Monday, June 2, 2008

First-third report card: individual awards

With the season a third of the way complete, I figured I'd take a look at where some of the individual awards stand as far as I see them right now. The season still has a long way to go and players may move up or down or fall off my radar altogether but as of June 2, this is how I've got the individual awards sorted out.

Most Valuable Player

1. Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Chicago. On pace for double-digit goals and assists, Blanco has Chicago sitting in a comfortable position. The Fire have looked good at times and downright dominant at others, and Blanco is a major part of that success. When he controls the midfield the way he can, Chicago is really an unbeatable team.
2. David Beckham, LA Galaxy
3. Christian Gomez, Colorado

Coach of the Year

1. Denis Hamlett, Chicago. When he took over as interim coach last year, Hamlett seemed to be around just to keep someone's seat warm, which he wound up doing for Juan Carlos Osorio. But when Osorio bolted, Chicago turned to Hamlett again as the Costa Rica native must have done something right. He's led Chicago to a 6-2-1 record and made everyone forget all about New York's head coach.
2. Sigi Schmid, Columbus
3. Ruud Gullit, LA Galaxy

Goalkeeper of the Year

1. Matt Reis, New England. Without Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston for much of the early part of the season, the Revs needed some veteran leadership to help steady the club and keep it from falling apart. Reis supplied just that. His skills are first-rate and his goalkeeping has not only kept New England from falling out of the race but right near the top of the Eastern Conference table.
2. William Hesmer, Columbus.
3. Jon Busch, Chicago.

Defender of the Year

1. Bakary Soumare, Chicago. The Fire's defense is twice as good as any other defense in the league. Through June 1, Chicago has allowed six goals. The next-closest teams (Columbus, Colorado, Toronto, New York) have allowed 12. Also, the Fire has a whopping plus-13 goal differential. Soumare has been a key part of that success. Soumare has been a monster in the back for Chicago and gives the Fire a strong and talented piece to build a defense around.
2. Chad Marshall, Columbus.
3. Michael Parkhurst, New England.

Rookie of the Year

1. Kheli Dube, New England. Who says the Supplemental Draft is rubbish? Dube was the eighth overall pick of the Supplemental Draft and New England appears to have gotten a diamond in the rough. The Zimbabwe born Dube has netted three goals - two of them have been match-winners while the third helped the Revs earn a draw.
2. Justin Braun, Chivas USA.
3. Sean Franklin, LA Galaxy.

Newcomer of the Year

1. Tom McManus, Colorado. Though not anywhere near the name status of several other incoming internationals, McManus has nonetheless captivated the hearts of the Colorado faithful. With inspired play, a knack for finishing and a flair for the dramatic, McManus has given the Rapids some much-needed passion.
2. Laurent Robert, Toronto FC
3. Claudio Lopez, Kansas City


RONNYdOiCH said...

I agree with most, except the MVP and Rookie of the year section.

Id have and im sure most sports writers have LANDO a top of that list.

Id also have B. McDonald in the top 3 for Rookie of the year.

Daniel A. said...

No LD for MVP? I think he is the top choice over Blanco.

Anonymous said...

How can you not include landon on the MVP lost? Thats crazy, he is dominating the league and helping the galaxy out of its dulldrums. Thats just crazy

soyjimador said...

can sueno be considered a rookie this year? find this kid an award!

Dan Haug said...

I agree with tho other folks above... No Landon Donovan? :o

This may be more common than one might think, though. The collateral Beckham effect :)

L.B. said...

Sueno would be the runaway winner but he's not a rookie.

As for Landon, well, I can't say I didn't expect people to chime in. You've got to look past the statistics and see who has the most value and that's Beckham. Becks makes everyone around him better, including Landon. I don't think you can say that about Landon because I don't think Landon makes Beckham better.

A.C. said...

Landon has as many assists this season as Beckham - if assists are part of the measurement of making other players better, he's right up there with Becks - and a lot of Landon's goals aren't from Beckham's assists.

