Centre back Derek Cornelius, 20, and striker Jordyn Huitema,17, have been named the 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year following their standout performances at the international level.
Cornelius was a standout for Canada at the International espoirs Provence Toulon tournament in May and June, with the first-time Canadian entrants finishing sixth at the prestigious international youth tournament in France. Canada was undefeated with Cornelius in the lineup, including a 1-0 win over Turkey. The Ontario native also helped Canada open with a goalless draw against Portugal and then wore the captain’s armband for a 1-1 draw with Japan.
“Derek came into the March camp in Spain and showed a lot of maturity and composure for a young player, which led us into the Toulon tournament in May and June where he took the captain’s armband and helped us achieve some pretty remarkable results,” said men’s coach John Herdman. “He has strong character and a drive to reach the top so we hope he can continue to progress.”
Huitema led Canada to a fourth-place finish at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, its second-highest finish at a FIFA youth competition. Huitema scored 10 goals in 16 youth international matches in 2018, including winning Golden Boot honours at the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship in January. In November, the B.C. native scored in three of five matches at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
“Jordyn has continued performing and adding to her repertoire as a striker throughout 2018,” said women’s coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller. “She scored at three different levels at international tournaments this year, winning the Golden Boot at the Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship, scoring three goals at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, where as captain she led Canada to a fourth-place finish, and she scored four goals for the Women’s National Team at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship.
“Scoring goals has always been a part of Jordyn’s game, but she has shown continued improvements in numerous aspects of the game throughout 2018. It is going to be very interesting to follow her pathway, and the next steps in her development.”
While Cornelius and Huitema have been named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year, Jacob Orellana has been named Canadian Futsal Player of the Year and Damien Wojtiw has been named Canadian Para Soccer Player of the Year.
James Pantemis, meanwhile, has been named the 2018 winner of the Allstate Canadian National Teams Good Hands Award.
2017: Kris Twardek & Jessie Fleming
2016: Ballou Tabla & Jessie Fleming
2015: Michael Petrasso & Jessie Fleming
2014: Michael Petrasso & Kadeisha Buchanan
2013: Dylan Carreiro & Kadeisha Buchanan
2012: Doneil Henry & Sabrina D’Angelo
2011: Ashtone Morgan & Amelia Pietrangelo
2010: Ethan Gage & Jonelle Filigno
2009: Nana Attakora & Chelsea Stewart
2008: Nana Attakora & Jonelle Filigno
2007: Asmir Begović & Sophie Schmidt
2006: David Edgar & Jodi-Ann Robinson
2005: Ryan Gyaki & Kara Lang