- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On October 26, 2009
- 6 Comments
- Coach of the Year, Defender of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, MLS Awards, MVP, Newcomer of the Year, Rookie of the Year
The regular season is done, over, finished or whatever other adjective you want to use. For the second straight season WVH got to participate in the league’s media vote for the season awards. Voting is now over and I felt it was time to share my votes with you all.
I’ll have to admit some awards were tougher to vote on than others but I tried to span the entire season’s body of work as much as I could for these awards. The way you vote for these awards is to give your first, second and third place votes for each. Now I will leave out the lesser awards like best PR from a club and best ref of the year. The rest I will list below.
Coach of the Year:
1. Robert Warzycha (Columbus): Some will definitely disagree with me on this one and I will be honest I really went back and forth on this award but at the end of the day I had to give it up to a guy that kept things just the way they were and got this club to a second straight Supporter’s Shield trophy. Consistency is key in this league and its even more amazing to see it happen after a coaching change.
2. Sigi Schmid (Seattle): I think anytime you take an expansion team to the playoffs you deserve some big time credit for it.
3. Bruce Arena (LA): I kind of have a feeling he will end up with this award but he didn’t get my top vote but not because he didn’t deserve it. The job he did in LA was definitely one of his best. I am just waiting to see if it turns into a MLS Cup before I call it his best work.
Defender of the Year:
1. Geoff Cameron (Houston): One of the easier award for me to vote on. Cameron was consistent and easily the best defender of the year in my eyes.
2. Chad Marshall (Columbus): Had he stayed healthy through the entire season he would have won back-to-back votes from me for this. It was close but his injuries hurt him I thought for this award.
3. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Seattle): The biggest X-factor on that Seattle defense is Hurtado. The guy is that good folks.
Goalkeeper of the Year:
1. Zach Thornton (Chivas USA): His stats are huge and so was his season.
2. Kasey Keller (Seattle): Keller was a very close two for me in this award. Just amazing that he is still on such good form for his age.
3. Donovan Ricketts (LA): Best pickup by the Galaxy in probably the last two years.
Rookie of the Year:
1. Darrius Barnes (New England): There is something to be said for a rookie picked in the third round to play every minute of every game in his first year. That’s consistency folks and Barnes proved he will be a big time player for years to come in this league.
2. Omar Gonzalez (LA): I expect him to actually win this award and for good reasons too. I did feel at times early on he was a little overrated but the combination of him and last year’s ROY Sean Franklin will be a good one to watch for the next couple of seasons.
3. Stefan Frei (Toronto): I think injuries got in the way of him sneaking up the board late in the year but this kid definitely had a great rookie campaign for the Reds.
Comeback Player of the Year:
1. Zach Thornton (Chivas USA): This one was tough for me between Thornton and Olsen. I just could get by the fact that Thornton had been so bad for a few years and then lost weight over the winter last year and came back stronger and better than ever.
2. Ben Olsen (DC United): Again it was tough for me on this one since Olsen finally had a pretty full season with DC for a change. But something in me just didn’t give it to him.
3. Ty Harden (Colorado): Amazing to believe that when you leave the game for a year for personal reasons that you can come back and still play well with a new team. Harden proved that.
Newcomer of the Year:
1. Fredy Montero (Seattle): Very little doubt who was the best newcomer this season.
2. David Ferreira (Dallas): I didn’t care for this pickup earlier in the year but once he finally got a hold of things with Dallas in the middle of the summer things really turned around for him and for Dallas.
3. Kasey Keller (Seattle): Hard not to list him here, he would have been number two for me had Ferreira not made a late charge with Dallas.
1. Landon Donovan (LA): This one was tougher than ever but at the end of the day I just couldn’t get over Donovan’s worth to his club over the entire season. Not the final month or even the final game but the entire season. Take him away and LA is no better than Dallas or Kansas City in my mind.
2. Jeff Cunningham (Dallas): Had he helped get Dallas into the playoffs he would have won this award. I guess a Golden Boot award isn’t so bad either though.
3. Shalrie Joseph (New England): His team is in the playoffs and no doubt a lot of it had to do with him.
WVH Best XI
Keeper: Zach Thornton (Chivas)
Defense: Chad Marshall (Columbus), Geoff Cameron (Houston), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Seattle)
Midfield: Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto), Landon Donovan (LA), Shalrie Joseph (New England), Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle), and David Ferreira (Dallas)
Forwards: Fredy Montero (Seattle), Jeff Cunningham (Dallas)
Voting structure was a 3-5-2. Oddly enough last year they had Columbus’ Guillermo Barros Schelotto as a midfielder but this year they listed him under the strikers. Had he been listed as a midfielder I would have easily voted him in as one of the best eleven on the year. Also, two months ago this would have easily been a debate between two Colorado teammates in Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. They were easily passed over by Cunningham in the end for me.
I also went back and forth on Ferreria in the midfield. At the end he scored a vote over guys like Stuart Holden and Brad Davis from Houston.