At the end of each season, Republic FC’s squad looks back on the completed campaign and selects the annual team awards. After a very special 2022, Conor Donovan was voted by his peers as the club’s Defensive MVP. Additional player awards will be announced in the coming days – last week, Maalique Foster’s panenka in penalties during the U.S. Open Cup Semifinal was announced as the team-selected Play of the Year.
The season marked Donovan’s first campaign in Sacramento, eventually making his debut on April 7 – the start of Republic FC’s historic Open Cup run. The stretch that followed saw Sacramento’s backline become one of the best in USL Championship, conceding just twice in an eight-game span across all competitions from May 4 to June 18 with him as the anchor of the squad’s new three-back system. By the end of the season, Sacramento had conceded just 34 times – second lowest in the Western Conference, and allowed goalkeepers Danny Vitiello and Carlos Saldaña to face the 6th fewest shots from opposing attackers in the entire league.
On the stat sheet, the defender finished tied for the club lead with 67 clearances and second on the squad with 20 blocked shots.When Donovan was in the lineup, the club logged 16 clean sheets across all competitions. In an epic season with 43 matches, Conor was one of six players on the squad with over 2,000 regular season minutes logged.