‘Because The Yanks Are Coming Awards

Whose in line for an award?

Our friends over at The Yanks Are Coming did such a good job coming up with annual awards that we wanted to….steal them and make them our own. Maybe a little….we just wanted a ballot…and we got one.

Here’s how the TSG corporate ballot looks:

Oh and go vote right here for the same awards

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1. JEFF AGOOS/CLINT MATHIS AWARD (Best Hairstyle)

Pia

I'm going to level with you...the only reason I put the photo at the top of this post is so that this one wasn't the first one people would see....

» Apologies to both Oguchi Onyewu and Heath Pearce, who both decided to make a statement with the hair styles on their face Heath Pearce with a Magnum P.I. stache and Oguchi Onyewu with the Kimbo Slice.

This award goes to USWNT coach Pia Sundhage who’s got so much audacity–and rightfully so–as the women’s team leader that she sports the faux hawk with a semi-smile.

2. FREE FREDDY DARKO ADU MARINOVICH AWARD (Biggest Bust/Most Disappointing US Soccer Player)

» Sacha Kljestan–you knew this was coming. Perhaps the most skilled, from-the-run-of-play, vertical attacker on the States. (Landon dangerous on the counter, Deuce better at hold-up juking).

You wouldn’t know it though

The man had an MLS commercial and some bravado after a relatively ho-hum goal against El Salvador. Currently he’s a cog at Anderlecht. It’s getting on in his career too.

3. BRIAN CHING AWARD (Hardest Working Man ((or woman)) in US Soccer)

» Like father, like son. Only the father takes this one.

While you may not agree with his formations or line-ups, there is no question that Bob Bradley‘s tireless in preparation. From calling Herculez to the touchline to sub in the England game (to prepare him for following games) to having a novice team ready to go with the correct motivation “fun” in South Africa in November, Bradley’s prepared.

Eagle Scout-prepared through hard work.

4. JON LEVY LIGHTNING CUP AWARD (US Soccer Player Most Likely to Induce Alcohol Driven Rage/Joy/Anger in the Same 90 Minutes)

» Jozy, Jozy, Jozy….it’s like watching your kid finally being able to pick up things with their hands…only to find that they now know how to throw and break things too.

5. TONY ROMO AWARD (Most Overrated American Soccer Player– this is NOT necessarily the most disappointing– just the most overrated)

» Sorry buddy, you’re a good player and all, just WAY OVERHYPED amongst die hards. Jose Torres, a good reliever and good sub, not a starter against Slovenia and likely will have a challenge making the 18 going forward.

6. CLAUDIO REYNA TECHNICAL TROPHY (Most Improved American Soccer Player)

» This was a tough one for me to cast my vote on. It’s often hard to cast this vote unless the player is in MLS as you have to watch their maturation game in and game out to get enough observations.

That said, we won’t duck it. Eddie Gaven? Not quite. Alejandro Bedoya? He’s yet to seize a game by the throat.

Is it really Michael Bradley? No I just don’t feel that answer.

Herculez Gomez? Now we’re getting very close…but I think that was more a manner of being healthy and a position switch.

Your answer here is Clarence Goodson. He may not be the starter come 2014–and likely won’t be–but he went from Gold Cup 4th stringer to World Cup roster in the past year (and probably should have started a game in South Africa too)

Easiest answer...

 

7. TONY MEOLA RYAN MILLER MEMORIAL TROPHY (Best American Goalkeeper)

» Duh. Brad Friedel has tired, Guzan’s looks tantalizing, but hasn’t been given the chance behind Friedel.

Honorable mention to Robbie Findley, who keeps the ball out of the net….just it’s the wrong one. That comment was a lay-up.

8. PAUL CALIGIURI AWARD (Best Goal Scored By An American Soccer Player, for club or country)

» Wow, since the topic here is “Best” goal scored, I’m ruling out the Algeria goal. Since I make up my own rules here at TSG, I’m going with a tie between Clint Dempsey’s technically flawless strike in the Europa Cup run against Juventus and Landon Donovan’s cleaning-the-gutter face buzzer against Slovenia.

Okay, I feel better now.

9. THE AMERICAN MARADONA AWARD (Best US Player Under the Age of 23)

» Hey The Yanks Are Coming people, can’t you give us a list of these players so I don’t have to age check. C’mon guys!

Okay, I’ll pile the hype on. Eric Lichaj‘s end-of-year portfolio  is the best Yanks flank minder since Tony Sanneh put in yoeman work at the 2002 World Cup.

Jozy Altidore is at a top La Liga spot and already has “World Cup Starter” affixed to his resume.

Two I’ve left out might merit consideration down the road: Juan Agudelo (he will be a star), Mix Diskerrud (should be a star and play wide for the Yanks).

However, because you made it 23 and not 22, there is no question that everyone’s favorite player from New Jersey, Giuseppi Rossi is, currently, the American Maradona.

Update: Misread the question. I’ll go with Lichaj, except when he plays Manchester City.

10. DEREK ZOOLANDER AWARD (Most Really, Really, Really Good Looking US Soccer Player)

» Um, okay, where do I go with this one. Should I go body part by body part.

