Landon Donovan has been named the Honda U.S. Player of The Year for a fifth time. Congratulations, Landycakes.
But who is Honda kidding?
We all know Donovan didn’t deserve the award this year. Who did?
Well, I’ll tell you…
Mr. Tim Howard.
Donovan received 297 points, Howard received 249 and Clint Dempsey (WTF?) received 176.
Donovan receiving the award a fifth time is pure overkill. No one else has ever received it more than twice. OK, in his defense, he did pass Wynalda to become the all-time leading MNT scorer. But, his two goals and four assists in MNT games against some inferior opponents doesn’t really trump Howard’s five shutouts in eight appearances, including some stellar play against England, Spain and Argentina. In short, Donovan didn’t really have any better a year than he typically does, while Howard emerged as the U.S.’s best player.
How did Donovan win the award if it was so clear Howard deserved it more?
Well, the voting for the award is done by 200 “journalists” and media-types who likely have not even watched a MNT game this year. They see Donovan’s name, recognize it, don’t recognize the rest, and voila, Mr. Donovan is our player of the year (again).
Oh, and how can the Gooch (who emerged as our defensive leader) not even make the top 3, while Dempsey (who scored against only our crappy qualifying opponents) finishes third?
Easy. Offensive bias. The voters obviously love the ability to score (meaningless) goals more than the ability to snuff out an opponent’s attack. That’s why guys like Donovan and Dempsey will continue to get recognition, while America’s best players, like Howard and Onyewu, will continue to be denied the honors that rightfully belong to them.
Think I’m wrong?
In the seventeen years the award has been given out, defenders have only won it four times. A keeper has only won it twice (both times it was Kasey Keller too). To make a long story short, the media (as usual) should not be bestowing awards.
Then you explain how Marisa Tomei once won an Oscar.