Monday, August 16, 2021

Only at NSC

Because what other soccer scribe would put together a statistical breakdown for the "history" of an imagined "award" he pulled out of thin air? That's right, the crazy buck stops here. Before we get started on a handful of ways for portioning out all the AAotY "winners" I will note that you can always shoot down to the bottom of the post to reference a full year-by-year rundown of my honorary picks for this surely soon-to-be seminal prize.

I'd also like to officially express my surprise that Brian McBride and Earnie Stewart each only picked up one AAotY. This is what happens when all your best seasons have a lot of stiff competition. As for the guys who won the most, it's a regular usual suspects list. And a certain Chelsea man is poised to become the all-time leader for AAotY trophies hanging around the back of some closet.

3 - Dempsey, Dooley, Friedel, Keller, Pulisic
2 - Wegerle, Wynalda

That all out of the way, let's begin cutting it all up. Just to clarify, none of the "veteran's committee" honorees are including in these counts. We'll start with a simple and obvious category: Which leagues can boast the most AAotY winners? I can't imagine the tally will be much of a shock. As for the utter lack of Liga MX-based winners, well, I'll just repeat the thing above regarding excellent seasons being topped by great seasons (just imagine I actually repeated it instead of rephrasing it).

13 English Premier League
8   Bundesliga
5   Eredivisie
2   Serie A
     Jupiler League (Belgium)
     2. Bundesliga
1   English Championship
     Scottish Premiership
     Segunda División (Spain)
     Süper Lig (Turkey)

Next, we'll hit another basic category: winners by age grouping. Again, this should all come as little surprise, although some may do a gentle double take at the fact that our next 33-or-over winner will be our first.

2   Age 20 or under
8   Age 21-23
10 Age 24-26
12 Age 27-29
4   Age 30-32
0   Age 33 or above

Next, we'll divide the winners up by position. And by position, I mean the primary one they played during the season corresponding with their award(s).

9 Winger
7 Center back
6 Striker
2 Defensive midfielder 
   Central midfielder
   Attacking midfielder
1 Fullback

Lastly, we'll break it down by where winners got their proper start (I'm not including Under-18 youth clubs here). It's all about Europe, college or MLS. Do bear in mind that the times change. And by that I mean 1) the first dozen years came before MLS started, 2) MLS academy set-ups are also relatively new, 3) we haven't had a winner who originally came out of college since Kljestan in 2014 & 4) seven of the winners listed under college also played in MLS before heading abroad.

21 College
9   Europe
6   MLS


85/86 Dooley
86/87 Dooley
87/88 Dooley
88/89 Wegerle
89/90 Vermes
90/91 Wegerle
91/92 Ramos
92/93 Wynalda
93/94 Wynalda
94/95 Lalas
95/96 Friedel
96/97 Keller
97/98 Keller
98/99 Keller
99/00 Reyna
00/01 Stewart
01/02 Friedel
02/03 Friedel
03/04 Howard
04/05 Beasley
05/06 DeMerit
06/07 McBride
07/08 Bradley
08/09 Onyewu
09/10 Dempsey
10/11 Dempsey
11/12 Dempsey
12/13 Altidore
13/14 Kljestan
14/15 Brooks
15/16 F. Johnson
16/17 Pulisic
17/18 Pulisic
18/19 Adams
19/20 Pulisic
20/21 McKennie

- Greg Seltzer

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