There's one very obvious choice here, but it was a tough choice for the others, on both sides, for different reasons. Lots of deserving Women, and no real stand out candidates for the men. Anyway, without further ado, here's out choices, feel free to mock/judge and add your own winners in the comments section.
1 - Christine Sinclair - Simply put she is going to be the favourite to win this award every single year that she plays and rightly so. She continues to score the majority of Canada's goals and when the stakes are at their biggest she is normally the one who steps up and leads the way. Without her Canada is just some also ran and her value was never more evident than it was against the US as she almost single-handedly willed Canada to victory in that one.
2 - Desiree Scott - Her arrival as a key part of the team is probably the biggest change that we have seen during the Herdman era. She was a bit part player under Morace who seemed afraid of the spotlight but she broke out in 2012 becoming a rock in the middle of the park and one of the better personalities on the team. I honestly feel that without her work in the middle of the park Canada gets knocked out of the Olympics early.
3 - Diana Matheson - She has to be on my ballot because of that one goal. Without her being on the right spot to pot the winner against France who knows how that game may have ended. For that she will go down as a Canadian hero in my books but she also had a solid year and her return from injury was a big boost to the team in 2012.
1 - Christine Sinclair - She's Canada's best player, she had a historically great year, and a career defining game right when it mattered most. Impossible not to give it to her again.
2 - Desiree Scott - Was the breakout star of the qualifying tournament and carried that form into the Olympics. Massively important to the team.
3 - Melissa Tancredi - Tough not to go with Matheson or Moscato, but Tancredi had a fantastic Olympics. Scored plenty of goals and was such a physical presence in the semi final.
1 - Christine Sinclair - is there any doubt here? Hero, queen, prime minister. The talisman of the Canadian women's program.
2 - Diana Matheson - The Coventry hero. A monster of a player, and with enough grit to fill a beach. Copacabana Beach.
3 - Rhian Wilkinson - perhaps the biggest unsung hero of the team, doesn't get top billing but in midfield, a beast.
1 - Christine Sinclair - Does it require an explanation?
2 - Melissa Tancredi - The women wouldn't have made it as far without her tenacity and the goals that she scored.
3 - Desiree Scott - Beast mode every game
1 - Diana Matheson because I met her and she is lovely in person, also she scored that goal!
2. Christine Sinclair
3. Desiree Scott
So, if we go with 3 points for 1st, 2 for 2nd and 1 for 3rd, Here's how that shakes out
Matheson: 6 (Most first places votes to win the tiebreak with Scott)
1 - Atiba Hutchinson - He was not fit for all of 2012 but when he was he showed his value to both PSV and the National team. He continues to be the best Canadian player in the world by a clear margin in my eyes and it showed in the fact that Canada looked noticeably better when he was playing. Without his work in the middle of the park there is probably very little chance that Canada would have even been in the group come the final round of matches this year.
2 - Patrice Bernier - Deserves credit for getting his career back on track and earning his way back into the Canada squad this season. He did not do all that much with the national team but he was arguably the MVP for the Montreal Impact this season and was one of the top MLS new comers. In a year where DeRo's MLS performance was down due to injury Bernier stepped up to lead the way for Canadians in the league.
3 - Andre Hainault - He would actually have been higher on this list if the last two months had not happened. For much of the year he was the top defender for Canada and a solid player for Houston. It is that part of the year which got him on to my ballot as he provided stability at the back for Canada throughout qualifying. He slipped in recent months though having a total disaster in Honduras and then being relegated to the bench for the Dynamo during their run to the MLS Cup final. Hopefully he can get back to where he was earlier this year in 2013.
1 - Olivier Occean - Had a good year club wise, earning promotion for his club and a transfer for himself. Did well for Canada, his absence was very noticeable in Panama and Honduras.
2 - Atiba Hutchinson - Another good year for PSV and with Canada
3 - Dwayne de Rosario - Maybe a bit of a career recognition thing, breaking the record and all that, but was doing alright with DC before his injury, and really, there's not many stand out alternatives.
1 - Atiba Hutchinson - The best of the bunch. Solid.
2 - Andre Hainault - Can't ignore what he's done in Houston. Also closest to a trophy for all Canadian MLS'ers.
3 - Will Johnson - Why was this guy not nominated? a huge mainstay for RSL, and Canada. Will be an asset for Portland in '13
1 - Atiba Hutchinson - Simply the best player for Canada this year.
2 - Patrice Bernier - Hard to ignore the year he had in Montreal.
3 - Olivier Occean
1 - Patrice Bernier
2 - Dwayne De Rosario
3 - Atiba Hutchinson
So your winners are:
De Rosario: 3