porting Kansas City presented the club’s annual awards on Saturday at Sporting Park during Pitch Black, presented by Aristocrat Motors and Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City. Sporting KC players, media members and fans voted on the following awards:
- Most Valuable Player, presented by Aristocrat Motors and Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City: Benny Feilhaber
- Offensive Player of the Year, presented by Sabates Eye Centers: Dom Dwyer
- Defensive Player of the Year, presented by Ivy Funds: Matt Besler and Soni Mustivar
- Goal of the Year, presented by NECA/IBEW Power Partners: Benny Feilhaber
- Newcomer of the Year, presented by Henry Wurst, Inc.: Krisztian Nemeth
Additionally, the club chose the following award winners:
- Victory Project Humanitarian of the Year: Kevin Ellis
- Bob Gansler Academy Player of the Year: Ryan Kellogg
- Sporting Club Network Member of the Year, presented by Price Chopper: Heartland Soccer Association
- Academy Affiliate of the Year: Sporting Southern Indiana
*The 2015 Golden Boot, presented by Kansas City Marriott Downtown, will be awarded to the team’s top scorer at the conclusion of the regular season
Feilhaber, the team’s Most Valuable Player, has scored a career-high 12 goals and set a single-season club record with 19 assists in 34 games played across all competitions in 2015. For the third straight year, Feilhaber collected Sporting Kansas City’s Goal of the Year for his game-tying goal in the 95th minute of a 4-4 draw at Houston on April 25.
Dwyer repeats as the team’s Offensive Player of the Year with 16 goals, most among all Sporting KC players, and three assists in 32 games played across all competitions in 2015. Besler and Mustivar share Defensive Player of the Year honors for a Sporting Kansas City side that has conceded the fewest shots (319) in MLS this season.
Besler, who receives the recognition for the fourth time in the past five years, started for the U.S. Men’s National Team on Saturday in the CONCACAF Cup against Mexico. The Sporting KC captain has 27 career international appearances, including four caps in 2015.
Nemeth has contributed 15 goals, including the game-tying goal in the U.S. Open Cup Final, to go along with seven assists in 29 games played across all competitions in 2015 to earn distinction as the team’s Newcomer of the Year. His 22 combined goals and assists are the most by a KC newcomer since the team’s inaugural 1996 season.
Ellis was given his Humanitarian of the Year award on Saturday by the parents of three-year-old Kit Van Sickle, who is fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia and first met Ellis in May during a Victory Project photo shoot for the 2016 Braden’s Hope calendar. The pair have since formed a close bond, which was featured on SKCtv and embodies Ellis’ commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.
Kellogg, a right back for the Sporting KC U-18’s, was named the Bob Gansler Academy Player of the Year. The Park Hill South senior started all 30 games for the U-18’s last season — reaching the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs and winning a U.S. Youth Futsal national championship – and will continue his career at West Virginia University in 2016.
Sporting Southern Indiana and Heartland Soccer Association were recognized as the Sporting Club Network’s Academy Affiliate of the Year and Member of the Year, respectively. Click here to read more about each award recipient and visit the archives section of SportingKC.com for a list of Sporting Kansas City’s all-time award winners.