The Vancouver Whitecaps recently released the winners of their 2013 Team Awards, with Camilo bringing home most of the hardware. Well, the eightysixforever team never passes up an opportunity to critique someone else's opinion, so we've put together our picks for the two main awards; The BMO Player of the Year award, and the Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero award. The team Golden Boot has already been won, and no one is going to question the Humanitarian award going to Jordan Harvey.
If you think we're complete idiots, make sure to tell us your picks in the comments section.
THE BMO PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The Whitecaps picked... CAMILO SANVEZZO
Jon Szekeres picks... NIGEL REO-COKER
Rob Scott picks... CAMILO SANVEZZO
Mark Dailey picks... CAMILO SANVEZZO
Rituro picks... NIGEL REO-COKER
While no one was going to take this award away from Camilo, I still believe that this team achieved what they did (or didn't) because of what Nigel Reo-Coker brought to this club. He played with an edge, yet managed to toe the line and be on his best behavior all season long. (Okay, well maybe not all season)
Beyond that, it was Reo-Coker and his charging runs that shaped this offence; is it a coincidence that Kenny Miller, Russell Teibert and Camilo all put up career high MLS numbers when Nigel Reo-Coker joined the club? Camilo's goal total is impressive, but Reo-Coker was the pulse of this team all season long.
Well, the guy's scored almost 40% of the team's goals, and is a danger during open play, on FKs, and from the penalty spot. He's definitely Vancouver's PoY. His side-volley marker in his two-goal performance against Portland was almost enough by itself to secure the title.
I don't think there can be any argument that Camilo was chosen as the 2013 BMO Player of the Year. Camilo's nineteen goals has led the way for the Whitecaps and helped propel the team to it's highest number of goals scored in an MLS season (we're currently sitting on fifty goals for the year).
While we're lamenting missing the playoffs by just a scant few points if Camilo didn't produce in the way that he has the Caps would have been eliminated from the playoffs ages ago.
It's hard to look at Camilo's body of work and not immediately put him in the conversation for team MVP. When you put up 19 goals, including some absolute beauties, you're clearly a valuable contributor to the team - perhaps even the most valuable.
The crazy part, if you can believe it, is that Camilo likely still has room to grow. This may not be the last time we see Camilo challenging for the league scoring lead.
That being said, my choice is Nigel Reo-Coker. I stand by what I said in our last round-table: Camilo doesn't get those opportunities without a solid supporting cast. If Reo-Coker isn't bossing the midfield, where do those opportunities come from?
THE JOCK MACDONALD UNSUNG HERO AWARD
The Vancouver Whitecaps picked... CARLYLE MITCHELL
Jon Szekeres picks... JUN MARQUES-DAVIDSON
Rob Scott picks... CARLYLE MITCHELL
Mark Dailey picks... CARLYLE MITCHELL
Rituro picks... JOHNNY LEVERON
I may not be a fan of the playing style of Jun-Marques Davidson, but no one fits the description better. Davidson was ripped apart by fans and media all season long for his 'defense first' approach, and yet Martin Rennie liked what he saw enough to trot Davidson out there more often than not. Despite playing a simplistic, almost backwards game, Davidson started 24 matches, and appeared in 26. (By the way, that bumps him up to 50 MLS matches played in the last two seasons) The furthest thing from a fan favorite, Davidson brought no flair to his game, but enough defensive responsibility to warrant substantial playing time. That sounds pretty 'unsung' to me.
Probably a good choice there. The guy's sent off to NASL to start the year, get recalled almost immediately, and - for the most part - fills in admirably in Jay DeMerit's protracted absence. Let's just all forget the last match in Colorado for now.
Jordan Harvey might have been in the running for his opportune scoring, but too many defensive lapses rule him out. Jun Marques Davidson might have been in the running, except for one headstrong moment against Philadelphia.
No disrespect intended toward Carlyle here, but this one surprised me a little bit. I would probably have gone for Reo-Coker personally, but I suppose Nigel's presence on-and-off the pitch makes him a lot more visible than Mitchell.
Mitchell has been on loan and then came back to Vancouver to start thirteen of fifteen matches and has played well quietly doing his job. As the injuries mounted at the centreback position this year I was worried that the further down the depth chart we had to go the worse it might get, but Mitchell's solid work on the backline soon put my worries to rest.
Look, I like what I've seen from Carlyle in his appearances and I think he's finally developed into a depth defender that the 'Caps will get use out of. The problem is that we've only seen a small body of work from at the first team level and it's been what you'd expect from a young player: inconsistent. I have no doubts he'll get better but I wouldn't put the label "hero" around Mitchell's shoulders, unsung or otherwise.
You could make the argument that Johnny Leverón's body of work isn't that much deeper than Mitchell's and you may have a point. That said, Leverón still had (and still has) a presence on the field that exudes calm with the skill to back it up. When it comes to "unsung heroes", Leverón is the first player I think of. (Incidentally, Jun Marques Davidson is the second.)
What do you think? Let us know!