So we have recapped the season from basically every possible angle and now we are underway with the TFC Top 40 countdown but you may have been wondering where our end of season awards were. Well they are finally here and I will do my best to make sure that they are worth the wait.
Our awards ceremony will be broken down into three distinct sections. The first one will be your standard MLS awards that us three writers have all voted on. The second will be the standard TFC specific awards which were again voted on by us writers. The last section is sure to be the fun one but you will have to read on after the jump to find out what is so special about it!
So without further ado lets get thing started with our first award of the night:
1st - Mauro Rosales (Seattle Sounders): Ranked first overall by Dave and managed to feature on all three of our lists. He got himself this nod in large part due to his impressive stats that saw him as one of the leagues leaders in assists at 13. It was Rosales who stepped up for Seattle this season to ensure the team did not miss a beat without Zakuani. Some might argue that with Fredy Montero being one of 3 players to manage a combined 20 goals and assists Rosales might not even be his teams MVP.
2nd - Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo): Davis is the engine that makes the Dynamo go and it was squarely on his shoulders that they managed to make it to the playoffs. He was a work horse making 35 starts this season in the league where he managed to net 4 goals but it was his league leading 17 assists that stand out the most. Davis was Duncan's pick for the MVP as he said "he helped a mediocre team do very well".
3rd - Dwayne De Rosario (DC United): He might be even higher up this list if not for the fact that his team ended up coming just short in their playoff push. Of the top 3 though he comes with the most mixed feelings from our panel. Keaton was willing to put him in first place, I had him down in second and he did not even feature for Duncan. That probably reflects well on how most TFC fans feel about him at this point. His positive are the 16 goals and the 12 assists which are both near the top in the league but the other negative is that he played for three teams this season!
Honourable mention in this one goes to Luke Rodgers (New York Red Bull) and Sebastian Le Toux (Philadelphia Union) for picking up top 3 votes but they failed to make the list.
MLS Rookie of the Year:
1st - CJ Sapong (Sporting Kansas City): He went from being overlooked by many teams and drafted 10th overall in last years Super Draft to being our consensus number 1 pick for this award. His 5 goals and 5 assists in 35 appearances stand out among first year players this season as his solid performances helps SKC do so well this season.
2nd - Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers): He managed to get himself on all three ballots so we can safely say it is due to more than just the fact that Duncan likes his first name! Nagbe did well this season to live up to his billing as the 2nd overall pick in the Super Draft as he made 28 appearances for the club picking up 2 goals and 3 assists including a really nice goal that should be in the running for goal of the year.
3rd - AJ Soares (New England Revolution): Gets the last spot on our list thanks to being voted third place by myself and Duncan. He was one of the few bright spots for the Revs this season making 28 starts and playing the third most minutes on the team this year. He also managed to chip in one goal and is looking to be a great pick at 6th overall.
Honourable mention for Rookies goes to Ethan White (DC United) for getting the final third place vote.
MLS Coach of the Year:
1st - Bruce Arena (Los Angeles Galaxy): He gets the nod on all three of our ballots including a top vote from Duncan who thinks that he deserves the top spot because you "can't argue with all those points and shutouts". He led his team to the Supporters Shield as well as advancing in the CCL so the case is clearly there. The only real knock you can have against him is - didn't his team just do what was expected of them?
2nd - Sigi Schmid (Seattle Sounders): His Sounders were basically the only team to challenge the Galaxy this season in the West and despite coming up short he deserves a lot of credit for that. Schmid is already considered to be one of the leagues top coaches and this season will only help cement that reputation. He did so well in the league along with good runs in the US Open Cup and the CCL.
3rd - Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City): He sneaks on to the list thanks to being my first place vote. For some reason the other two went with the coaches of the top sides rather than the one who got the most out of his side. SKC were not the strongest team at all but Vermes managed to guide them to a very unexpected Eastern Conference title.
Honourable mention goes out to Robert Warzycha (Columbus Crew) and Peter Nowak (Philadelphia Union) who both just missed out on making our list.
