Baltimore, MD- - The Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) announced today the winners of its five major individual awards ahead of the 2016 Conference Championship series. Each team, as well as members of the league front office, were given a ballot, and voting was conducted through the end of the regular season.
Soles de Sonora forward Franck Tayou was the overwhelming selection for Most Valuable Player. The Cameroonian striker finished at the top of the 2015/16 MASL regular season standings with 62 points on 47 goals (most in the league) and 15 assists and led his team to an overall No. 1 seed finish with a 17-3 record.
Gig Harbor, Washington native and Tacoma Stars goalkeeper Danny Waltman was named Goalkeeper of the Year. Waltman, who led the Stars to the playoffs in their first full MASL season, finished the campaign with 275 saves on 384 faced shots for a .716 save percentage and a 5.41 GAA.
For the second consecutive season, Baltimore Blast defender Pat Healey received the most overall votes for Defender of the Year. The team captain is tied for the league lead in blocks this season with 43. He ranks fourth on the Blast in points with 23 and is tied for the team lead in assists with 17 which is 11th best in the MASL. Healey has also made a huge impact in the playoffs this season with 3 goals and 3 assists in the Divisional Championship Series.
Twenty-three year old forward Alejandro Leyva of Soles de Sonora was named Rookie of the Year following his first professional campaign in which he totaled 35 points on 30 goals and five assists. The Hermosillo, Mexico native also scored three game-winning tallies this season.
Tacoma Stars Head Coach Darren Sawatzky’s won the league’s Coach of the Year award. Sawatzky’s Stars went 13-7 and advanced to the Ron Newman Cup Playoffs in their first full MASL season. Tacoma went 7-3 at home and 6-4 on the road.
Blast head coach, Danny Kelly, said “Pat, William, Tony, and Onua have all had great seasons for us and deserve the recognition they have received. Pat being named the defender of the year the past two seasons is a tremendous accomplishment and he has certainly earned it”.
Healey and the Blast will be back in action against the Missouri Comets for the Eastern Conference Finals. Game one will be played Thursday, March 24th at 8:05p.m. from the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Missouri. Game two and the potential mini game will be played Tuesday, March 29th at 7:05 p.m. from the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. Tickets for game two are on sale now and can be purchased through TicketMaster or by calling Steve Cooke at the Blast office at 410-558-4295.