I’ll cop out and take the USWNT as a whole…we all know there are some real lookers over there.

11. THE BRIAN McBRIDE MEMORIAL TROPHY (Most Outstanding American Soccer Player of the Year).

» Supremely tough decision here. Cutting to the chase, Clint Dempsey helped lead his team to the Europa Cup final AND was neck-and-neck with Landon Donovan for the best performance in South Africa.

In the final game of that World Cup, Dempsey rose to the occasion, earning the penalty that allowed Landon to knock home the temporarily-tying goal against Ghana.

If Dempsey is my winner, Donovan is right there next to him.

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16 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Thomas Moll-Rocek on 2010/12/30 at 12:12 PM

    How could you overlook Stu Holden’s brilliant midfield performances for Bolton? As far as I can see, he is the most consistent and best-performing American outfield player in one of the world’s top 2 leagues.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Paul on 2010/12/30 at 2:12 PM

    Nice call on #6–Goodsen is well qualified for the award.

    As one of those who seemingly overhype Jose Torres, a talented player who has, until recently, started and played well for his club squad, a strong squad in a fairly strong league, I’ll suggest Kljestan as a better honorary of the Tony Romo award.

    Thought Charlie Davies was a clear winner for the Brian Ching award. Plus, all of Davies’s hard work didn’t put Robbie Findley on the pitch in South Africa.

    Another fight will break out over the winner of #11. The US fan base can be divided amongst the Lando and Deuce fans. For international play, actual goals–goals that saved the US during the Cup–count more than posts hit or potential goals or chances missed. Lando’s club experience in LA and at Everton, while perhaps not as spectacular as Deuce’s efforts at Fulham, are close enough to make him outstanding player of the year.

    But: If Donovan is my winner, Dempsey is right there next to him. Glad to see such outstanding players playing for the Yanks.

    Though we are leaving the ladies out of this conversation for player of the year…

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2010/12/30 at 4:21 PM

      I think Torres is a good player, but I think there’s a bit of stereotyping going on: a lot of USMNT fans/commentators assume that because Torres is a) diminutive and b) Latin he must be c) a #10. And Torres isn’t that–he’s a linking midfielder who needs to get his speed of thought quicker in order to contribute against top-caliber sides whether for club or country. And even then he needs to be in a three man central midfield with some steel behind him and some creativity ahead of him.

      Reply

    • Posted by Russell on 2010/12/30 at 11:50 PM

      I agree completely with your assessment. Torres is not a #10 and not a tackler.. he’s a rythm and possession player. The hype comes from people’s desire to have and always look for a #10 and because he has skill sets our other MFs don’t possess. He is hyped, but really I think it’s a misunderstanding.

      As well, part of the problem is Bradley is direct and gritty and basically an opposite. The result is not a good combo..and since (not judging) all Mid combos thus far have included Bradley -Torres is not set up to succeed.

      Lately, I’ve been thinking about a Holden / Torres mid combo with Jones behind them, Landon/Demps on the wings and Altidore up top. 4-1-4-1 Hear me out.. Both often play deep and both link up & maintain possession very well. Together they could control tempo.

      Plus Holden makes runs. Jones is the muscle, Landon is the speed. Dempsey cheats forward and heads the ball real well. Altidore keeps the center backs occupied.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Allan Lindh on 2010/12/30 at 6:37 PM

    Clearly there should be one more award, the Tab Ramos “best soccer player award” and that goes hands down to Stuart Holden, who can just flat play the game. He’s small, not fast, not athletic, just does it with brains, vision, work rate, courage and an artful right foot. And most important, he is one of those rare players who will accept the responsibility to make the crucial tackle, take the critical shot. Just watch him any week with Bolton if you don’t believe me.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Tux on 2010/12/31 at 12:05 AM

    Is anyone else unable to post their comments on TYAC? I’ll fill it out, hit “Post Comment”, and nothing shows up. I’ve tried to vote twice now and it’s just not working out for me.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Mark F on 2010/12/31 at 7:13 AM

    Best hairstyle….Clearly Stu Holden, you cant mess with the hawk thing hes got going lol

    Reply

  6. Posted by Chas on 2010/12/31 at 12:56 PM

    Disagree with you on Kljestan. Anderlecht is doing very well this season and he’s become a regular starter after sitting on the bench early in their season. That says a lot about his ability and work rate. No player in their starting line-up is a “cog.”

    The biggest disappoinment this year was Gooch. He did not play well in the World Cup, and hasn’t really played much afterwards. He needs to leave AC Milan.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Allan Lindh on 2010/12/31 at 1:49 PM

    Gooch has never fully recovered from his knee injury, moves like a wooden post, and when you’re that big a center back, loss of mobility cuts the heart out of your game. But sometimes bad knees take two full years, and he might still come back. Let’s hope so. Let’s face it, unbelievable as it seems, US now has midfielders — but world class center backs and forwards who can score are still lacking.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/12/31 at 2:45 PM

    What about an award for the best player that never plays?

    Reply

  9. […] The Shin Guardian were gracious enough to post their winners—you can read their wonderful piece here—but we felt it mostly pointless to create those awards if we couldn’t at least finally name our […]

    Reply

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