Well, MLS has decided who the finalists are for the 2008 MVP award. If you’ll recall, I speculated on who might get nominated way back here. It looks liks I was pretty close, yet a comparison between my picks and the MLS’s reveals a few surprising snubs.
For MVP, Blanco, Donovan and Schelotto got the nods. Schelotto is a virtual lock to win this award after his mesmerizing play all season. His 19 assists, poised leadership and selfless attitude easily made him the most important player to his team, which just happened to turn out to be the best in the league.
Donovan makes sense as a second place finisher, at least statistically. Plus, it’s nice to see him get some recognition as he is likely leaving the league for awhile. I hope he succeeds abroad. Wherever he ends up, I know the team will have to be more competitive than the Galaxy.
Blanco is the big head scratcher here. Sure, he played great early in the season, but he seemed to lose interest as the season went on. He is definitely not going to win this award.
So who was snubbed?
Kenny Cooper for one. He almost got the former Burn to the postseason single-handedly with his gritty determination. He fell short though, and so did his MVP chances (though apparently not Donovan’s). Jaime Moreno and Darren Huckerby suffered the same fate.
Sasha Kljestan was important to the Goats, but his statistics didn’t reflect the fact they couldn’t win without him. He set up a lot of other people when he played though, that’s for sure, he just didn’t put up any gaudy numbers of his own. The problem was that the Olympics and Nats kept him off the MLS radar for too long. He’ll likely leave MLS this offseason for greener pastures. While I will miss seeing him tear up MLS, I wish him luck.
Steve Ralston was a good contender for the award too. Well, until he broke his leg, that is. The old man had a great year and there is no doubting his importance to the Revs. I think they may be eliminated this week against CHI, and if so, it will be a further testament to his significance to Nicol’s squad. I hope he makes it back soon.
Javier Morales, Juan Pablo Angel and Brian Ching all also had great years, but I think MLS felt like they would likely be stars in this league for more years to come and decided to set them up to compete for the award next year. Ditto Jon Busch, who I think was most ignorantly snubbed. The man had a great year and will likely win the Goalkeeper of the Year Award, but he deserved MVP mention.
They never give it to keepers though.
Well, maybe if he had grown the ponytail.