SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes today announced their 2021 club award winners, which includes Eduardo ‘Chofis’ Lopez as Offensive Player of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year; Nathan as Defensive Player of the Year; Cade Cowell as Young Player of the Year; Jackson Yueill as the Media Good Guy; and JT Marcinkowski for the Andrew Bedard Spirit of the Game Award/Humanitarian of the Year.
Chofis earns the Offensive Player of the Year award after scoring a team-high 12 goals, including three game-winning goals, and adding four assists thus far in his debut season. Chofis’ 12 goals are the most by a Quakes player in his first season with the club since Ariel Graziani in 2002 (14). He became just the ninth player in team history to tally at least 12 goals in a single season. He currently leads all newcomers in MLS with 16 goals + assists.
Chofis is also named the Players’ Player of the Year. The honor recognizes the best teammate and locker room presence, as voted on by players.
Nathan is named the club’s Defensive Player of the Year in his debut season with the club. At the time of his signing, San Jose was winless in seven straight matches (0-6-1) and immediately proceeded to begin a 10-match unbeaten streak (3-0-7) in which the team conceded more than a single goal just once. Nathan has also contributed offensively with two goals to date.
Cade Cowell earns the club’s Young Player of the Year award, given to the most impactful player 23 years of age or younger on matchday one, for the first time in his three seasons with the club. Cowell, 18, has tallied five goals and five assists in 32 appearances (14 starts) to date. He was the first player in MLS to tally at least four goals and four assists this season and earned a selection to the 2021 MLS All-Star Game.
Jackson Yueill is namedthe Media Good Guy Award winner, as voted on by members of the club’s local media and broadcast teams, for the first time in his five seasons with San Jose. The award recognizes the player that’s deemed most open and welcoming to media requests. Yueill, who often donned the captain’s armband in 2021, was tasked with a heightened level of responsibility to speak on behalf of the team.
JT Marcinkowski earns his first Andrew Bedard Spirit of the Game/Humanitarian of the Year Award. Since the onset of COVID-19, Marcinkowski has displayed a strong commitment to the club’s Pledge 74 initiative, created to fight food insecurity in the South Bay. He has continued to support the club’s Soccer For All partners, including the San Jose Steamrollers and the club’s Unified Team, as well as being a part of the club’s diversity, equity and inclusion program, Team Forward Together. In addition to becoming a designated ambassador for Special Olympics North America, he has also provided leadership to local youth during Kick Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Marcinkowski continues to represent the club in a shining light and positively reinforce its values on and off the pitch.
The award is named for Andrew Bedard, a young Earthquakes fan who passed away at eight years old in 2004. The Andrew Bedard Spirit of the Game Award will be presented annually to the Earthquakes player that works hard in the community and best embodies Andrew’s positive attitude both on and off the field. For more information on the Andrew Bedard Spirit of the Game Award, please visit www.sjearthquakes.com/spiritofthegame/award.