MONTREAL – CF Montréal announced Thursday that forward Romell Quioto was named the 2022 Club MVP, while Alistair Johnston won Defensive Player of the Year. Both players contributed to CF Montréal’s record-breaking 2022 season. In addition, midfielder Tomas Giraldo was the recipient of the Jason Di Tullio Trophy, henceforth awarded in recognition of the player who best embodied the spirit of “La Grinta” throughout the MLS season.
Through fan voting for the Helix-Videotron Player of the Game awarded at the end of each match this season, all 2022 Player of the Game winners were ranked and attributed points according to their respective nominations. These points determined 50% of the finalists' choice, while the remaining 50% was voted on by the Club's sporting staff. Fans then voted online for Club MVP and Defensive Player of the Year winners among the three finalists in each category.
The Jason Di Tullio Trophy was voted on by the first team roster. This recognition is a new annual award given in honour of former CF Montréal player and assistant coach Jason Di Tullio, who passed away on July 29, 2022. Throughout his career, Di Tullio demonstrated unparalleled courage and determination, particularly during his final battle with cancer. The “La Grinta” expression has since become synonymous with Di Tullio’s legacy at the Club. Moving forward, the award will be proudly awarded annually to the player who has demonstrated the fiery and fighting spirit Di Tullio embodied all his life and the mark he left at CF Montréal.
All three winners were recognized Thursday at an awards ceremony held at Centre Nutrilait, in the presence of President and CEO Gabriel Gervais, Vice-President and Chief Sporting Officer Olivier Renard, the Club's first team and the Di Tullio family.
“I think there were several players who could have won a trophy today, but the fan vote decided it. With his stats this season, Romell wins for the second time in three seasons which shows his consistency on the field and his importance to our Club. Alistair had a great showing in his first year with us and his personality is already a key team-building element in the locker room. He is an important player here, but also for the national team and a great example for Canadian soccer,” said CF Montréal Vice-President and Chief Sporting Officer Olivier Renard. “The trophy that bears Jason's name is firstly notable as a tribute to his memory. Tomas has been very unlucky with injuries and has worked hard all season. It is a nice thought from the locker room to encourage him not to give up.”
This marks Quioto's second MVP recognition, having first received the honour in 2020. The Honduran forward led the team in scoring and assists in 2022 with a career-high 15 goals and six assists in 30 games, including 24 starts and 2,054 minutes played. He finished the season ranked 12th among MLS scoring leaders, accumulating four game-winning goals and five game-winning assists. For the third straight year, he reached at least eight goals in a season, becoming the fourth player in MLS Club history to score 10 goals in a single season.
Acquired in December 2021 from Nashville SC, Alistair Johnston quickly became a leader and an important part of Montreal's defensive core. Under the leadership of Wilfried Nancy, Johnston played almost every game in 2022, missing just one regular season match, and racking up 30 starts and 2,648 minutes. Only fellow defender Joel Waterman has seen more playing time this season. With four goals and five assists, the 24-year-old right back led the Montreal backline in offensive production. He notably scored the game-winning goals on September 4 in a 4-3 win over Toronto FC at BMO Field and on September 17 against the New England Revolution (1-0). Johnston made his debut with the club on February 23 against Santos Laguna in the second leg of the 2022 Concacaf Champions League Round of 16.
Giraldo signed his first professional contract as a Homegrown player on June 17, 2020. In July, he underwent surgery on his foot following a fracture suffered in training, sidelining the midfielder from play for the remainder of 2022. Born in Medellín, Colombia, he arrived in Canada at the age of eight. He joined the Academy in 2015, with the Impact U13 squad, after playing with FSS Salaberry. He became the 20th player to sign a Homegrown deal with the first team.