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Matt Turner, Cristian Arango capture MLS awards

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New England’s Matt Turner was named the 2021 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and Los Angeles FC forward Cristian Arango was honored as the league’s Newcomer of the Year.

Turner led the Revolution to their first-ever Supporters’ Shield and a new single-season record with 73 points in 34 matches (22-5-7 record).

Turner, 27, tied for the MLS lead with 17 goalkeeper wins, including five shutouts. He was also named MVP of the MLS All-Star Game after stopping two attempts in the penalty shootout against the Liga MX All-Stars.

He is the first goalkeeper in the Revolution’s 26-year MLS history to win the award. Andre Blake of the Philadelphia Union finished second in the voting by MLS players, club technical staff and media.

“It means a lot. It’s definitely something that I’ve had on my radar as a goal, as a box to check if you will, for a long time,” Turner told reporters in a conference call. “I’ve never really been one to win individual awards … but I really do mean that. All throughout growing up when I was getting into soccer, I always seemed to come in second place in these types of voting things, so I don’t feel like this is something that gives me validity, but it certainly is a nice award and one that I’m really proud to have accomplished.”

Arango, known as “Chicho,” led LAFC with 14 goals and added two assists in just 17 appearances (15 starts).

The 26-year-old Colombian, who joined the team on Aug. 2, registered a hat trick against FC Dallas on Oct. 20 and scored the fastest goal in LAFC history on Sept. 12 when he tallied 20 seconds into a game with Real Salt Lake.

Arango finished second in the league in goals per 90 minutes (0.90) behind D.C. United forward Ola Kamara (0.94).

“Cristian enjoyed a historic start to his career in MLS,” LAFC co-president and general Manager John Thorrington said in a news release. “He showed that he is a dangerous striker and he quickly emerged as a leader. We are excited to see what he will accomplish with us in his second season.”

Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Ryan Gauld finished second in the voting by current MLS players, club technical staff and media members.

–Field Level Media

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