Drake Callender and Gonzalo Higuaín Among Year-End Award Finalists


With the 2022 MLS regular season in the rearview mirror, the league has announced the finalists for its year-end awards. Two Inter Miami players, Drake Callender and Gonzalo Higuaín, have earned nominations as finalists for their respective categories thanks to stellar regular seasons performances.

Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year

Callender has been nominated as one of three finalists for Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, along with Philadelphia Union’s Andre Blake and New England Revolution’s Djordje Petrovic. 

The 25-year-old California native made his first professional start in March following two previous seasons in the Club’s development pathway, going on to make the First Team starting goalkeeper position his own, making 24 regular season starts. In that time, Callender was made MLS Team of the Week on three occasions, including a Week 12 performance in which he kept a clean sheet against eventual Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union and made a SportsCenter Top 10 save.

Callender provided essential saves at key moments throughout the campaign, notably making his mark in the final stretch of the regular season with match-winning saves in the late stages of matches against Columbus Crew and D.C. United, followed by a clean sheet against Toronto FC.

Comeback Player of the Year

Higuaín was nominated as one of three finalists for MLS Comeback Player of the Year, alongside San Jose Earthquakes’ Jeremy Ebobisse and CF Montréal’s Kei Kamara.

The Argentine striker came back from a difficult 2021 personally following the unfortunate loss of his mother that affected his on-the-pitch performances for much of the campaign. This season, Higuaín suffered injuries that kept him out of the starting XI for 15 consecutive MLS games (from April 9 until July 16), but despite the difficult circumstances, Higuaín came off the bench on July 13 and scored one of the Club’s best goals of the year, which turned around his season and kicked off his impressive form of 16 goal contributions in his last 16 games.

Higuaín finished the regular season with a franchise record 16 goals over 28 appearances, 20 of them starts. The remarkable run of form to close the season capped his final regular season as the legendary striker recently announced that he will retire following the conclusion of the team’s playoff run.

AT&T 5G 2022 MLS Goal of the Year

One of Higuaín’s 16 goals was chosen as a finalist for AT&T 5G 2022 MLS Goal of the Year. The goal came when the striker stepped up to take the free kick against the New York red Bulls, replicating his first-ever Inter Miami goal, and blasting a free kick into the top corner of the net at Red Bull Arena.

Leonardo Campana also netted a goal worthy of a place among the finalists for the award. The Ecuardorian’s signature moment came just 35 seconds into the team’s playoff clinching win over Orlando City, when he sped past opposition center backs to a loose ball before chipping a perfectly weighted first-time effort over the keeper and into the back of the net from long distance. The goal also set a new team record for earliest goal scored by Inter Miami in a match.

Cast your votes for Gonzalo and Leo HERE!

2022 MLS Save of the Year presented by Allstate

Callender also earned a place among the Save of the Year candidates with the aforementioned match-winning save against the Columbus Crew. The young goalkeeper made the save in the 94th minute of a tight contest against the Crew in September, rapidly shifting back against his own momentum to leap and push away a potential redirected last-second equalizer for the visitors.

Cast your vote for Drake HERE!