Rookie of the Year: Dane Richards, Maurice Edu, Adam Cristman
I have to go with Richards here. It has to be between Edu and Richards, I was thinking of Michael Harrington of the Wizards before Cristman. I wouldn't be horribly upset with Edu winning, he's had a very strong rookie season. Richards has been a huge part of the Red Bulls this year, with six assists. There's very few players in the league who can keep up with him. Once he adds a bit more skill to his game, we could be looking at Cobi Jones, v.2.0.
Defender of the Year: Michael Parkhurst, Eddie Robinson, Claudio Suarez
I'm rolling with Robinson here. Houston's defense has been awesome all year, and Robinson has been a huge part of that. That said, I think Parkhurst has a higher profile and will probably win.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Brad Guzan, Pat Onstad, Matt Reis
Brad Guzan better win this one. Onstad and the Dynamo D have been strong, Reis has done his usual good job, but Guzan has made some huge saves to keep his Goats in games. For the sheer number of ridiculous saves he's made, he deserves the award. I think Houston and New England could've made do with other keepers, Chivas needed El Guzano.
Coach of the Year: Dominic Kinnear, Preki, Tom Soehn
Soehn and Kinnear have two of the stronger rosters in the league, and their teams haver performed accordingly. Preki has done the most with a lesser group of players, and thus deserves the award.
Newcomer of the Year:
Most Valuable Player: Juan Pablo Angel, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Luciano Emilio
Shouldn't the same guy win both of these awards? While Blanco has been the key to Chicago getting this far, he hasn't been here all year. Emilio has been awesome, but I think New York would be in the gutter without Angel. He deserves the award. I suppose you could give Blanco the Newcomer of the Year award because of his impact off the field, but I think that's a copout.
A few other personal awards...
Best Hair: Guy Roland-Kpene
The guy went from an awful wannabe Drogba 'do to the brightest peroxide dye job seen since Jaime Moreno in 1997. That deserves something...
Best Goal: Joseph Ngwenya
I almost wanted to go with Parkhurst's bomb against Toronto on the last day of the season, but Ngwenya's goal during a Thursday night game on ESPN2 blew my mind. Probably because of who scored it, but it was pretty awesome. I was more shocked that the didn't make all those moves, then put the ball into the upper deck. That's his usual M.O.
Biggest Disappointment: Carlos Pavon
The guy came into the league riding high after the Gold Cup, then stunk up the joint for the Gals. Adios.
Best DP Signing: Cuauhtemoc Blanco
He's revitalized the Fire single handedly, both on and off the field. For all of Angel's brilliance on the field, the Red Bulls are still mostly ignored. Beckham never got much of a chance to show what he could do for the Gals on the field, but scored big time in the league's bank accounts.
Worst DP Signing: Claudio Reyna
I know most people think it's Denilson, but I'm going with Reyna. He hasn't done much of anything for the Red Bulls, and he was supposed to be a leader. He's a solid MLS player at this point in his career, but he isn't worth the money he's being paid. Denilson's been a big bust, but he's also only been there for 8 games. Reyna has been with NY for the whole season, and their production on the field is nearly identical.
Best Game: NY v. LA, August 18
The Saturday night game on FSC easily was the most entertaining game I've seen in MLS this year. I bet the ESPN suits were breaking things over this one.