HERRIMAN, Utah (Wednesday, October 19, 2022) – Real Salt Lake (12-11-11, 47 pts., 7th West) today unveiled its 2022 Team Award Winners, following Sunday’s MLS Cup Playoff ouster at Austin. RSL’s 2-2 finish followed by a loss in the shootout tiebreaker at second-seeded Austin marked the Claret-and-Cobalt’s 12th postseason appearance in the last 15 years, and RSL’s fourth MLS Cup Playoff run in the last five seasons.
A mix of statistical, community-service oriented and peer-selected honors, RSL’s 2022 Team Awards recognize four different players – FW Sergio Cordova (Golden Boot), DF Justen Glad (Most Valuable Player), DF Andrew Brody (Defensive Player of the Year) and Captain Damir Kreilach (Humanitarian of the Year) – for their contributions to Real Salt Lake’s 18th season, on and off the pitch.
CORDOVA EARNS 2022 RSL GOLDEN BOOT: Prior to his MLS Cup Playoff brace at Austin – the first multiple-goal performance by an RSL player in 37 games across all competitions during the 2022 season – FW Sergio Cordova won the Club’s 2022 “Golden Boot” Award – also known as RSL’s “Offensive MVP” with his nine goals in 33 regular-season appearances this season. The Venezuelan international outpaced fellow Vinotinto standout Jefferson Savarino – who arrived in mid-June – by two goals, with the South American duo scoring or assisting on 18 of the final 25 goals scored for the Claret-and-Cobalt in 2022. Cordova spent 2022 on loan to the Utah side from FC Augsburg in the German Bundesliga, a fellow Blitzer-owned soccer club.
GLAD NAMED 2022 RSL MVP: For the first time in Real Salt Lake’s 18-year history, a Homegrown Player was voted by his teammates as the Club’s Most Valuable Player, as DF Justen Glad earned the distinction. RSL posted a 12W-6L-8T record in 2022 when Glad played, allowing nearly two fewer goals per game than in the eight he missed (0W-5L-3T). In 2016 and 2017, Glad was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Glad is the first U.S.-born RSL player to be named Club MVP by his teammates since Kyle Beckerman in 2016. Amazingly, the 25-year-old Glad has already appeared in 183 RSL regular season contests, more than all but seven icons in Club history (Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Chris Wingert, Tony Beltran, Javier Morales, Nat Borchers, Andy Williams) amongst the 190 players to have donned the Claret-and-Cobalt in MLS action since 2005.
BRODY CONTINUES DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR TREND FOR RSL HGs: For the seventh consecutive season, an RSL Homegrown was named the Club’s Defensive Player of the Year, following in the footsteps of Glad (2016, 2017), former RSL man Brooks Lennon (2018), and current teammate Aaron Herrera (2019, 2020, 2021).
Second-year MLS DF Andrew Brody was recognized by his teammates, not just for scoring two goals and adding five assists on the season, but for displaying a non-stop engine, guile, poise and skill up and down either flank, critical to team success in both back four and back three setups. Playing just 100 minutes shy of a complete 2022 season – including 33 starts in 34 games – Brody’s route to MLS success was circuitous. The Florida native matriculated to the RSL Academy in Arizona prior to a two-year college career at Louisville, then becoming a professional deal with Real Monarchs in USL.
After parts of three seasons there – seasons that saw the Club win the 2017 USL Shield and the 2019 USL Championship Final – Brody spent a year in the Austrian Third Division with FC Pinzgau Saalfelden, guided to unanimous MVP honors there in the Western Regionalliga under the tutelage of Christian Ziege.
CAPTAIN KREILACH COMMUNITY MVP: As previously announced, RSL MF Damir Kreilach was named the 2022 Jordan Guernsey Humanitarian of the Year. Prior to a nerve injury in his back which saw club Captain Kreilach miss 29 of the Club’s 34 regular-season games this year, the Croatian native – in his fifth year in Utah – formed “Kreilach’s Corner” at the Club’s America First Field home in Sandy. Kreilach approached the Community Relations team wanting to give back to the community that has supported him. He had the idea to purchase 100 season tickets so families who are unable to afford tickets would have the opportunity to see the team and him play. Kreilach’s donations were quickly matched by Club ownership, Utah’s corporate community, thus “Kreilach’s Corner” was born. For every home game this year the Club was able to bring nearly 500 people from underserved communities to matches.
ALL-TIME RSL SEASON-ENDING AWARDS:
RSL Most Valuable Player: Justen Glad (2022), 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: Sergio Cordova (2022), 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: Andrew Brody (2022), 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: Damir Kreilach (2022), 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)