I said earlier in the week I wanted to touch on this year’s MVP race. Well today looked like a good one to do it seeing as how I don’t care about Liverpool’s sale to John Henry and company and I feel a bit lazy to talk about the USOC Final from last night. What can I say its also a busy day around these parts for me.
This year’s MVP race is a hot one. I don’t think that can be said enough really as there are easily six to eight players in the running for the award. I’ll go ahead and say this list below is no ranking because right now today I honestly have no clue who I’d vote for. I know who I am leaning towards but if I had a ballot in my hand today I know it would take me hours to complete it. The race is just that damn close this year.
We have a two groups of players though in the running this time around, your playoff bound guys and your non-playoff bound guys. I’ll go with the playoff group first since it is a bit larger.
Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) – Based on stats you have to include Donovan who clearly makes his team better. He leads the league in assists with 15 and also has offered up a cool seven goals on the year. Not shabby but I do wonder if it will be enough to win the award for the second straight year. Probably to get there he’ll have to help lead the Galaxy to an unbeaten run to finish the season by notching a few more assists and dropping in a goal or two.
Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy) – Some folks will disagree to include the potential Golden Boot winner on the MVP list but why not? MVPs typically score lots of goals and Buddle is no exception. He cooled off a bit in the summer which was expected after he was blazing hot to begin the year. Its no secret he’ll need to get his goal numbers up to at least 20 to really catch people’s eye for this award though.
Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake) - I’ve seen plenty of rants and moans from the RSL folks about how Morales isn’t being discussed as a MVP candidate this year on other sites. Well RSL folks those sites are crazy to dismiss Morales in this award because as you know RSL is a lot different without him on the field. His stats are solid but his play and leadership are what makes this guy a MVP in my eyes. I have a feeling however he’ll be the Shalrie Joseph of this year, you know the guy who deserves it the most but will come up short in the running.
David Ferriera (FC Dallas) – He’s probably the guy I’m leaning towards if I had to vote right now for this award. Still the competition is stiff this year and Ferriera will likely need to help keep this amazing unbeaten run in tact if he has a shot at winning this award this season. Tough to say that but its likely true that some voters will overlook him if Dallas stumbles once down the stretch.
Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders FC) – You saw last night exactly how good Seattle can be when they want to. Montero is a big reason because of that. He cooled off a bit in September so he’ll need a big October to get some votes here but believe me there is good reason to count Montero in on the voting this year. Not only has he put in his share of goals again this season but his assist numbers are up and he’s helping make guys like Steve Zakuani and Sanny Nyassi better.
Omar Cummings (Colorado Rapids) – Based on stats alone you have to include him in the race. Boy lately he and the Rapids have been on fire (except for that D.C. game). Cummings’ 12 goals has helped push the Rapids back into the playoff picture for the first time since 2006.
Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC) – Hard to deny what DeRo means to Toronto. Take him off the team and you can imagine exactly how bad of a year this club would have had. It was already pretty bad towards the end but I’m sure it would be worse without him. His 13 goals have lead the team but he’s clearly the heart and sole of the club. Something you can’t replace which kind of sounds like “most valuable” to me.
Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union) – If I’m the Union faithful and the Union front office I would be doing a full on media blitz to get Le Toux up for the MVP. Nothing like trying to get some extra media votes by hyping up your best player. Le Toux has carried this expansion club like no other. There’s no getting around the fact that his 13 goals and 10 assists are impressive. No other player can say that right now this season that they have at least 10 goals and 10 assists.
Others of note: Chris Wondolowski (San Jose); Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus); and Juan Pablo Angel (New York).