Before Wednesday nights game against the Philadelphia Union, Sporting KC announced the winners of their year end awards.
The MVP award was actually a split vote between Sporting KC captain, Jimmy Nielsen and midfielder Graham Zusi. Nielsen set a team record for games started, minutes played, fewest goals conceded, lowest goals against average, and came within a PK rebound goal of tying the league record for shutouts in a season. Nielsen splits the award with Zusi, who scored 5 goals and assisted on 15 more. The 15 assists led MLS this season. Zusi was involved in almost half of Sporting's goals this year, 20 of 42.
Offensive player of the year went to Kei Kamara. Kamara led Sporting in goals this year with 11 and also added 8 assists to that total, putting him just behind the production level of Zusi as Kamara was involved in 19 of 42.
Defensive player of the year went to the anchor of the team's back 4, Matt Besler. While Aurelien Collin was the all star this year, Besler was arguably the better defender. As Steve Brisendine said, Collin can be Collin because Besler is Besler. Besler has arguably been the defender of the year for the entire league, not just the defensive player of the year for Sporting.
Kamara was back on the awards list for Humanitarian of the Year. And honestly Kamara has to be one of the favorites for the league wide award as well with all the work that he does for his home country, Sierra Leone and other charities.
Finally the team gave out the Bob Gansler Award to the top youth player in Sporting's system. Paul Dean won the award this year. The captain of the Sporting U18 team played in every game for last year's U16 team.
Check out the video below from Sporting on the awards.