MLS Newcomer of the Year:
1st - Mauro Rosales (Seattle Sounders): He managed to win our MVP award so it really should be no surprise that he picked up this prize as well. He got two first place votes which was enough to overcome the fact that Duncan left him off his list.
2nd - Eric Hassli (Vancouver Whitecaps): We have a Caps sighting! Hassli was clearly a fan favourite for the club and he even got a fair bit of love from us TFC fans. He managed to make in on to all three ballots and just missed out on top spot after Duncan voted him number one overall. His 10 goals were good for a team that was lacking in scoring for much of the season and some of them were of the fantastic variety. He even managed to bag himself 8 yellow cards and 3 reds this season so he was always good for some excitement.
3rd Luke Rodgers (New York Red Bulls): Got the two votes he needed to ensure that unlike the MVP list he is not on the outside looking in. Rogers was basically the one who made the energy drinks go this season and despite more goals coming from Thierry Henry he was probably more important for the team. His 9 goals and 3 assists are very solid numbers but it was also about the intangibles he offered for a team that lacked heart many times.
Honourable mention goes to Joao Plata (Toronto FC) and Faryd Mondragon (Philadelphia Union) for getting one vote a piece.
So now we move on to our second section of the night where we get to talk about Toronto FC who sadly only managed to get the one honourable mention in the MLS awards. I can guarantee they will win all of these awards though!
We have an unprecedented tie for this award!
1st - Joao Plata: Saved his best performances of the season for two of the clubs biggest games of the year. He scored and then set up the winner in the second leg replay of the Voyageurs cup final win over the Whitecaps and then went on the shred FC Dallas in the CCL group decider. He also added a good performance netting a brace in helping the Reds over come Real Esteli to move on to the group stage. His season was hampered by injuries but the highs were so spectacular that he was my first choice and made all three lists.
1st - Danny Koevermans: His goals were crucial to the second half improvement of the team. He has proven to be the first real striker that the club has ever had and is just a pure goal scorer. His ability to find the net has quickly endeared him to the fans and it got him to the top of Keaton's list and once again featured on all three.
1st - Torsten Frings: Brought in to strengthen the midfield but ended up being needed to organize the back line. It was his presence that basically helped TFC go from being a completely awful defensive team to being one that was capable of putting in solid performances. Without him TFC does not have the turn around in the league or move on in the CCL. He was Duncan's pick for the award and no surprise he got on all three lists
There are no honourable mentions here because these three made up all of our lists getting a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place vote each!
TFC Most Improved Player:
1st - Milos Kocic: He takes the award with two first place votes. For most fans this year by Kocic was basically unexpected since he was a barely used backup to Frei until his injury opened the door for Milos to take over the starting role. He grabbed it and ran with it leading the team to an improved second half record as well as being in net for all of the CCL matches.
2nd - Julian De Guzman: Made it on to two of our lists as this was his best season for the team since joining some 2 1/2 years ago. His improvement was generally all in the second half of the season and coincided with the arrival of Frings as well as the Canadian international finally getting fit. He is finally starting to live up to his value for the club and even chipped in some goals which was a pleasant surprise.
3rd - Ty Harden: What!? How in the world did he make this list you might ask. Well he got two votes and that was enough to sneak on in third place. With the presence of Frings, Harden managed to turn around his season and go from being borderline useless to seeming almost competent. Like JDG his improvement showed over the course of the season and he may have even earned himself a spot on the team next year.
TFC Rookie of the Year:
1st - Joao Plata: MLS rules for this award be damned! Plata is our consensus rookie of the year for his efforts. We all love Plata and hope he will be back for the team next season. He really was a difference maker for the team in the biggest games of the year.
2nd - Ashton Morgan: This has to have been a given for most fans as he made that left back spot his own this year. If you go by the MLS rules for rookies he would have been the winner and it would have been deservedly so. Morgan is now the first TFC academy graduate to really pin down a spot in the lineup and more impressively is the first to earn a Canadian Cap!
