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Toronto FC_Credit: Chris Aduama

New England Revolution

New England Revolution Awards Go To Turner, Kessler, & Bunbury

New England Revolution Awards Go To Goalkeeper Matt Turner, Defender Henry Kessler, & Forward Teal Bunbury for 2020 MLS season.

And the winners are……

On Thursday the New England Revolution announced the winners of their 2020 team awards. The highlights? Matt Turner as MVP and Henry Kessler as the Defender of the Year. Also getting two nods was forward Teal Bunbury who was named the club’s Humanitarian of the year and won the Golden Boot. Turner was also a multi-award recipient with the goalkeeper being named the Players’ Player.

AwardPlayerDetermined by
Revolution Team MVPMatt TurnerFan vote
Defender of the YearHenry KesslerMedia vote
Humanitarian of the YearTeal BunburyRevolution Community Relations
Players’ Player of the YearMatt TurnerPlayer vote
Golden BootTeal BunburyLeading scorer

The 26-year-old Turner is the first goalkeeper to win the Team MVP award since Matt Reis in 2011. Turner is also the first goalkeeper to be named the Player’s Player by the players since Brad Knighton won the award in 2016. The star keeper has started in 22 matches this season with an 8-7-8 record and was a big part of the club’s 1.08 goals per game which set a new club record. Turner also had six clean sheets and is up for the league’s MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award.

“It means so much to me,” said Turner on winning both of the awards. “It really does. I’ve had quite the journey through MLS and even before MLS. I’ve gone through some stuff so it’s really, really nice to be given these awards. To be chosen by the fans and to be chosen by my teammates, it all means so much to me. That’s just something that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life, to be honest. It’s hard for me to even put into words now. They showed me a video yesterday and I was getting emotional. It’s just sort of things coming full circle for me. I’m super proud to be a part of this organization and to be a player for the New England Revolution. So I’m just really grateful and I’ll never take it for granted.”

MLS Did Kessler Dirty

Just like Turner being the MVP your’s truly voted for Kessler to be named the team’s Defender of the Year. The award which was selected by local media members was awarded to a rookie for the first time since AJ Soares in 2011. The MLS SuperDraft pick played in 22 matches and led the club in interceptions, tackles won, possessions won, and clearances.

Toronto FC_Credit: Chris Aduama

 “Every day I just try to get ready and prepare myself correctly whether that’s for a practice or a game and try to enter with the right mindset and make sure I’m prepared,” said Revolution Rookie Henry Kessler. “Then off the field, making sure I’m doing the right thing, getting the proper amount of sleep, eating right, and trying to give myself the best shot to play the most amount of minutes possible. So just preparing off the field and making sure I’m in a good place mentally.”

Out of all rookies in MLS Kesslers’s minutes and games played ranks second. So does that mean Kessler could be in for a league award like Turner? Well, MLS in the latter stages of the 2020 MLS season decided to scrape the Rookie of the Year award and opt for something called the Young Player of the Year award. The finalists for this award are Brendan Aaronson, Daryl Dike, and Diego Rossi.

MLS Matches By Young Player

Rossi: 85

Aaronson: 51

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Kessler: 22

Dike: 17

Out of the three finalists two of them have played in two or more MLS seasons. Are they young players? Yes, but they have also had more than double the time in the league as Kessler. The one lone candidate that actually should qualify for the award is Dike who has scored eight goals in 17 matches for Orlando City SC. This is just MLS trying to give an award to already established stars.

Teal Bunbury For Golden Boot? That Is 2020 For You

Teal Bunbury scored eight goals for the Revs in 2020 and is the lowest Golden Boot total winner since Juan Agudelo (Seven Goals) in 2016. That being said this is 2020 and the number of matches played is a major factor. Bunbury in 22 matches scored 0.36 goals per game, the same as Penilla in 2018 and less than Kamara in 2017.

As for the Agudelo number from back in 2016, Bunbury’s 0.36 is +0.07 goals per game higher than that total. Remember, context is key.

2020Teal Bunbury8220.36
2019Carles Gil10340.29
2018Cristian Penilla12330.36
2017Kei Kamara12310.39
2016Juan Agudelo7240.29

Seeing Bunbury win the Humanitarian of the Year award is also well deserved. This is the first time that Bunbury has won the award and the first time a forward has had this honor since Taylor Twellman in 2010. In typical Bunbury fashion when asked about winning the award he brought it back to giving credit to his teammates.

Toronto FC_Credit: Chris Aduama

“There’s so many great guys on this team who have done so many things that maybe go unnoticed – credit to Kelyn and Farrell that continue to do great things in our communities,” said Revolution Forward Teal Bunbury. “But for me, I think I’ve been stressing it a lot, but it all comes down to how I want to help those in need by showing God’s love to one another. I think helping our communities, helping those families that are less fortunate that might need just a little bit of a helping hand at the moment, I think that’s super important. Showing love to one another is one of the basic things we can do as human beings, especially during trying times. Why can’t we try to reach out and help those that might be having a trying time right now? I think it’s something I want to continue to grow and continue to do. I’m thankful for the award but for me I’m just grateful for all the interactions with fans, friends, family members who have helped raise awareness to a couple of these causes I’ve had, donations that have come in, and well-wishes and prayers for all these families. So I’m very grateful to be able to help some people, help some families, and hopefully I’ll be able to continue doing that.”

The Revolution trio of award winners will partake in the team’s MLS Cup playoffs play-in match next Friday when they host the Montreal Impact at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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Written By

Tanner founded Trifecta Sports in Spring of 2016 and has grown it from a blog into a multi-faceted media entity. He covers the New England Revolution, Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston Cannons, New England Patriots, and the Providence College Friars.

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