- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On October 29, 2012
- 1 Comments
- 2012 MLS Awards, 2012 MLS Season, Features
The 2012 season has finished for Major League Soccer. We know who is in the playoffs and who is starting their off season campaigns. But all of this means it is the start of award season for MLS.
It started yesterday with the announcement of the Golden Boot winner. Obviously this is one award that isn’t voted on by members of the media, coaches, players or club front office folks. Chris Wondolowski scored 27 goals in the season and easily won the award this season.
I submitted my media vote for the awards and here is how I voted on things. Feel free to bash away at them, I know some of these votes will make some angry while others will agree with them. That’s the fun each year of voting season. Just try not to get too carried away with it all, I have one vote, not typically enough to sway things given out players, coaches, and front office people also get to vote on these as well. Media vote only counts for a third of the total.
The league gave you two options for each award but I’ll offer up an honorable mention or two with each.
Winner – Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
This was an obvious choice. With 27 goals on the year there was really no one else I wanted to vote for here.
Runner-up – Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
A solid season for the midfielder from KC. Zusi will get plenty of recognition for a strong season this year and rightfully so as he’s lead Sporting to one of the best season in club history with 63 points. Zusi finished the season with five goals and a league-high 15 assists. Not to shabby.
Honorable mentions: Thierry Henry (New York), Robbie Keane (LA)
Defender of the Year
Winner – Matt Besler (Sporting KC)
Going through the games and other stats Besler ended up becoming the clear favorite in my mind. Sporting had the best defense in the league and if you talk to any KC fan, Besler was the main reason for it.
Runner-up – Y. P. Lee (Vancouver Whitecaps)
While his team struggled down the stretch, I was still blown away with Lee’s ability to calm things down and keep the Whitecaps in games. He may not be a front-runner to most people this year but he may be the league’s best fullback at the moment.
Honorable mentions: Arne Freidrich (Chicago), Jeff Parke (Seattle)
Comeback Player of the Year
**Honestly, this award always bugs me. Each team got a representative just like they do for every award but to me this award seems more like you should vote on a guy that is coming off a bad injury. Maybe that isn’t the way to go and vote on this but it is how I did mine.**
Winner – David Ferreira (FC Dallas)
Coming back in the middle of the season, Ferreira ended with a couple goals and nine assists. He was far and away the biggest reason why Dallas got back into the playoff race when they did. Maybe wonder what the season would have been like had he come back in March or April instead of June.
Runner-up – Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
He got a full season unlike Ferreira which will be why many will vote him as the winner on this one. To me it wasn’t that his injury was worse/better than Ferreira’s but it was the fact that it happened late last season and not mid-way through last season. Call me a homer if you will but that’s how I saw it here.
Honorable mentions – Javier Morales (RSL), Steve Zakuani (Seattle)
Goalkeeper of the Year
Winner – Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting KC)
A stellar season for Nielsen and the rest of SKC. The league’s best defense had in my mind the league’s best keeper. Nielsen finished the year with 15 shutouts, 77 saves and a nice win total (18). At times he kept SKC in games and other times he probably won them some games. That is what you look for in the best keeper.
Runner-up – Michael Gspurning (Seattle Sounders)
A strong season for a guy that took over for a legend in Kasey Keller. He made fans quickly realize that he was worth the risk is signing and had he been healthy all year long I probably would have voted for him instead of Nielsen given his strong numbers.
Honorable mention – Andy Gruenebaum (Columbus)
Newcomer of the Year
**Strong field this year, really about eight or nine guys worth voting on. I see this as being one of the most open awards on the list this season. **
Winner – Patrice Bernier (Montreal Impact)
I have a feeling he’ll get overlooked just because he played for the expansion Impact but Montreal would have been nowhere without this guy. I nearly had him on my Best XI that you’ll see later this week. His nine goals and eight assists were a convincing part to me or at least one that was hard to argue against.
Runner-up – Oscar Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo)
One guy that made a big impact, maybe not in stats but on the field was Garcia. The DP from Honduras was huge in getting Houston’s season turned around in the middle of the year. He helped get the offense back on track after it looked as though that teams figured out how to slow down Brad Davis for good. Instead, he opened up Davis’ game even more.
Honorable mentions – Blas Perez (FC Dallas), YP Lee (Vancouver), Fredrico Higuian (Columbus)
Rookie of the Year
Winner – Austin Berry (Chicago Fire)
The numbers don’t lie in my mind but honestly it wasn’t about the numbers. It was about how well he played and improved as the season went on. Berry has the tools and the making to be a special defender in this league for years to come.
Runner-up – Nick DeLeon (D.C. United)
I think the dry spell that DeLeon went through in the middle part of the year hurt his chances with me. I thought consistency wise Berry was just a big better. His stats were still strong and I thought overall he was a huge part of why D.C. did so well down the stretch.
Honorable mention – Matt Hedges (FC Dallas)
Coach of the Year
Winner – Peter Vermes (Sporting KC)
San Jose fans will kill me for this one but honestly I was more impressed with what Vermes did than what Yallop did in San Jose this year. Yes San Jose was more impressive offensively thanks to a couple good moves by Yallop and John Doyle but to me, defense wins and Vermes got his team to finally buy into the notion of actually playing defense. Vermes’ team had 27 goals scored against, down 13 from last year’s 40. That to me is more impressive. But hey I get it.
Runner-up – Frank Yallop (San Jose Earthquakes)
Like I said I get the reasons for Yallop. His club went from dreadful to the league’s best all in one year. And really they came out of nowhere to do it. Good on them. You should do that when you have the league’s top player though. Just sayin’. 🙂
Honorable mentions – Ben Olsen (D.C. United), Jesse Marsch (Montreal Impact)