Senegal native was third in interceptions and clearances in first NASL season
FC Edmonton defender Papé Diakité has been named the 2016 North American Soccer League (NASL) Young Player of the Year, which goes to the most outstanding player aged 23 and younger.
Diakité, 23, finished third in the league in interceptions (86) and clearances (134) as FC Edmonton clinched the No. 3 seed in The Championship, the league’s four-team postseason tournament.
The Dakar, Senegal, native was not only a force on the back line in his 27 appearances (26 starts) and 2,313 minutes of league play, but he also contributed three goals for the Eddies during the year, two of which were game-winners. They were also the first goals of the central defender’s professional career.
Before joining FC Edmonton for the 2016 Spring Season, Diakité spent time in Slovakia and most recently in Belgium with Royal Antwerp.
“The first game of the season I was in the Team of the Week, it made me proud,” Diakité said. “It was one of my big moments in this league. I’m happy with what I’ve done.”
2014: Christian Ramirez (Minnesota United)
2015: Leo Fernandes (New York Cosmos