Jeonnam Dragons midfielder Valdivia, who boasts an overwhelming ability to produce attacking points, has been honored as the brightest star in professional soccer’s K League 2 this season.

Valdivia was named the K-League 2 Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the 2023 Hana OneQ K-League Grand Award Ceremony held at Lotte Hotel World in Songpa-gu, Seoul on Thursday afternoon.

In 36 appearances this season, Valdivia scored 14 goals and provided 14 assists. He is second in goals and first in assists.

Twenty-eight of his goals have come from his toes. More than half of Jeonnam’s total goals this season (55).

Valdivia’s 28 attacking points are tied for fourth all-time in K League 2.

Only Jonatan (Daegu-32) in 2015, Adriano (Daejeon-31) in 2014, and In-Ju-gyu (then Lee Land-30) in 2015 have recorded more attacking points than Valdivia.

Valdivia also led the league in passes in the attacking third (461), was third in key passes (passes that led to scoring chances) (56) and third in crosses (44).

Valdivia received 57.52 points, ahead of Won Doo-jae (Gimcheon – 23.09 points), Lee Hando (Busan – 11.28 points), and Zorzi (Cheongju, Chungcheongbuk-do – 8.11 points), based on the number of votes cast by each team’s head coach, players (over 30%), and media (40%).

In all three categories of coaches (6 votes), players (10 votes), and media (52 votes), he dominated the competition and stood out as the top star.

Valdivia, who was unable to attend the awards ceremony due to personal reasons, said in a pre-recorded video, “I’m really happy because it’s my first time winning the League MVP,” adding, “I want to stay in Korea for a long time and make history.”

Valdivia won the assist trophy and was included in the best 11 midfielders of the season along with Won Doo-jae, Kim Jin-gyu (Gimcheon), and Mo Jae-hyun (Gyeongnam).

Kim Dong-jin (Anyang), Lee Yi-do (Busan), Lee Sang-min (Gimcheon), and Choi Jun (Busan) were selected as defenders, while Gimpo FC’s Lewis and George were named as forwards, as they were the top scorers with 16 goals.

Busan I-Park’s Koo Sang-min was selected as the Best 11 Goalkeeper.

The K League 2 Coach of the Year award went to Ko Jeong-woon, who led Gimpo to a third-place finish in his second year as a professional.

Ko took over the reins of Gimpo in the K3 League (third division) in the 2020 season.

Gimpo, which joined the K League 2 in 2022, finished its first season in eighth place and climbed to third place this season.

After reaching the Promotion Playoffs (PO), Gimpo is currently in the final match of the season against 10th-ranked Gangwon FC in K League 1 for a ticket to the top flight.

Under Ko, Gimpo conceded the fewest goals (26) out of 13 teams in the K League 2. They also have the most clean sheets (19).

Ko received 30.48 points in the voting, ahead of Busan coach Park Jin-seop (25.66 points), Gimpo head coach Jung Jung-yong (24.94 points), and Bucheon FC head coach Lee Young-min (18.93 points).

He received three votes in the coaches’ poll, six votes from each team captain, and 42 out of 101 votes in the media poll.

Ko said, “I think it’s a reward for showing promise. “I want to give all the credit to our players because they showed promise,” he said, adding, “Even though our players are a little less capable, they played with a passion for soccer.

“There is a legend in Gimpo. I would like to thank Gimpo FC advisor Lee Hoe-taek, who still comes to every game, home and away, and gives me strength.”

Bucheon striker Ahn Jae-jun was the winner of the Young Player Award, which recognizes Korean players under the age of 23 who are within three seasons of their debut in the K League (debuting in the K League after the 2021 season).

In 23 games this season, Ahn scored 11 goals and provided four assists. In the final match, against Jeonnam in round 39, he became the first player in club history to score a hat trick.

Ahn received 68.61 points in the voting, beating out Cho Woo-je (Busan – 15.89 points), Kim Min-joon (Gimcheon – 11.61 points), and Cho Sung-kwon (Gimpo – 3.89 points).

He dominated the competition, garnering nine, seven, and 80 votes from coaches, captains, and media, respectively.

“I would like to thank Coach Lee Young-min who helped me the most to win this award,” said Ahn. “I think it was thanks to my good teammates, the coaching staff, the club staff, and last but not least, the Bucheon fans.” 토토사이트

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