for the Impact in all competitions this season, so far.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR
The player deemed by our panel to be the Biggest Disappointment of the Year was Orji Okwonkwo.
To be a disappointment there needs to be reasonable expectancy in the first place, and after a good first season at the Impact when Orji lifted the club’s MVP award, better things were expected in 2020.
It just didn’t happen for the player, who has had to deal with injuries as well, to be fair. But in scoring the club’s first goal of the season down in Costa Rica back in February, Orji was already having his season highlight. It was all pretty much downhill thereafter.
Only 5 MLS starts, with 8 appearances from the bench, the Nigerian’s influence on this season has been minimal. He managed only one MLS goal, at Vancouver, in the 4-2 victory out West.
Okwonkwo’s loan deal runs out at the end of December, and with other Bologna-loaned players, Lassi Lappalainen and Luis Binks already having their immediate futures sorted out with a further 12 months coming up in Montreal, you wonder if the writing is on the wall for Okwonkwo, who chipped in with 8 MLS goals and 2 assists in 2019.