A.C. said...

To be more specific, Landon has six assists this season, while Beckham has five. Becks has assisted on three of Landon's nine goals, while LD has assisted on two of Beckham's four goals.

papa bear said...

as great as Baky's been, Segares has been a BEAST at fullback. He deserves consideration for defender of the year as well. He's been simply superb.

I hope Sueno doesn't fall into 'the most likely American born player to be snatched up by El Tri yet again' award winner category. He should be called into the next youth international camp without a second's hesitation. He's been simply superb this season.

Anonymous said...

typical lb, once again putting the goats above the galaxy.

Franklin hands down will win the ROY award. You are crazy to think otherwise. Without him, they would be giving up probably double the amount of goals already.

L.B. said...

yeah, that's typical lb there, rating a chivas player higher than a Galaxy player.

Nevermind that I have two Galaxy players and their coach rated but only have one Chivas player among any of these categories. just focus on Braun/Franklin there.

Anonymous said...

Exactly my dear Andrea, So why is Landon not a top of your list i ask? Hell not even on the top 3..??

L.B. said...

That's my list, LB's list. I don't think Andrea has made a list, top three or otherwise, but it sounds like LD would be at or near the top of her MVP list.

el rey said...

You need to remove Parkhurst from that list and add Segares. Parkhurst is a good defender and all but he has cost his team a few goals on some bad plays. See Chicago Vs. New Engalnd. Gonzalo has been solid all year and has made opposing attackers non factors when they face the Fire. I can't think of a single bad game he has had this year.

Anonymous said...

Yup, You're right.
I missed the "Posted by L.B." part.

I thought this was A.C's list.

Anonymous said...

In terms of team impact, TFC's John Carver has to make the coaching list. Virtually all the players brought in by Mo Johnston recently had some connection to Carver. The players and fans love him. The recent form shows his system is working. What more can you say?

A.C. said...

I don't make many lists. Luis is more analytical than I am.

L.B. said...

Last anon, you're right. i should have given a nod to John Carver. He's done many good things there and really has Toronto in a position to compete for a playoff spot, and who would have mentioned Toronto and playoffs in the same sentence at the start of the season? Not I.

if Toronto makes it to the playoffs, expect a lot of votes for Carver.

Anonymous said...

I am astonished that LD is not on the list, but I understand the inability to separate him from Beckham. They go together and both belong at the top, in my book.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

l.b., you should be commended. This is one of the most intelligent, well-thought lists I've seen. Good on ya, as my late pastor would have said!

Regarding Donovan, gentle readers, let's wait awhile to see whether his scoring binge is just an early-season phenomenon or a harbinger of things to come. Remember, he has had the reputation of being inconsistent (and I'm not one of the haters who contantly bags on him; I have other targets -- as regular readers well know, ;D)

Regarding l.b.'s "tendency" to "favor" Chivas USA over the Galaxy, remember that, until recently, Chivas USA's injuries haven't given anyone outside of Flores a chance to excel.

Anonymous said...

As far as Landon vs. Becks - Andrea has the best argument. Landon has more assists than Becks and percentage-wise he's assisted more for Beckham's goals than Beckham has on Landon's goals.

Also, whoever said let's wait and see if Landon is consistently good for the rest of the year - this poll isn't about the rest of the year; it's about the here and now. And as of right now, LD would have to be at the top of the list, in my most humble opinion. :)

Anonymous said...

Yes but MLS has this practice of giving two assists for a goal so for example when Beckham assisted Buddle for the final goal against FC Dallas Donovan was credited for an assist but Beckham was the one who served in a perfect ball. On the other hand with todays goal by Pires against Colorado or Becks cross that led to LD's penalty kick goal against KC Wizards - there is no assist credited. Beckham creates more scoring opportunites and does more to create space for other players - when he plays than anyone. Don't just quote mindless stats watch the games. Beckham is MVP for LA no ifs no buts no maybes. LB is right.