MLS NEXT Pro Monthly Awards: April

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The editorial team, several league personnel, announcers, and clubs voted on the top performers across the league during the months of March and April to declare a Team, Coach, Player, Goalkeeper, and MLS NEXT Rising Star of the Month.

The voting process entailed performances taken from MLS NEXT Pro league matches from March 24 - April 30.

Here are the winners:

Team of the Month: Crown Legacy FC

Crown Legacy FC

Crown Legacy FC is the recipient of the first Team of the Month award for the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro campaign thanks to their spectacular start to their inaugural season.

Under the guidance of José Tavares, Crown Legacy FC have won all five of their games in April and finished the month in the top position in the Eastern Conference with 16 points.

“We are pleased to be voted MLS NEXT Pro Team of the Month in our Club’s first few weeks of existence,” said Head Coach José Tavares. “Here at Crown Legacy FC, we are building a culture that helps our players showcase their talents and grow on and off the pitch. Our early results have required everyone in the organization contributing and believing in the same values to move in the same direction towards a common goal. We are grateful for the recognition and look to continue building off our current momentum.”

On the field, Captain David Poreba has been the catalyst for his team’s success leading the team with three assists and two goals, including a wonderful free kick on Matchday 4.

The team's leading scorers, Brandon Cambridge and Iuri Tavares, have each netted three goals to lead a Crown Legacy FC offense that ranks second in the league with 15 goals scored.

Other nominees:

Colorado Rapids 2 (20%)

Austin FC II (11%)

Whitecaps FC 2 (8%)

Orlando City B (3%)

Coach of the Month: Erik Bushey - Colorado Rapids 2

Erik Bushey - Rapids 2 Head Coach

Erik Bushey has led Colorado Rapids 2 to an unbeaten start to their 2023 campaign, having won five out of their six games played since March, with three of those victories taking place after trailing earlier in the game.

Due to his team’s remarkable start and leadership, Erik Bushey has been voted the MLS NEXT Pro Coach of the Month for April.

Rapids 2 General Manager Brian Crookham spoke on Erik Bushey's Coach of the Month award:

“Erik and his staff are leading an environment that is producing both a highly competitive team every week and a squad of players that are in constant consideration for our first team roster. It is tremendous to see them rewarded for their work."

Colorado Rapids 2 currently sit in first place in the Western Conference and will look to continue to remain in the number spot after a blistering start to their campaign.

Other nominees:

José Tavares - Crown Legacy FC (36%)

Cameron Knowles - MNUFC2 (11%)

Laurent Courtois - Columbus Crew 2 (​​9%)

Martín Perelman - Orlando City B (5%)

Player of the Month: Yosuke Hanya - Colorado Rapids 2

Yosuke Hanya - Rapids 2

Yosuke Hanya, the 24-year-old midfielder for Colorado Rapids 2, has been named the inaugural Player of the Month for the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season.

Hanya's exceptional performance has helped his team to an impressive six-game unbeaten streak, placing them at the top of the Western Conference table at the end of Matchday 6.

With five goals already under his belt this season, Hanya has proven to be a crucial player for Rapids 2. What's even more impressive is that he has managed to score in every game he's played so far this season, making him a formidable force on the field.

In addition to his goal-scoring abilities, Hanya has also contributed to the team's success by sharing the ball, earning two assists so far this season, with his last assist coming in Rapids 2’s most recent win last Sunday.

Erik Bushey, Rapids 2 Head Coach, had this to say on Yosuke Hanya's Player of the Month award:

“Yosuke was a big player for us last year and he has continued on that path. If I could have Yosuke on my team, whether in years past or years to come, I would take him in a heartbeat. You are talking about a player who is thoughtful in how he plays, technically gifted and is blue collar. He will work as long as the day is. He has the stats to back up all the great things he does for this team that might not get noticed otherwise. He is and will continue to be a big player for us.”

Other nominees:

Arquímedes Ordóñez - FC Cincinnati 2 (25%)

Nick Firmino - Atlanta United 2 (17%)

Diogo Pacheco - MNUFC2 (14%)

Pau Vidal - Sporting KC II (8%)

Goalkeeper of the Month: Damian Las - Austin FC II

Damian Las - Austin FC II

After some outstanding performances during his first seven games of the season, Damian Las has been voted as the MLS NEXT Pro Goalkeeper of the Month award for April.

The 20-year-old has started all seven games for Austin FC II accumulating two clean sheets, 21 saves and a save percentage of 80.8%.

In a thrilling finish during their Matchday 6 matchup against MNUFC2, Las made a clutch save during the shootout to give Austin FC II their first shootout win of the season and an extra point on the night. Thanks to his shootout heroics, Austin FC II ended April in second place in the Western Conference.

This past offseason, Austin FC signed Las to their MLS roster and acquired his Homegrown rights from Chicago Fire FC.

A Des Plaines, Illinois native, Las joined the Chicago Fire FC Academy in 2016 and recorded three shutouts in five matches at the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship, helping the U.S. qualify for the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup.

Other nominees:

AJ Marcucci - NY Red Bulls II (31%)

Fred Emmings - MNUFC2 (17%)

Javier Otero - Orlando City B (8%)

Vicente Reyes - Atlanta United 2 (5%)

MLS NEXT Rising Star of the Month: David Vazquez - Philadelphia Union II

David Vazquez - Union II

17-year-old David Vazquez has been named Rising Star of the Month after an impressive first month of play in MLS NEXT Pro.

Vazquez made the jump to MLS NEXT Pro this season after being an integral part of the title-winning MLS NEXT U-17 Philadelphia Union team in 2022. The young forward put his name on the map after scoring the game-winning goal to help Union II secure a 2-1 victory over Chicago Fire II on Matchday 4.

Vazquez's strike was extra special as it marked the 1,000th regular season goal in MLS NEXT Pro history, further highlighting his impact on the league.

Other Nominees:

Nicholas Nobles - Real Monarchs (28%)

Cole Mrowka - Columbus Crew 2 (25%)

Cesar Abadia-Reda - Inter Miami II (6%)

Ryder Mills - FC Cincinnati 2 (5%)