Sam Vines’ second season in the Belgian Pro League concluded with the former Colorado Rapids homegrown capturing his first trophy at club level.
Vines watched as Royal Antwerp tied Genk 2-2 on Sunday, claiming a first Pro League title since 1957. Although Royal Antwerp came into the final day sitting behind league-leaders Union St. Gilloise, Club Brugge’s 3-1 comeback victory over Union St. Gilloise helped clinch the title for Mark Van Bommel’s squad.
Royal Antwerp also captured the Belgian Cup earlier this season, sealing them a first domestic double by a Belgian first division side sincee 1999.
Vines, who missed most of the second half of the league campaign due to a tibia fracture, made 20 combined appearances this season. The 24-year-old also made four appearances for Antwerp’s B team following his injury recovery.
Bryan Heynen’s 75th minute goal boosted Genk in front 2-1 at home before Club Brugge eventually scored a trio of late goals to flip the script at Union St. Gilloise. However. Toby Alderweireld’s 94th minute equalizer tied things up for Royal Antwerp and moved them top of the table in stoppage time.
Fellow American defender Mark McKenzie logged his 40th combined appearance of the season for Genk, closing a stellar individual campaign for the USMNT defender. McKenzie set a new career-high with four goals for Genk.
Both Vines and McKenzie will be part of next season’s UEFA Champions League as Royal Antwerp and Genk finished No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in the league table. It will be both of their tournament debuts.