Friday, November 19, 2021

Ideal vs. Real

Yeah, I'm slightly tardy, thanks to a small elbow flare-up. And yes, I missed Ricardo Pepi taking the Young Player of the Year prize (but that was a no-brainer anyway). So let's hit up the remainder of the MLS awards with the ol' "should win/will win" routine...

Landon Donovan MLS MVP

Who should win: This will probably be unpopular, but here goes. Without Hany Mukhtar, there's a very real chance Nashville SC already has their feet up for the year instead of hosting a playoff game as the #3 seed. I mean, you did say, most valuable, right?

Who Will win: That said, I can't argue with Carles Gil winning. He was the best player - just maybe not the most valuable. After all, the Revs went 4-1-1 without him.  

Goalkeeper of the Year

Who should win: Ooh, this is a tough one. The vibe says Matt Turner. The stats say Andre Blake (by a very small margin, though). On this one, I'm going with the vibe, as Turner came up big so many times to keep the Supporters Shield rampant.

Who will win: Yeah, it'll be Turner.

Defender of the Year

Who should win: This is another seriously difficult pick, as there are frankly 4-5 guys who have a legit claim on the prize. And a few of them aren't even finalists. My initial though is Walker Zimmerman - but Nashville did more the fine in the nine games he missed. And then there's those nine games he missed, because that's a lot. And so I'm going to say Andreu Fontas, as Sporting KC would have been a mess without him this season.

Who will win:
Hmm. I'm honestly not sure. Probably Yeimar, and I wouldn't argue with that outcome, either.

Newcomer of the Year

Who should win: For my money, it has to be Ryan Gauld. A lead playmaker has been the Whitecaps' missing piece for a good while, and the Scotsman was exactly as advertised. So what if he arrived at mid-season? Vancouver lost just twice in his 18 appearances, and just once in his 13 starts.

Who will win: I think Gauld carries this one home.

Comeback Player of the Year

Who should win: There were a lot of great candidates this season, but it all comes down to Chicharito and Daniel Salloi for me. And when it comes right down to it, I'm gonna vote injury+depression over a mere form revival, regardless of how amazing it was. And Gil had already returned last season, so I don't get his inclusion here. Javier Hernandez, it is.

Who will win: Maybe flip a coin, but I think Chicharito does claim it.

Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year

Who should win: I fully understand the lure of Bruce Arena here, and it's entirely reasonable. Nevertheless, count me as in Robin Fraser's corner all the way. Everyone should love a "better than the sum of its parts" maestro as much as I do.

Who will win: Are they really going to give Arena his fourth Coach of the Year award? Yeah, probably.

- Greg Seltzer

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