AFC Ann Arbor defender Joseph Stanley Okumu has been named the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Premier Soccer League player of the year.
The selection was made by the staff of TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Okumu played every minute in a club-record 488 consecutive minutes holding opponents scoreless and played 90 minutes in seven matches that ended as shutouts. He helped set six team records as AFC Ann Arbor finished first in the Great Lakes Conference with a 9-1-2 record.
He finished the season with 53 tackles won, 85 headers won, 74 interceptions, 317 passes complete, 29 long balls complete, 16 blocks and 58 clearances.
“I’m very grateful for the support,” Okumu said. “If not for AFC Ann Arbor I couldn’t have made it.”
The 6-4 Okumu is a natural athelte and has special qualities in team defending and attacking. He was a catalyst to AFC Ann Arbor’s second consecutive Great Lakes Conference championship.
“Among the many deserving candidates Okumu’s performance this season stood out above the rest,” TopDrawerSoccer.com director of content Travis Clark said.
In March, Okumu captained the Kenyan Under-23 men’s national team in two matches against Uzbekistan. The 21-year-old spent the 2017 season with Free State Stars in South Africa’s ABSA Premiership. Prior to that, he was a member of his hometown club Chemelil Sugar FC in Kenya.
“This is a special honor for Stanley,” AFC Ann Arbor sporting director and head coach Eric Rudland said. “It validates the impact he made with our club and speaks to the pedigree of his footballing ability. His mentality in training and matches was the epitome of a professional. He was an impact player, respected by his teammates and coaches, and is very deserving of this accolade. As a club we are excited to see him take the next step in his football career.”