As we close the book on 2021, and before we look forward to the 2022 campaign, we here at Angels on Parade want your help in helping shine a spotlight on the LAFC players you think provided an extra bit of excitement throughout the season.
On Monday, MLS announced the home openers for teams around the league. With such a short turnaround before the new season begins, this week we want to look back, before looking forward, to give players some deserved praise. First up, the 2021 breakout player award. As its so aptly named, will be awarded to young talent opening eyes, and rising through the ranks.
First up, 20-year-old midfielder, Bryce Duke. In his second year with the club, Duke has made significant strides in his development as a player. Despite playing midfielder, a position that has a ton of depth and increasing talent within the team, he has made a name for himself. In 2021, Duke played a career high 15 matches, starting three of them, also a career high. While he has yet to open up his scoring account with the team, he did serve up three assists in his, just over 400 minutes of game time. Another leap should see him crack the regular rotation in year three.
Speaking of leaps, Cifuentes is another player who saw his stat line double compared to his first year with the team. Featuring in 32 of 34 matches this season, starting 26 of them, the 22-year-old Ecuadorian became a household name in 2021. Netting a career high five goals, with six assists and 80% passing accuracy, he showed everyone he deserves to be ranked amongst one of the better players on the team. Enjoy him while you can, because another year like this one, and Europe will come knocking.
Happy Birthday, Mamadou Fall! #LAFC pic.twitter.com/Bzu0uzz8Kh— LAFC (@LAFC) November 21, 2021
You knew this was coming. It’s not often that a defender steps into a team, and becomes one of the hottest prospects, essentially overnight. It’s even more rare, when that defender is just, now, 19 years old (Happy belated birthday Mamadou!). That was the case with Mamadou Fall. Since his arrival in June, Fall has done anything but, as he's rose to become one of the first names on the team sheet. Playing 19 games, starting 16 of them, Fall became an instant sensation not just with his defensive acumen, but his ability to use his 6’2 size to his advantage. Despite being a defender, Fall netted four goals, which all seemed to come at such huge moments for the team. One thing is for sure, this is a player to keep all eyes on moving forward, especially as he continues to improve.
So, what do you think? We want your votes to help us determine who will be the AoP Young Star of 2021! VOTE NOW IN THE POLL BELOW!
AoP 2021 Young Star of the Year
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