My Honda Player of the Year ballot, which of course I waited until the final day to submit...
1. Landon Donovan
2. Benny Feilhaber
3. Tim Howard
Donovan scored a goal in the last group game of the Gold Cup, a quarterfinal, semifinal and in the final match. They were all from the penalty spot, unlike Feilhaber's thunderous volley, but goals are goals.
I actually wanted to vote for Feilhaber because I feel his goal was one for the ages. Beauty aside, it was a match-winner in a final over the arch rival. That speaks volumes to me. And even though it was a failed effort, Feilhaber did more for the U.S. in Copa America than Donovan.
Still, Donovan's four goals and his overall play in the Gold Cup ultimately won out. Feilhaber, for his strike and efforts in both the Gold Cup and Copa America, took second. Tim Howard, who helped preserve the lead in the Gold Cup final with a clutch save on Bofo Bautista, nabbed third.
I also want to thank those who gave me my input. It was overwhelmingly in favor of Donovan and that also helped in my decision.
Overall, Gold Cup and Copa America were the the only games I took into consideration. Donovan's hat trick against Ecuador was nice but it had no bearing on my vote. I know others probably factored that in and perhaps I should have as well but success in friendlies is like doing well in practice. I want to see a player or team succeed when the lights are on and the results count.