We’re kicking off the Seattle Sounders’ portion of awards season with voting for the Young Player of the Year. This vote includes players under the age of 23 throughout the season — so no, you don’t get to select Sam Adeniran.
Past winners include Nouhou (2), Cristian Roldan (2), DeAndre Yedlin (2), Danny Leyva, Jordan Morris, Andy Rose, Servando Carrasco, Steve Zakuani, and Fredy Montero.
Sounder at Heart staff narrowed selections down to 10 choices, and as is tradition these include Seattle Sounders, Tacoma Defiance, and a HGP-eligible college player. They are presented in alphabetical order with their age at the start of the season.
Josh Atencio, DM/centerback, 18
Started 18 times playing 1,514 minutes in MLS this year, including making team of the week as a centerback. Most of his minutes came as a ground-covering defensive midfielder, one of the best in MLS at covering distance.
Léo Chú, winger, 20
Seattle’s first ever U22 signing, Chú scored a goal and had an assist in 8 appearances, no starts.
AB Cissoko, centerback, 21
Abdoulaye earned an MLS contract based on his strong performances in preseason, then went on to start 12 matches. He opened his play with a brilliant penalty conversion for Tacoma and ended it finishing from the spot in the shootout loss to RSL.
Azriel Gonzalez, left winger, 19
Once the youngest pro in the org, Gonzalez struggled to find time with Tacoma. After going on loan to Edmonton his attacking prowess took off. There he scored five goals and assisted on three more while playing 1,156 minutes.
Sota Kitahara, DM/right back, 18
Loaned to Austrian side FC Pinzgau Saalfelden, Kitahara started nearly every available match and put forth strong defense while playing both as a defensive mid and a right back. His club finished one spot out of the promotion playoffs.
Danny Leyva, defensive mid, 18
A previous winner, Leyva earned 869 MLS minutes with Seattle this season, was one of the youngest called to the US U-20s, and even wore the captain’s armband for the youth national team.
Jackson Ragen, centerback, 22
The Tower of Power changed Tacoma’s defensive profile after signing late in their season. Ragen scored one goal on a header and displayed strong dribbling skills for a giant centerback.
Ray Serrano, right wing, 18
The Defiant of 2020, Serrano spent 2021 learning new positions and always running. He tallied three goals and six assists as Tacoma’s second-best attacking force, even Ray was frequently the right wingback.
Dylan Teves, attacking mid, 20
The best college performer currently connected to the Sounders Academy Teves is believed to be the only player to score back-to-back hat tricks in the NCAA tournament. His attacking contributions have UW on the verge of a title.
Obed Vargas, defensive mid, 15
Tacoma’s best tackler was also their youngest player. Obed reads the field and tackles well, earning two extreme hardship calls to the First Team and playing 76 minutes in the win over Austin FC.
Who was the 2021 SaH Young Player of the Year
This poll is closed