SBI MLS Mid-Season Newcomer of the Year: Michel

MichelFCDallasvsChivasUSA (FCDallas)

By IVES GALARCEP

MLS teams live and die on the success of their international acquisitions, and one team that has seen the immediate benefits of smart pick-ups is FC Dallas, which added two of the best newcomers of the 2013 season.

While Raul Fernandez has certainly played a major role in FC Dallas’ success in the first half of the season, the biggest difference maker for FCD this year has been Michel, who has stepped in and solidified the midfield while establishing himself as the most dangerous set-piece taker in the league. For those reasons, Michel is the SBI MLS Mid-Season Newcomer of the Year.

The Brazilian joined FC Dallas last winter, and had been expected to contribute as a defender, but once he settled into a defensive midfield role, he was key in the outstanding start to the season for FC Dallas. He has recorded a goal and five assists, but has also provided a steady stream of dangerous free kicks while also stabilizing the FC Dallas midfield, and helping the Dallas defense when injuries have struck.

Michel is just one of several outstanding newcomers in MLS this year. Here is a rundown of our Top Five so far this season, and our Best XI of MLS Newcomers:

SBI MID-SEASON NEWCOMERS OF THE YEAR

1. MICHEL GARBINI

Deadly on set pieces, poised in midfield, Michel has been FC Dallas’ most important player this season.

2. JOSE GONCALVES

Arguably the best defender in the league through the first half of the season, he has been instrumental in turning New England from a defensive laughing stock to one of the best back-lines in MLS.

3. CLINT IRWIN

Not a foreign signing, but the free agent pick-up from the American lower divisions stepped in for the injured Matt Pickens and turned in a steady run of strong performances to help keep the Rapids in the playoff race amid a myriad of injuries.

4. CLAUDIO BIELER

Sporting KC were looking for a goal scorer when they signed Bieler, and he has been just that, scoring eight goals for Sporting KC, leading all MLS newcomers in goals with eight.

5. RAUL FERNANDEZ

The acrobatic FC Dallas goalkeeper endured some tough going early in the season, but once he settled down he emerged as one of the best goalkeepers in MLS.

———-

NEWCOMER MID-SEASON BEST XI

(Note, rookies do qualify as Newcomers for the purposes of this Best XI)

-Robert Earnshaw–Claudio Bieler——Olmes Garcia–

————————Diego Valeri————————–

—————-Michel————-Nigel Reo-Coker——–

Chris Klute———————————-Andrew Farrell

———–Jose Goncalves——–Djimi Traore————-

—————————Clint Irwin————————–

———-

Who gets your vote for MLS Mid-Season Newcomer of the Year? Cast your vote here:

  • Michel
  • Jose Goncalves
  • Claudio Bieler
  • Clint Irwin
  • Diego Valeri
  • Olmes Garcia
  • Djimi Traore
  • Nigel Reo-Coker
  • Rober Earnshaw

 

——-

Who did you vote for? Which newcomer has surprised you the most?

Share your thoughts below.

 

This entry was posted in Featured, MLS- FC Dallas, SBI MLS Awards. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to SBI MLS Mid-Season Newcomer of the Year: Michel

  1. Judging Amy says:

    Clint Irwin, and it’s not even close.

  2. wager says:

    Not making this must have been the last straw for Juninho.

  3. Chodilicus says:

    While he hasn’t had as many starts and opportunities as the other players on the list, Olmes Garcia is and will be the best player of all of them. He is already one of the most well rounded forwards in MLS with all the tools to be a true star. RSL is well stocked at Forward, but Garcia’s strike rate per 90 minutes as well as his skills at creating opportunities are amazing for a 20 year old newcomer.

    Michel has been solid for sure and has a nice left foot. However, I don’t think he is nearly as dynamic or skilled as Garcia. I don’t think his production has been as good either. However, because he has played so many more minutes, I can understand that his impact in the first half has been more dramatic. Same can be said for Irwin and Fernandez.

    I know RSL has not been on national TV much. For MLS fans that have not seen Garcia play, try and make time. He is a special young player.

    • Zac Mac says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more. Olmes Garica is a future star. RSL are so lucky to have him right now. Great work by Andy Williams and the RSL FO to pluck him out of obscurity in Columbia before someone else did.

  4. Eric W says:

    Goncalves has been INcredible for the Revs. Of course, as a fan I’m excited that we finally learned how to protect our end of the field. But I’ve also gotta say that I think Goncalves is just a great centerback, he’s got tons of poise, and is a joy to watch. Glad he’s on my team!