Monday, October 29, 2012

Sporting's Candidates for Year End Awards

MLS has sent out the information for year end voting for the season awards.  The media get 33.3% of the vote, the club gets 33.3%, from the CBO's, Technical Director/coach, and communications/community relations, and the final 33.3% from the players themselves.  The club and players are prohibited from voting for players on their own team.  On November 15th, the finalists will be announced with the winners being announced in the lead up to the MLS Cup final on December 1st.  Let's take a look at the awards and where KC players stand in each category.  I'll also throw in my votes.

MLS MVP - Really I don't think this is even a contest, if anyone but Chris Wondolowski wins this award I will be absolutely shocked.  Tying the league record for goals in a season, and scoring more than Chivas USA did as a whole team.  The surprise in this award will be who finishes in second for the award.  Sporting KC's co-MVP's, Jimmy Nielsen and Graham Zusi are both among KC's nominees, along with the team's Golden Boot winner, Kei Kamara.  My vote in the KC MVP voting went to Kamara, but here I actually changed up my vote.

DTB vote - 1st Wondolowski, 2nd Zusi

Defender of the Year - This is certainly a category that Sporting KC can and possibly will win.  Matt Besler has had a fantastic season for Sporting KC, and certainly could/should have been in the conversation for team MVP with Nielsen, Zusi, and Kamara.  Besler won the team's defender of the year award this year, but one worry that came to mind for me today was the possibility of a split vote for KC.  Sporting's other nominee for the award is Aurelien Collin, and the thought for me is that voters could struggle to separate the two and vote for somebody else ahead of one of Besler.

DTB vote - 1st Besler, 2 Victor Bernardez

Comeback Player of the Year - Sporting KC midfielder, Paulo Nagamura is up for the award this year, he's played in 27 games this year after being limited to only 11 games the previous season with Chivas USA.  Nagamura though did not get my vote for comeback player of the year.  There are just a few players who have done better this year.

DTB vote - 1st Chris Pontius, 2nd Omar Gonzalez

Goalkeeper of the Year - This is another category where Sporting KC has a player that has to be considered the favorite for the award.  Nielsen led the league in minutes played, 3,060, and shutouts, 15, and finished behind only Michael Gspurning in goals against average among keepers that played over 20 games, .79.  Gspurning seems to be what many would consider Nielsen's biggest competition, but cases can be made for the likes of Andy Gruenebaum and even Dan Kennedy, despite playing for Chivas.

DTB vote - 1st Nielsen, 2nd Gspurning

Newcomer of the Year - The award for players who are in their first season in the league, but have previously played professionally outside of MLS.  Sporting has two players up for the award, Oriol Rosell and Michael Thomas, but neither should really get many votes as neither really played a whole lot of minutes this year.  This category is one of my thoughts for another reason why Nielsen will win goalkeeper of the year, as Gspurning seems a lead candidate for this award.

DTB vote - 1st Gspurning, 2nd Bernardez

Rookie of the Year - A year after CJ Sapong won the award for rookie of the year, Sporting has no players up for the award this year.  Dom Dwyer made one league appearance for KC in league play, the team's other two rookies still with the team, Cyprian Hedrick and Kyle Miller haven't made a single competitive appearance for Sporting this season.

DTB vote - 1st Austin Berry, 2nd Nick DeLeon

Humanitarian of the Year - Kei Kamara has to be considered a lead candidate for the award, he's started doing even more work with his home country of Sierra Leone, through the Schools for Salone as well as establishing the HeartShapedHands Foundation. 

DTB vote - 1st Kamara, 2nd Michael Lahoud

Coach of the Year - Peter Vermes has to at least be considered a candidate for the coach of the year award, but I'm not sure he'll get it.  Frank Yallop's job he's done in San Jose is extremely good.  Yes he has Wondolowski, but he's helped turn the careers of Alan Gordon especially, but also Steven Lenhart.

DTB vote - 1st Yallop, 2nd Vermes

Best XI - Here's my candidates for my vote for this year's best XI.  Yes there is a bit of a KC bias to it

Wondolowski - Cooper
Donovan - Zusi - Pontius
Sinovic - Bernandez - Besler - Morrow

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