The Sounder at Heart Breakout Player of the Year award started in 2020. That first year’s winner was Alex Roldan who went from back-end of the bench guy that was cut to clear starter at right back on the Western Conference winning team.
Existing to honor a Seattle Sounders player that most exceeded expectations, the Breakout Player isn’t necessarily for someone who returned from injury. It is, in some ways, an award for the fanbase to admit “we may have been wrong about this guy.”
The list of 2021 contenders is presented in alphabetical order by last name. All stats from FBref.
During the lost year of 2020 Atencio played a mere 14 minutes with the Sounders. Unable to bounce between Tacoma and Seattle he studied, and learned. In 2021, he burst onto the big stage with 18 starts and 1,514 minutes in MLS play. That was good for 10th and 11th among outfield players for Seattle on the year.
Coming into his fifth pro year, Cleveland had a total of 8 starts, with 5 in MLS. After Stefan Frei went down injured the younger Stef assumed the starting duties beating out Spencer Richey. In those starts Cleveland recorded 3 clean sheets with a 1.13 goals against average in 15 starts. The team’s record was 6-4-5.
Acquired as a bit of a throw-in on the Bwana for Allocation Money deal with Nashville Medranda went on to score 4 goals and assist 3 more in MLS play. During preseason there was talk about Jimmy playing as a central midfielder, where he excelled was as a left wingback where Medrandamania scored bangers.
Yes, Alex won the award last year. But in 2021 he was even better, setting not just a career high in minutes, but exceeding his total of Seattle Sounders minutes with 2,270. He also scored a goal, tallied three assists, and took over as the captain of the El Salvador national team.
From basically begging his hometown team for a role, to becoming the only player on the team to appear in every match, in every competition, Kelyn Rowe showed a versatility and swagger throughout the season. Taking up the mantel of Brad Evans, Rowe played throughout the central midfield and both wingback positions. He finished with one goal and one assist in 2207 minutes of MLS play.
Who was the 2021 SaH Breakout Player for the Sounders
This poll is closed