Friday, November 18, 2011

DeRo it is

A deserving award for the second-half goal machine. And it's a fascinating case this year, probably the strangest MVP we've ever had.

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What's interesting is how DeRo was discarded not once but twice, first by hometown TFC and then by New York, who really needed Frank Rost (epic eye roll here) in that DP spot. DC picked up the spoils from a guy who had 13 goals and seven assists in 18 games in the nation's capital and became the first MLS MVP not to play in the postseason that year. He also scored goals or assisted goals against TFC, New York and San Jose. So take that.

Few qualms with the pick. Brad Davis is clearly better from dead ball situations but isn't nearly as well-rounded, and Brek Shea has all the physical tools but was flighty at times and had a tendency to let the game dictate his pace instead of the other way around. Plus, DeRo had two hat tricks in the last three months of the season. Just plain batty. Oh, and here was my short list. I'm not shying away from these swing-and-misses, y'know.

Thierry Henry, New York
In the running: Brek Shea, Landon Donovan, Osvaldo Alonso
Notes: This revives the age old "team vs. player" debate. Alonso and Shea have both done it with less talented teams (arguably), but only a fool can ignore Henry's far-reaching impact. I can make a pretty convincing case that Henry is the best player in the history of the league, let alone the player of the year, but MVP thus far will do. Nobody commands more attention from defenses, and yet nobody shreds them with such ferocity. The only knock is New York's league position, which does need some work. But Henry can only do so much, and few can argue that he's done more than anybody else in the league to earn it through July. We'll see where we are two months from now.

- Will Parchman

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