TORONTO, Canada—He’s represented the true north in impeccable style and character, and now he’s receiving the biggest sporting honour in Canada.
Edmonton native Alphonso Davies has been named the co-recipient of the 2020 Lou Marsh award after a vote of a number of journalists and sport media workers within Canada, from outlets such as TSN, Sportsnet, National Post, among others.
Along with Davies, NFL linebacker-turned doctor Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was also named co-winner, marking the third time in the award’s history that two people will share the honour.
The final vote was split 18-18-1. The split vote, of course, has left many unhappy, including Toronto FC star and U.S. international Jozy Altidore, who took to Twitter to voice his displeasure for the final outcome.
“Sports journalists” who don’t know sports.— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) December 8, 2020
Altidore’s passion stems from the extraordinary year Davies had, making Canada soccer that much bigger on the world stage. The young Vancouver Whitecap academy graduate captured the world’s attention over the past year—and for good reason.
After signing with German powerhouse Bayern Munich from the Whitecaps in 2018, Davies was not expected to walk into the dominant team and increase his stock the way he did. Changing positions from a right-wing role, in which he was excelling, to a left-back role that has become more demanding in the modern game was not an easy ask by any means, and yet, in the 2019-2020 season, Davies made it look easy.
The 20 year old featured for the Munich side 46 times in the season he was given his start as a replacement full-back. The statistics of his breakout year were as unpredictable as his rise to fame. With three goals and 10 assists, the footballing world took notice of this Canadian teenager (at the time) that was wreaking havoc. Davies showcased his intelligence on both ends of the pitch, whether it be chasing back for a goal saving tackle, or running the length of the field to provide an assist on a tap in goal. Doing this against the likes or Chelsea, Barcelona, and PSG in the Champions League would prove to the world that this kid is up there with the best of the best.
In this year which was full of success, Davies took home five trophies with the team. This included the prestigious Champions League title (the first Canadian man to do so), the Bundesliga league title, the DFB Cup, UEFA Super Cup and DFL-Supercup.
On an individual level, the speedster won the 2020 Canadian men’s Player of the Year award, and the Bundesliga rookie of the year. He was also included in both the UEFA Champions League and Bundesliga teams of the year.
The significance of this Lou Marsh award in particular is massive. Davies becomes only the second soccer player to win the award, and the only player from the Canadian men’s national team to do so. The great Christine Sinclair, whom Davies was up against in this race, won the prestigious award back in 2015, the year of the FIFA Women’s World Cup hosted here in Canada.
It is exciting to think that a 20-year-old soccer player has taken the world by storm, and that now, he’s receiving consistent accolades here in Canada. The future looks bright. Well done, Phonzie!