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Cristian Arango, hero of the LAFC title, surprises as Sportsman of the Year in Los Angeles over Julio Urías and other stars

Cristian Arango with the MLS Cup after LAFC’s coronation in November 2022.

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Cristian “Chicho” Arango, the Colombian goalscorer who was key in LAFC’s path to its first MLS championship, was chosen the 2022 Southern California Sportsman of the Year by the Los Angeles Sports Council or LA Sports Council.

“Chicho” Arango, 27, scored 16 goals in 34 LAFC games, then added two in the playoffs. He also scored three times in the US Cup. He was the best scorer on his team, even surpassing Mexican Carlos Vela (12 goals).

Maybe he Arango’s pinnacle moment in 2022 was the goal that led LAFC to a dramatic win over the LA Galaxy in the playoffs.

Arango, who left LAFC to join Liga MX side Pachuca, surprisingly surpassed stars like Mexican pitcher Julio Urías in the Sportsman of the Year election (Dodgers), Japanese star Shohei Ohtani (Angels) and college quarterback Caleb Williams (USC).

The left-hander Urías had a 17-7 record and led the National League in pitching’s most important stat, earned run average (2.16), finishing third in voting for the Cy Young trophy. A year earlier, Urías led the Major Leagues in games won with 20.

The Female Athlete of the Year was Chloe Kim, the Californian snowboarding star who successfully defended her Olympic Halfpipe championship at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, among other achievements.

Awards to the Rams and Justin Turner

Other winners of the 18th edition of the trophies for the best of sports in the Los Angeles area were Lincoln Riley, coach of the USC football team, as Coach of the Year for the strong season of resurrection of the Trojans; Kevin Demoff, chief operating officer of the Rams, as Executive of the Year for the conquest of the Super Bowl of the 2021 season (the title was achieved in February 2022), and Justin Turner, former Dodgers player, as Community Athlete of the Year for his charitable work. The redhead now plays for Boston, but remains one of Southern California’s favorite ballplayers.

In addition, Lisa Leslie, a WNBA legend with the LA Sparks, wins the Career Merit Trophy, and Natália Mayara, a wheelchair tennis player from Brazil, the “Ready, Set, Gold!” given to Paralympic athletes.

The awards ceremony will be broadcast on March 15 on Spectrum SportsNet (8:30 pm), when the Moment of the Year in Southern California sports will also be revealed. Fans can vote until March 12 at lasports.org/vote.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 13: Cooper Kupp #10 of the Los Angles Rams against the Cincinnati Bengals catches the game winning touchdown during the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Cooper Kupp scores to give the Rams Super Bowl LVI on February 13, 2022. /Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Some highlights from 2022 were: the debut season of Angel City FC, a professional women’s soccer team; the Dodgers record 111 games won in a season; the Rams win against Cincinnati in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadiumand the LAFC title in the MLS Cup final against Philadelphia, among others.

“We are excited to announce this year’s winners and once again recognize the outstanding achievements of Los Angeles’ top athletes, teams, coaches and executives at this year’s awards,” said David Siegel, LA Sports Council President. , an organization founded in 1988 that is a leader of its kind in the Los Angeles area sports community.

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