Sunday, May 9, 2021

The No Doubters

It's terribly obvious to put these two monster campaigns together in their own exclusive grouping, so let's just do that. If only all AAotY decisions were so easy...

12/13 Jozy Altidore

Yeah, Clint Dempsey was pretty good. Hérculez Gómez, Brad Guzan, Jermaine Jones and Michael Parkhurst each had excellent impact in varied contexts. And then there was Altidore, who became the first American named to an Eredivisie Team of the Season and scored the KNVB Cup winner in his final game for the club. He hit for an American Abroad record of 31 goals across all competitions, giving him consecutive terms with 20 or more. The US striker was both powerful and artful, as we'd always hoped he'd be.

11/12 Clint Dempsey

It was a thing of beauty, that season. Guys like Jermaine Jones, Oguchi Onyewu, Gómez and Parkhurst fared quite well, but no one was even close to Deuce. He scored again and again. With both feet and his head and even abs. With grit, with style, with power. Free kicks, a hat trick, the ridicuous and the simple. Dempsey finished with 17 of his 23 goals and seven of his eight helpers in EPL play. Some media members clamored for him to be in the Team of the Season. He wasn't, but did earn a Fulham Player of the Season repeat.

- Greg Seltzer

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