Friday, July 2, 2021

Back on the AAoty train...

As promised, I have two new names to add to the winners' list as we dive mullet-first into the '80's.

89/90 Peter Vermes

It would have been very easy to go with Dooley, who was solid for DfB-Pokal champs Kaiserslautern. In the end, I had to go with Vermes, who was outstanding for Volendam (a cool little fishing village to check out if you visit Amsterdam, by the way). He played all over the field for one the best team defenses in the Eredivisie, helping the club to its best top flight finish ever. Vermes & Co. even managed to go unbeaten against Ajax, PSV and the Cockroaches (1-0-5 with three clean sheets!). Despite getting most of his minutes at the back, he even added four goals (and became the first American to score at De Kuip, which earns bonus points in my book).

I could not find a any sort of indivudal highlight clip or even a goal clip from this season, so we'll settle for the match highlights from Volendam's victory over F-word. Vermes, who is sporting #10 and playing midfield in this one, has a hand in setting up their insurance tally.

88/89 Roy Wegerle

Once again, Dooley was in the reckoning, as was Paul Caligiuri. But Wegerle takes his second AAotY by leading Luton Town to safety. After coming over from Chelsea in the offseason, the forward was the club's co-leading scorer with 12 goals, a total that landed him just out the First Division top 10.

There are a handful of videos with terrific Wegerle finishes from this season (links = clips, do check 'em out), but I'll embed his rescue double against then-first place Norwich because, well, two is better than one.

87/88 Thomas Dooley

Caligiuri was a solid runner-up choice, but finally, Dooley takes the prize. It certainly wasn't his best season (or even in the top four, really), but this time around he was tops among Americans. Caligiuri was probably more impactful for his club, but he played a flight below the Bundesliga, where Dooley toiled and toiled to try and save Homburg from relegation. It didn't work, but that wasn't for a lack of strong effort. He more than deserves to shed the groomsman tag here.

- Greg Seltzer

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