Here are my choices:
Gatorade Rookie of the Year
It has to be Chivas USA's Jonathan Bornstein. The 4th round pick out of UCLA played all but two minutes for Chivas USA this season (the most amongst all field players in MLS) and ended up tied for 3rd on the team with 6 goals.
MLS Comeback Player of the Year
My heart wants to go with DC's Alecko Eskandarian, but I have to give the nod to Chris Armas of the Chicago Fire. Alecko has missed 10 games this season and Armas has been a rock in the middle of the Chicago midfield.
Panasonic Goalkeeper of the Year
Once again I'm going to have to bypass a finalist from DC and go with Matt Reis of the New England Revolution. Reis dealt with a lot mroe issues in front of him this season than Perkins had to with United. Add in all the drama in the locker room with Shalrie Joseph, Clint Dempsey, Pat Noonan, and Taylor Twellman all having issues, and it all adds up to Reis being the rock for the Revs.
MLS Coach of the Year
If you were able to take the US Open Cup into consideration, then I think you'd have to give Dave Sarachan the nod with the Chicago Fire. But, since it's an MLS award, I think you have to look at the job that Bob Bradley did in year 2 of Chivas USA's existance. Chivas USA went from 4 wins in 2005 to third place in the West. That should be enough to get Bradley the nod as the Coach of the Year.
MLS Defender of the Year
MLSNet.com is hyping DC's Bobby Boswell, but I'm going to go with Kansas City left back Jose Burciaga Jr. who was second on the team with 8 goals (that would be one more than Josh Wolff and Eddie Johnson had COMBINED for the Wizards) and was taking corners with his wicked left foot. Boswell was solid in back for DC, but I'm a sucker for stats.
Honda MLS Most Valuable Player
I have to go with DC United's Christian Gomez for MVP. Gomez was the engine that made the Supporter's Shield winning DC United go this season. Jeff Cunningham loses points because Real Salt Lake just missed out on the final Western playoff spot. Dwayne De Rosario was almost as vital to the Houston Dynamo this season, but I have to play the fan card in one category, right?
US Women's National Team roster for the 2006 Peace Queen Cup named
Surprise, surprise, Abby Wambach was one of the 20 players named to the roster. Abby is leading Team USA in scoring this year with 15 goals to date.
The roster was without any current NCAA standouts as the team will be out of the country for two weeks and the NCAA season is hitting it's peak.
Should MLS move to a single table and name the regular season leaders the league champs?
It is an interesting debate. My favorite takeaway from either article was this passage from Brian Straus' piece:
Well, having just returned from three weeks in Europe, I can assure you it is not the MLS Cup playoffs. I spent most of my time in the Czech Republic and Hungary, two nations with rich soccer traditions. Each has played in a World Cup final, and one of their national teams just dismantled the Americans in Germany. I attended five matches and saw some of the most well-known clubs in Central Europe, and I confidently can report that their soccer is a mess.
Attendances are low -- at a couple of matches the police may have outnumbered the supporters (only two of the five games featured crowds over 10,000). The facilities are in disrepair, the quality of play is shockingly poor, hooliganism remains a serious problem, marketing is almost nonexistent, and the general mood among fans in both countries was one of frustration. They also believe their soccer is inferior. In fact, the Hungarians were jealous of us.
Knowing that the powers that be are a tad bit afraid to go too Euro and won't want to give up the revenue that the playoffs provide, I doubt we'll see a radical change to MLS anytime soon.
But, it is fun to talk about.
I couldn't agree more!
Normally I couldn't care less what Mexico does with regards to the head coach of their men's national team. But, given the rumor that Jurgen Klinsmann has been offered the head coaching job by the US and Mexico, I have to fully endorse the idea of Hugo Sánchez as the next man in charge of El Tri.
Whatever needs to happen to make Klinsmann the man to replace Bruce Arena, needs to happen. So, if it means stumping for Sánchez to get the Mexican job, so be it!
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