Ottawa's Jonathan David named Canadian men's soccer player of the year

The teenage forward who has scored a Canadian-record 28 goals for club and country in 2019 has been named Canada's men's soccer player of the year.

28 goals between national team, Belgian club in 2019 set records

Canada forward Jonathan David (left) celebrates his goal with midfielder Jonathan Osorio during the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match against Martinique in Pasadena, Calif., in June. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press)

Teenage forward Jonathan David, who has scored a Canadian-record 28 goals for club and country this year, has been named Canada's men's soccer player of the year.

The Canadian Soccer Association, which administers the award, said the 19-year-old from Ottawa is Canada's highest-scoring men's forward in a single year over the past 20 years.

"Jonathan David is a great role model for young players because humility and talent is always a great combination," Canada's men's team coach John Herdman said in a statement Wednesday.

"He's always made himself available to represent his country and he has delivered with performances and goals. We are proud to have Jonathan David as one of our own."

David, who plays his club soccer in Belgium for KAA Gent, was chosen in a vote by Canadian media and coaches.

Canada's Jonathan David (20) and French Guiana's Josue Albert (13) vie for the ball during the second half of a CONCACAF Nations League qualifying soccer match in Vancouver, on Sunday March 24, 2019. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Bayern Munich teenager Alphonso Davies was second followed by Canada captain Scott Arfield (Glasgow Rangers), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Los Angeles FC) and Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade).

Canada Soccer will name its female player of the year on Thursday.

Records broken

Since the turn of the century, Canada Soccer says only five other Canadian men have scored 20-plus goals in a calendar year: Tomasz Radzinski (24 goals scored in 2000, 27 in 1999), Simeon Jackson (23, 2009), Olivier Occean (20, 2011), Dwayne De Rosario (20, 2011) and Cyle Larin (22, 2015).

David set a Canadian men's record with eight international goals in 2019, including a Canada record six goals at the CONCACAF Gold Cup where he was a tournament all-star and Golden Boot winner.

Fellow striker Lucas Cavallini tied the eight-goal record a month later.

In all, David has 11 goals in 12 appearances for the national team since making his debut in September 2018, when he became the youngest player ever to score for the country on his debut — then the fifth player to score twice in his first outing for Canada.

Today the teen is well on his way to catching the retired De Rosario, who holds the Canadian men's career record with 22 goals (from 81 appearances).

At the club level, David scored 20 goals and added 12 assists in the first 11 months of the year across league and cup competitions.

Wolfsburg's Renato Steffen, left, and Marcel Tisserand, battle for the ball with Gent's Jonathan David during the Europa League Group I soccer match between Vfl Wolfsburg and KAA Gent in Wolfsburg, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (Peter Steffen/Associated Press)

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., David was three months old when his family moved to Haiti and was six years old when he came north to Ottawa. He played his youth soccer with the Gloucester Hornets and Ottawa Internationals.

A trial with KAA Gent came in 2017 after a scout saw him on video.

He went to Belgium twice that year, spending time with the second team before earning a full-time invitation.

After finishing high school in Ottawa, he returned to Europe to focus full time on his soccer.

Hear David on All In A Day in June

Ottawa's Jonathan David is competing for Canada in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. He's been named one od the top 11 players in the group stage of the tournament 6:52

In awards announced earlier, Jayden Nelson and Olivia Smith were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year, Luis Rocha Canadian Futsal Player of the Year, and Samuel Charron Canadian Para Soccer Player of the Year.

Stephanie Labbé was chosen winner of the Allstate Canadian National Teams Good Hands Award, which honours the top save by a national team goalkeeper.


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