SBI MLS Season Preview: Our pre-season picks for the 2014 MLS awards

MichaelBradleyTorontoFC1-PhiladelphiaUnion (USATodaySports)

By DAN KARELL

We’re just hours away from the start of the 2014 Major League Soccer season, and it’s time to start predicting who will win the bevy of end-of-season awards.

The writing staff at SBI came together and voted on who we think will win the major awards in 2014, with Toronto FC Designated Player Michael Bradley taking our vote for MLS Most Valuable Player.

There was plenty of debate amongst the SBI writing staff and we are sure that there will be plenty of debate from soccer fans across the country on who they think will win the MVP, Coach of the Year, and Golden Boot.

Here are the SBI staff selections for the 2014 MLS Awards:

SBI STAFF PICKS FOR 2014 MLS AWARDS

(Ives’ picks in bold)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

1. MICHAEL BRADLEY

2. Robbie Keane

3. Diego Valeri

GOLDEN BOOT

1. ROBBIE KEANE

2. Marco Di Vaio

3. Mike Magee

(Jack McInerney)

DEFENDER OF THE YEAR

1. MATT BESLER

2. Omar Gonzalez

3. Jose Goncalves

GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR

1. NICK RIMANDO

2. Donovan Ricketts

3. Julio Cesar

(Jaime Penedo)

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

1. JERMAIN DEFOE

2. Gaston Fernandez

3. Vincent Nogueira

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. PATRICK MULLINS

2. Steve Birnbaum

3. Andre Blake

(Harrison Shipp)

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER

1. CLINT DEMPSEY

2. DeAndre Yedlin

3. Gyasi Zardes

(Luis Gil)

COACH OF THE YEAR

1. MIKE PETKE

2. Peter Vermes

3. Caleb Porter

(Oscar Pareja)

MLS BEST XI

FIRST TEAM

NICK RIMANDO

KOFI SARKODIE

MATT BESLER

OMAR GONZALEZ

CHRIS KLUTE

MICHAEL BRADLEY

WILL JOHNSON

GRAHAM ZUSI

DIEGO VALERI

MARCO DI VAIO

ROBBIE KEANE

—————————-

SECOND TEAM

DONOVAN RICKETTS

SHEANON WILLIAMS

AURELIEN COLLIN

JOSE GONCALVES

SETH SINOVIC

TIM CAHILL

LANDON DONOVAN

DARLINGTON NAGBE

CLINT DEMPSEY

MIKE MAGEE

CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI

===============================================================

What do you think of the SBI staff selections? Which selections do you agree with the most? Which the least? Who do you see winning this year’s awards?

Share your thoughts below.

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32 Responses to SBI MLS Season Preview: Our pre-season picks for the 2014 MLS awards

  1. JJ says:

    NO OZZIE!?!?! Oba is going to be a golden boot contender too.

    • Neruda says:

      I was thinking the same. I have Oba on my fantasy team but I’m concerned about his durability and so far he seems to get injured every so often. I see him like Saborio for RSL. Amazing strike rate but misses way too much time with injuries and NT play to challenge for golden boot.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Sounders got the shaft. Not sure I disagree, but Dempsey on second team is it.

  2. bob says:

    here I thought DCU had improved enough to be respectable again, but not one mention in any category except rookie, who will probably not crack that back line easily this year..

    • Northzax says:

      If dcu makes the playoffs, there will be some people on the end list. And isn’t birnbaum going to Richmond at least to start the season?

  3. Aguinaga says:

    No Henry. Love it. Bring it haters.

  4. scweeb says:

    Kyle Beckerman?

  5. Don the Jewler says:

    Bradley MVP but not newcomer of the year? Is it because he played in MLS before?

  6. William the Terror says:

    Wow. Clint Dempsey as most improved player. I agree that would be appropriate if he turns things around. I also hope he takes a peek at SBI now and then and sees this list. It might just give him the motivation to turn things around.

    • Jeremy says:

      I really don’t think Clint Dempsey cares what you or anyone else on SBI thinks. He doesn’t need to peek at SBI comments for motivation…

      • William the Terror says:

        Well, judging by his last eight months of staggering around the field in woeful ineptitude, he certainly needs something. Apparently, so do you.

