Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver has been named the Club’s Defensive Player of the Year after leading Major League Soccer (MLS) with 136 saves across 33 appearances during the 2021 season. A fan favorite and an active member of the Austin community, Stuver led all ATXFC players in minutes played as he started all but one of the Verde & Black’s matches this year.
“Through a year of firsts, I am honored to have shared the field with such a special group of players, many of whom are equally deserving of this recognition,” said Stuver. “I am grateful to my teammates, Club staff and the Austin community for this award. I am counting down the days until we are back at Q2 representing this amazing city.”
Stuver joined ATXFC as a free agent signing in December 2020, eventually earning the starting goalkeeper job. His 2,970 minutes played were tied for third-most among MLS goalkeepers in 2021.
The 30-year-old shot-stopper saved a penalty kick attempt from LA Galaxy forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernández on May 15, and made an impressive double save against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on September 4 which was nominated for MLS Save of the Year.
“We’re proud of what Brad was able to accomplish this past season,” said Club Sporting Director Claudio Reyna. “His commitment, leadership and quality performances have helped lay a foundation for Austin FC to build off as we look ahead to 2022.”
Stuver recorded season-highs of nine saves in back-to-back matches in June, keeping out 9 of 10 shots against Sporting Kansas City on June 12 and saving all nine shots he faced to earn a shutout against the San Jose Earthquakes in Austin FC’s first match at Q2 Stadium on June 19. Off the field, Stuver was recently recognized by the 4ATX Foundation as it’s 2021 Legend of the Year and is an MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year finalist for his work in the Austin FC community.