Major League Soccer announced the winners of its year-end awards that recognise individuals and clubs for outstanding contributions off the playing field.

The club and executive award winners were highlighted by Atlanta United President Darren Eales being recognised as the Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year.


Under Eales’ leadership, Atlanta United had one of the most successful expansion club launches in sports history. The club broke multiple league records including single-season average attendance (48,200 during the regular season, 49,257 including the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs), season tickets sales (36,000-plus), single-game attendance (71,874) and total home attendance (819,404).


The club also set numerous records on the field including goals scored by an expansion team in its first season (70) and goal differential (+30), fourth best in MLS history.


Atlanta United led all clubs with a total of five awards on the evening followed by several clubs winning two awards: Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls, Portland Timbers, Sporting Kansas City and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.


The full list of 2017 MLS Club and Executive Award Winners:

Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year – Darren Eales, Atlanta United


Ticket Sales Executive of the Year – Don Rovak, Atlanta United


Corporate Partnerships Executive of the Year – Chris Shewfelt, Toronto FC


Marketing Executive of the Year – Sarah Kate Noftsinger, Atlanta United


Ticket Sales Team of the Year – Seattle Sounders FC


Corporate Partnerships Team of the Year – Portland Timbers


Marketing Team of the Year – Atlanta United


Marisa Colaiano Community Relations Club of the Year presented by MLS WORKS – New York Red Bulls


Public Relations Team of the Year – Sporting Kansas City


Club Retailer of the Year – Columbus Crew SC


Platform Activation of the Year – Portland Timbers


Business Analytics Team of the Year – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Enhanced Lead Scoring)


Ticketing Sales Impact Award presented by the National Sales Center powered by SeatGeek – Chicago Fire (Outside Sales Program)


Digital Team of the Year – Philadelphia Union


Social Media Activation of the Year – D.C. United (Last Call at RFK)


Digital Content Experience of the Year – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Becoming Canadian: The Alphonso Davies Story)


Best Use of Access in Content – Chicago Fire (Bastian Schweinsteiger’s Arrival)


Security Team of the Year – Orlando City SC


Operations Staff of the Year – New York Red Bulls


Supporter Management Team of the Year – Sporting Kansas City


Team Administrator of the Year presented by Sportscorp Travel – Manny Tejeda, Atlanta United


Athletic Training Staff of the Year presented by Mueller Sports Medicine – Houston Dynamo


Equipment Manager of the Year – Daniel Laroche, New York City FC


Image: PA Images