Friday, October 26, 2012

And the award goes to...

Okay, that wasn't too bad. Took a few minutes and tabulated year long player ratings so I could dish out some yummy digital awards. Let's just make the announcements before we hit the actual numbers, shall we?

Here's your 2012 SKC Team Award Table of Glorifying Tableness

ZUEEESSSSSS. People have been calling this his breakout year given his increased role with the USMNT, but I think most SKC fans will tell you he broke out last year, and this is his standard operating level. Which is awesome.

One of the big factors in Zusi's place at the top is that, while SKCs defense has been brillient, it's largely a team effort, with a monster back line and a great keeper. The offense, on the other hand, was hit or miss all year long, but largely relied on service from Zusi, who looks likely to end up as the MLS assists leader this year with 15. He also bagged 5 goals of his own, which isn't too shabby.

Tied on defense were the Nielsen/Besler tandem. I know Collin plays it sexy, and let's face it, he is, but Besler has been a workhorse this year and every bit as effective as Collin while logging almost 300 more minutes. And though we didn't really score on long throws towards the end of the season, his canon arms played a big part in a couple early season goals and kept defenses checking another options whenever SKC wins a throw in the attacking half.

Nielsen played a great season as well, commanding and controlling the back line which gave him a much better sense of positioning in his net, which I think is his strong suit. He doesn't have the reflexes that Hartman had, but his instincts and footwork were solid and his place at the top of the all time MLS GAA average board (4,000+ minutes) is well earned. You could even take that up to 8,000+ minutes and he'd still be #1. That's really a great accomplishment for some one who was thinking about retirement 3 years ago.

Honestly, I've been really impressed with this team as a whole. I think people were worrying about depth at the start of the season, but everytime some one has gone done due to injury, illness, or earning the wrath of the Vermes bench-hammer, some one has always been there to pop in. Even more encouraging is just how young this team is. Things have already been a success in my book for 2012, and 2013 seems like it could start off very well as well.

Of course 2012 is still unfinished. Onward until dawn for the 2012 MLS Cup. It should be thrilling.

Oh, right, I forgot about numbers.

Here's numbers! I will note that in these ratings players are ranked only against other SKC players. I'll have probably "better" numbers at the end of the season when I tabulate ratings for ALL MLS players. Won't that be fun?

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