Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Player Of The Year: Marvell Wynne

Two small pieces of news before we get on with the Player Of The Year discussion:

*Steve Nicol turned down the Rapids interview request. There was some talk about him being uncomfortable with the environment here, but all along I thought getting Nicol out of Boston, where he's been for 13 years, would be a long shot. The concerns about the FO environment are a convenient excuse, but if he was really interested in the job otherwise he would have at least interviewed with Plush and Bravo to find out how many of the rumors had a basis in fact.

*MLS announced he season will start on March 10th and the Rapids will open at home that day. The opponent is still to be announced but given the other teams having their home opener that week we know that it will be FSL or an Eastern Conference team other than DC.

The Rapids player of the year is Marvell Wynne. No offense to my Class VI and Pid Army brethren who picked Moor as Player of the Year and Kimura as Defender of the Year, but Wynne was better than both of them. His speed allowed him to team up with either Moor or the slower Marshall at center back which allowed him to push forward in the attack while his partner covered behind him. When needed he was also able to move back to his "natural" position on the right to cover when Koz was injured or pushed forward to midfield.

While playing Wynne made numerous plays that made me sure that he has committed a penalty, only to see on replay that he had made a perfect tackle or interception of the ball to deny a scoring opportunity. Wynne regularly made opposing strikers look stupid as they thought they had a clear run at goal only for Marvell to come flying by them and take the ball off of their foot. His speed in the attack didn't get him credited on many goals (2 assists total) but he regularly pulled defenders out of position and chased down loose balls that allowed Colorado's attack to succeed.

Reviewing my game recaps there were other strong candidates, Drew Moor, Jeff Larentowicz, and surprisingly Matt Pickens. Moor gets points for playing out of position most of the season, but loses those points since he wasn't as good in his new position at left back. Pickens started out the season on fire, but his late season gaffes (highlighted by the goal in Vancouver) really prevented him from getting the award. Ginger Ninja had a solid season but when push came to shove the fact that I think Wynne would start for almost every MLS team based on his play this year was enough to give him the edge.

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