Herriman, Utah (October 2, 2023) Real Monarchs announced team award winners for the 2023 season as voted on by the Monarchs players. RSL Midfielder Moses Nyeman was selected as the club’s Most Valuable Player and Defender Bobby Pierre was voted Defensive Player of the Year. Owen Anderson from RSL Academy earned the Newcomer of the Year award, while Ilijah Paul took home Offensive Player of the Year for leading the team in goals.
Midfielder Moses Nyeman: Real Monarchs Most Valuable Player
On loan from the first team, Nyeman made the most of his opportunities with the Monarchs this season, starting 16 matches and notching 1395 minutes for the fifth most minutes on the team. He recorded 33 tackles at the base of the midfield while also contributing 21 key passes. His technical ability and composure on the ball provided key stability for the young Monarchs squad.
Defender Bobby Pierre: Real Monarchs Defensive Player Of The Year
One of a few returners to the Monarchs squad from the 2022 season, Pierre made a significant improvement to his on-field performances in 2023. He won over half of his aerial duels with 57.3% and also displayed his ball-winning prowess on the ground with 27 interceptions, second on the team. The Club earned five shutouts in his 1701 minutes played in 2023.
Forward Ilijah Paul: Real Monarchs Offensive Player Of The Year
Another first team loanee, Paul was RSL’s first pick in the 2023 MLS Superdraft. The big-bodied center forward bounced between the first and second teams all season-long, but still managed to lead the Monarchs in goals scored with 5 on only 6 shots on target. His .42 goals per 90 minutes played was second only to Diego Luna, who scored two in his only match with the Monarchs.
Midfielder Owen Anderson: Real Monarchs Newcomer Of The Year
RSL Academy always has a strong presence on Real Monarchs’ roster since the transition to MLS NEXT Pro. Standout midfielder Anderson was able to make the most of his opportunities with the Monarchs after having an exceptional season with the U-17 squad. He scored his first professional goal against Western Conference winners Colorado Rapids, and then really burst onto the scene in the MLS NEXT Pro Invitational. Anderson notched the game winning goal against PL2 side Crystal Palace.