3rd - Matt Stinson: He was a solid player for the team whenever he was called upon. He still has a long way to go if he wants to be a regular starter for the team but he proved he has value in both the midfield and the back line. He is another academy product and will hopefully be a big part of the teams future.
TFC Goal of the Year:
This award does not have a real winner but all three of us have our own pick.
Keaton - Plata's first and TFC's second in Dallas, the pass by Johnson, the finish and the importance all add up for one sexy goal.
Duncan - Martina v Portland is the obvious best finish, but we also had some good team goals, Ryan Johnson against Philly , Koevermans against Dallas, I'll go with Tony Tchani against Columbus, a lot of passes (the clip doesn't do the buildup justice), great movement from Alan Gordon, a nice ball over the top and clinical finish. Lovely.
David - Alan Gordon against LA Galaxy is the one for me. That goal was so exciting as firstly it was a great bit of finishing from the striker. I am sure you can remember how TFC seemed set to once again lose to the LAG but then after a series of headers the ball fell to Gordon's feet and he drilled it in to the top corner. Bang! TFC stole a point in a game they normally get beaten down in, and a great celebration by Frei as well.
Now we are on to our third and final section. These are the fun awards where each of us created three special nods that you won't find anywhere else.
Best TFC players to leave and do well somewhere else this season:
3rd: Jacob Peterson ( it's a joke, I just want to slam the guy from chirping tfc on twitter, meanwhile while he's here, he's a timid as a grade 6 girl)
TFC's most unpopular players at the 90th minute party:
1st: Eddy Viator (people legit didn't know he was a player)
2nd: Leandre Griffit
TFC's most underused player:
1st: Elbekay Bouchiba
2nd: Kyle Davies
3rd: Eddy Viator
Laurent Robert Award for most disappointing player: Alen Stevanovic. A young kid good enough to get signed by Inter Milan, so clearly talented, and still young so presumably eager to prove he's worthy of a starting spot when he gets back to Italy. Yeah, not so much, seemed disinterested, repeatedly tried to do too much, never wanted to pass and involve his teammates and generally gave the impression of being above MLS. Tis Pity.
Best impression of a 9th grade boy at the prom: Matt Gold v Houston. Maicon Santos scored, he and Plata were doing one of their dances and Gold came along to try and join them, only to be waved off by Santos and have to skulk back into the throng of the other players until they were done. 'Back off Ginger, no way you're cool enough to dance with us.'
Danny Dichio award for worst acting: Terry Dunfield in that 'risk' CCL explantion video with Andy Iro.
The Worst Tweet of the Year: Could we really let this whole thing go without making reference to the good riddance tweet that Jacob Peterson sent about the city of Toronto on his way out? He left as part of one of the many trades and apparently he has a hate on for Canada. The actual tweet read as follows "...Officially moved out of Toronto.5 hr flight back west now.cya Canada.you made my affinity for America even stronger..."
Sending off of the Season: This one has to go to Mikael Yourassowsky who crushed the other three contenders to this prize for being sent off for time wasting when he was already being taken off. In the match against Portland back in March he picked up a yellow card earlier in the game but the award winning moment came when in the 84th minute the board showed he was being taken off. Silviu Petrescu was not a fan of the speed at which the defender was moving and decided to send him straight to the showers instead of to the bench. At least the Reds hung on to win that game 2-0 so we can all laugh about it.
Jim Brennan Defensive Moment of the Year: This award goes to the much maligned Andy Iro for his over excited efforts late in the home draw against Pumas UNAM. With the teams tied 1-1 and the Reds frantically defending the English centre back found the ball at his feet and decide to try and carry it out of the box. His poor control eventually led to a turnover but instead of hanging his head and giving up Iro tracked back and committed a fairly soft foul on one of his better tackles actually. It may not have been the best play of the year but it was a moment that epitomized the effort that the team put in that night as they needed to get a result.
So there we have all of the awards for the 2011 season. Feel free to agree or disagree with us on any or all of them and let us know in the comments or on twitter what you think. Has been a fun season but we will keep the fun going through the offseason!