Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Ranking the MLS award finalists
by Ridge Mahoney, November 15th, 2012 7:54PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ
TAGS:  d.c. united, los angeles galaxy, mls, san jose earthquakes, sporting kansas city

MOST COMMENTED

MLS has announced its end-of-the year finalists, with the winners to be gradually rolled out starting early next week. Here is how I rank the three finalists in the major categories along with those individuals who also deserved serious consideration but didn’t make the cut in voting conducted among players, coaches, MLS executives, and members of the media.
 
Most Valuable Player
1. Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)
2. Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
3. Thierry Henry (New York)
Wondo and his teammates fizzled in the playoffs, yet without him they couldn’t have won the Supporters’ Shield. His record-tying season of 27 goals and all-around impressive, consistent play stood out.
Also: Robbie Keane (Los Angeles), Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle).

Rookie of the Year
1. Nick DeLeon (D.C. United)
2. Austin Berry (Chicago)
3. Darren Mattocks(Vancouver)
Rookie attackers always have it tougher, since teams tend to stock up those spots with foreign players or proven commodities. DeLeon did more than enough to win a tight battle with an outstanding defender in Berry and a streaky yet promising forward in Mattocks.
Also deserving of mention: Connor Lade (New York), Kelyn Rowe (New England).
 
Newcomer of the Year
1. Victor Bernardez (San Jose)
2. Michael Gspurning (Seattle)
3. Federico Higuain (Columbus)
Along with robust tacking and aerial dominance, Bernardez lashed home a pair of direct free kicks and also volleyed an impressive goal from a corner kick with his right foot. The Honduran topped a good class of newcomers.
Also: Lee Young-Pyo (Vancouver), Jairo Arrieta (Columbus).

Comeback Player of the Year
1. Eddie Johnson (Seattle)
2. Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
3. Alan Gordon (San Jose)
Johnson’s return after four years in the European wilderness looked like a crazy gamble in April; by July it was a brilliant move. His 14 goals and energetic work up front called up memories of his impressive days in Dallas and Kansas City, and earned him a return to the national team.
Also: David Ferreira (FC Dallas).
 
Defender of the Year
1. Matt Besler (Sporting KC)
2. Victor Bernardez (San Jose)
3. Aurelien Collin (Sporting KC)
Besler doesn’t have the physical tools of Bernardez or Collin, but is marginally more consistent and less reckless. He and Collin played as a unit frequently, yet Besler also maintained a high standard when paired with Lawrence Olum and through lineup tweaks that often shifted around the midfield pieces in front of him.
Also: Jeff Parke (Seattle), Arne Friedrich (Chicago).

Goalkeeper of the Year
1. Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting KC)
2. Michael Gspurning (Seattle)
3. Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA)
Nielsen backstopped one of the strongest defenses in MLS yet still responded when a big save was demanded. He sometimes lacks presence in the penalty area on crosses and loose balls but otherwise is top-class.
Also: Nick Rimando (RSL), Andy Gruenebaum (Columbus).
 
Coach of the Year
1. Frank Yallop (San Jose)
2. Ben Olsen (D.C. United)
3. Peter Vermes (Sporting KC)
Injuries ripped through the San Jose lineup last year, and in rebuilding from that disappointment San Jose hit the jackpot by also netting important cogs such as Marvin Chavez from FC Dallas, ex-Quake Shea Salinas and Bernardez.
Also: Frank Klopas (Chicago), Sigi Schmid (Seattle).



2 comments
  1. James Madison
    commented on: November 15, 2012 at 9:19 p.m.
    I couldn't agree more with your selections. All deserving.
  1. Jack Aldridge
    commented on: November 15, 2012 at 9:35 p.m.
    My only addition would be Martin Rennie to the Coach of the Year award. He's managed to take a bottom dwelling team one year to the playoffs the following year.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
NYCFC's Pirlo problem won't go away    
Jason Kreis, New York City FC's head coach for its expansion season, never came out and ...
Recent incidents sharpen focus on how video replay can improve the game    
MLS and other North American soccer leagues are awaiting specific guidelines to be issued by FIFA ...
MLS ups the ante on expansion    
Major League Soccer has come a long way in the last decade, let alone the last ...
How Brian McBride started his path to stardom    
Brian McBride is regarded as one of the top forwards in U.S. history and played in ...
Klinsmann stance on Jordan Morris makes sense    
The Jordan Morris saga has begun its professional chapter and a middling start with the Sounders ...
Projecting USA's Copa America Centenario roster    
Results for the national team and U-23 team in March altered the landscape for U.S. Head ...
Olympic debacle proves Klinsmann shouldn't be in charge    
Coach Andi Herzog failed to qualify the U.S. U-23 men's national team for the 2016 Olympic ...
Klinsmann failed test in Guatemala City    
Perhaps it was inevitable that the U.S. unbeaten streak against Guatemala in qualifying play had to ...
The day Cruyff came to town    
While the soccer world mourns the death of Johan Cruyff -- the electrifying, revolutionary player who ...
USA is going for the sweep against Guatemala    
The middle two games in the U.S. World Cup qualifying semifinal round are against Guatemala, which ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives