Friday, October 27, 2006

MLS Young Player of the Year goes to...

Climbing the Ladder has given away the BASA for Young Player of the Year, and the winner is ... Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas).

As I noted yesterday, Cooper wanted this award bad. Thankfully for Scaryice, he won it (I would hate to think what would have happened if he hadn't).

Freddy Adu (DCU) came in second, Jonathon Bornstein (Chivas) got third, Justin Mapp (Chicago) found fourth and Michael Parkhurst (NE) rounded out the top five.

Scaryice has a great take on this vote, so take a moment and give it a read.

Here is my ballot:
1- Kenny Cooper (FCD)
2- Freddy Adu (DC)
3- Michael Parkhurst (NE)

Cooper came to Dallas and suddenly gave them depth. As impressive as his time in the forward position was, it was his ability to shift to the midfield during late in the season that sealed it for me. He has a good physical presence and a wonderful perception of the game around him. Without Cooper, Dallas would have suffered the same mid season slump they went through in 2005.

I admit it, I've always been a fan of Freddy Adu, but this year he made it easy. His work in the middle and on set pieces proved DC with yet another level in their attack. Now he just needs to find the net more often then the crossbar and he would be the star MLS has always said he would be.

Last year's rookie of the year might not have had the same type of breakout season (is it even possible to do that two years in a row?), but he did provide a strong 'line in the sand' for the Revolution. Time and time again, he broke up the plays that could have easily become good shots. Had the Revs offense been more like their defense all season, DC would not have won the East.

Scaryice mentions the lack of support for players like Eddie Gaven, Eddie Johnson, Chad Marshall, and Santino Quaranta. Johnson did not have a good season at all, so no surprise there. Chad Marshall played defense on the worse team in MLS, which makes it really had to give him a nod.

I am surprised Eddie Gaven didn't get a vote. Yes, he also does his time with the worse team in MLS, but he did bring a some attacking options to his club. I know I thought about placing him on my ballot, but he just missed out. I can say much the same for Santino Quaranta. His move from DC to LA was a good one. It brought the intensity that he had been missing, however he only really showed that for part of the last half of the season, so no vote for him.

Congratulations to Kenny Cooper on wining the award.

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