        • Jeremy says:

          I could use a time transplant for about 24 hours from now to get to first kick, but that’s about it. Dempsey hasn’t been the same for the past 8 months yes, but every player goes through ups and downs. Has Messi been the same this year as previous years? No. Does that mean he isn’t motivated? No.

          • William the Terror says:

            The difference being that I, could care less about how Messi plays. I don’t care for either his club team or his national team. I do care how Clint plays for both club and country. If he is not suffering from a lack of motivation, then what, exactly, is the problem? He’s certainly well rested. The World Cup is 97 days away, and right now, he is showing us neither heart nor desire. The problem is clearly mental.

            • Jeremy says:

              I think we was probably burnt out at the end of last season. Going from the EPL to MLS to the USMNT and back and forth constantly would wear most players down. Going to that mess of a team in Fulham may have actually helped him get back in shape, but it might be a few weeks or so before he is really gelling with the Sounders. I think everyone will see a hungry Dempsey and the one that we are all used to seeing soon enough.

          • William the Terror says:

            And, if you are reading this, Clint Dempsey, I am calling you out by name. Me, William the Terror, a 56-year-old attorney and yoga teacher from Tallahassee, Florida. Come on down here and kick my butt for calling you lazy. Maybe that’ll solve your problems.

            • whoop-whoop says:

              Literally the first yoga teacher to follow his name with “the terror”

              Namaste bit%hes

  7. Bill Brasky says:

    I really like that Clint Dempsey fella. I could really see him coming into his own and having a breakout year.

  8. Rory Miller says:

    Sorry but I think Bradley will be fine but will not just walk in and dominate the league like people are forecasting. That team is going to be a dysfunctional mess for the first couple months then have the World Cup break to deal with, then have to find their footing again. Maybe they make an impressive playoff run, but I don’t think it’s going to be this cakewalk some are forecasting (and yes, if you are predicting he will just walk in and win the MVP you are forecasting a cakewalk).

    In fact, I’d take 2 to 1 odds in my favor that Toronto misses the playoffs entirely, even money that they have finish no higher than 5th in the East.

    • Aguinaga says:

      Brilliant. Nostradamesque even.

    • Joseph D'Hippolito says:

      Agreed, Rory. TFC did nothing to strengthen its back line. As somebody who coveres the Galaxy in Los Angeles, I know that Leiweke loves to go for offensive flash in his personnel moves. Unless Ryan Nelsen matures as a coach quickly, and unless Ashtone Morgan and Gale Agbossoumonde mature as defenders quickly, TFC is going to be a dysfunctional mess all season.

    • AcidBurn says:

      This. Would be hilarious if Toronto FC misses the playoffs again after dropping $100 million.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      I agree with Rory, Toronto still has work to do to make the playoffs.

      I would add, that people get so worked up over one player.

      In the end he is one player and there are many great players in MLS. Guys who don’t completely dominate, guys who are still trying to win a championship. It is a tough league.

      ps. I love Bradley, wanted him here in Seattle. But I repeat what I said above.

  9. timothy says:

    Deshorn brown should be considered for golden boot. He had tons of opportunities last season, but couldn’t finish. After going to Barcelona this winter, he seems to be able to finish a bit better now. He could have a 20 goal season

  10. Lamar says:

    Gregg Berhalter – Coach of the Year…

    You so called “Soccer” experts.

  11. Rookie of the Year – McNamara – Chivas
    MVP – Nagbe – Timbers
    Newcomer of the Year – Luke Mulholland – RSL
    Golden Boot – Wright Phillips – Red Bulls
    Defender of the Year – Besler – KC
    Keep of the Year – Sean Johnson – Fire
    Most Improved Player – Teal Bunberry – NE

  12. Gary Page says:

    Because there is so much parity in MLS, that makes it extra hard to make predictions. This is one of those, “Your guess is as good as mine”, it seems to me. However, I found it passing strange that no one picked M Bradley for newcomer of the year. As a Galaxy fan, I will predict that they won’t do as well as last year. I will predict that Seattle won’t be any better because I don’t think their moves really improved them much, but that one could be dicey if Martins stays healthy and Dempsey returns to playing well. I think Portland will be the best team in the league and it will be a real dog fight for first in the East with KC probably winning it. I think Defoe has enough left to win the Golden Boot, but Valeri will be MVP.