REAL SALT LAKE ANNOUNCES 2021 TEAM AWARDS
Damir Kreilach Voted Team’s Most Valuable Player, Aaron Herrera Team’s Defensive Player of the Year, Zac MacMath Named Jordan Guernsey Humanitarian of the Year
SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, November 17, 2021) – Real Salt Lake today announced the team’s annual award winners for 2021 which were based on voting by RSL players. For the second consecutive season, Damir Kreilach was voted the club’s Most Valuable Player and secured his second consecutive Golden Boot as the team’s top scorer for the third time in four seasons. For the second consecutive season, Aaron Herrera was voted Defensive Player of the Year and as previously announced, Zac MacMath was named the 2021 Jordan Guernsey Humanitarian of the Year.
Damir Kreilach: RSL Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot Award
In his fourth season with the Club, Kreilach played to a banner year, scoring 16 goals and contributing 9 assists to secure the team’s Golden Boot and was voted RSL Most Valuable Player for the third time since his arrival in 2018. The 32-year-old midfielder featured in 33 of RSL’s 34 regular season matches, 32 of which were starts. In total, Kreilach now has 42 goals and 23 assists in 119 matches played for RSL.
Kreilach earned RSL Golden Boot and MVP Awards in 2018, when he led the team with 12 goals and eight assists. In 2020, he notched eight goals and one assist during the abbreviated regular season. He is the third player in club history to earn MVP honors in multiple seasons, joining Kyle Beckerman (2011-2013, 2016) and Javier Morales (2010, 2015) and the fifth player to earn the Golden Boot Award in multiple seasons, joining Robbie Findley (2007, 2009), Alvaro Saborio (2010-2013), Joao Plata (2014, 2016) and Albert Rusnák (2017, 2019).
Aaron Herrera: RSL Defensive Player of the Year
In his fourth full season in MLS, Aaron Herrera played a consistent and pivotal role on the right flank for RSL. The RSL Academy product led defensive players in MLS in the attack with 11 assists, good for the fifth-most among all players at the end of the regular season and second-most all-time by a defender in a single season in league history. Herrera featured in 2,514 minutes during the regular season and scored hist first professional goal on July 17 against LAFC.
Defensively, Herrera finished the regular season with a 76.6 duels won percentage, 24 interceptions and 53 successful tackles.
Herrera is the fifth player to win the award in multiple seasons, a list that includes Eddie Pope (2005, 2007), Nat Borchers (2008, 2010-2011), Nick Rimando (2012-2013) and Justen Glad (2016-2017).
Zac MacMath: Jordan Guernsey Humanitarian of the Year
The son of parents who are mental health professionals who serve as community ambassadors for the homeless and veterans, education and inclusion has always been at the center of MacMath’s life. In 2021, MacMath participated in Special Olympics initiatives, RSL Unified signing day and the Unified Sports Championships held at Rio Tinto Stadium in September. Additionally, MacMath played a role as a representative of the club in the Healing Fields project to commemorate and remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
MacMath was also named the Humanitarian of the Year for the Colorado Rapids in 2017 and 2018 for having played an active role in the Rapids’ Special Olympics Unified Program while providing mentorship and guidance to the athletes. He also participated in soccer clinics for local nonprofits and military and provided resources for donations to the American Heart Association with the Transamerica Saves Campaign.
Real Salt Lake All-Time Season-Ending Award Recipients
RSL Most Valuable Player: Damir Kreilach (2021), Damir Kreilach (2020), Everton Luiz (2019), Damir Kreilach (2018), Albert Rusnák (2017), Kyle Beckerman (2016), Javier Morales (2015), Joao Plata (2014), Kyle Beckerman (2013), Kyle Beckerman (2012), Kyle Beckerman (2011), Javier Morales (2010), Nat Borchers (2009), Javier Morales (2008), Nick Rimando (2007), Jeff Cunningham (2006), Andy Williams (2005)
RSL Golden Boot Award: Damir Kreilach (2021), Damir Kreilach (2020), Albert Rusnák (2019), Damir Kreilach (2018), Albert Rusnák (2017), Joao Plata (2016), Javier Morales (2015), Joao Plata (2014), Álvaro Saborío (2013), Álvaro Saborío (2012), Álvaro Saborío (2011), Álvaro Saborío (2010), Robbie Findley (2009), Yura Movsisyan (2008), Robbie Findley (2007), Jeff Cunningham (2006), Jason Kreis (2005)
RSL Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Herrera (2021), Aaron Herrera (2020), Aaron Herrera (2019), Brooks Lennon (2018), Justen Glad (2017), Justen Glad (2016), Aaron Maund (2015), Chris Schuler (2014), Nick Rimando (2013), Nick Rimando (2012), Nat Borchers (2011), Nat Borchers (2010), Jamison Olave (2009), Nat Borchers (2008), Eddie Pope (2007), Carey Talley (2006), Eddie Pope (2005)
Jordan Guernsey Humanitarian of the Year: Zac MacMath (2021), Kyle Beckerman (2020), Kyle Beckerman (2019), Kyle Beckerman (2018), Justin Schmidt (2017), Jordan Allen and Justen Glad (2016), Abdoulie Mansally (2015), Abdoulie Mansally (2014), Chris Wingert (2013), Will Johnson (2012), Jean Alexandre (2011), Jean Alexandre (2010), Robbie Russell (2009), Nat Borchers (2008), Carey Talley (2007), Seth Trembly (2006), Brian Kamler (2005)
Real Salt Lake will open its Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoff run on Tuesday, November 23 at Seattle Sounders FC in a first round clash. Kick off from Lumen Field is set for 8:30 p.m. MT with the match being broadcast nationally on FS1 / FOX Deportes in the United States and in Canada on TSN / TVA Sports. Additional coverage of the match will occur via ESPN700 AM (English radio), 104.3 La Gran D (Spanish radio) and RSL.com and the Club’s social channels.