The Fire have announced their team awards for the 2010 campaign. While some of the award results were to be expected, at least one award was unexpected and, in my opinion, should have probably gone to someone else. Follow me after the break to get the scoop.
Defender of the year award went to C.J. Brown, which I definitely agreed with. Brown last won the award for his hard work in the 2006 season. He appeared in 26 matches, and started in all of those 26 matches. C.J. was clearly the most consistent defender this year, especially with Wilman Conde having a tough year. Sean Johnson was also considered for the award, but was narrowly beaten by C.J. The award is voted on by the local media and the Fire technical staff.
The Budweiser Golden Boot for most goals scored went to Marco Pappa. Pappa had 7 goals in 25 matches. Marco also received another impressive accolade recently from the MLS itself. In their top 24 players under the age of 24, Marco was named #6 top young player overall, with Sean Johnson coming in at #8. Pappa also tallied 5 assists, and while he went through a bit of a slump later in the year, the future definitely looks bright for the Guatemalan international.
The MLS W.O.R.K.S/Chicago Fire Humanitarian of the Year Award was given to Dasan Robinson, who was active on the pitch, as well as off of it. Dasan is a member of Urban Initiatives, which is a health/education program based in Chicago. The program looks to get youths involved in activities at a young age to improve health and lifestyle. Additionally, Dasan is a part of the Chicago Fire's School Supply Drive, which collects school supplies and distributes them to Chicagoland students. Since 2009, the drive has collected $2,500 worth of supplies. Finally, Dasan is also active in Athletes in Action, which is a global sports ministry that aims to use sports as a universal language to improve the quality of life across the world. Dasan joined teammates for Earth Day Tree plating this year at Toyota Park, and presented a check for $10,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of America. It is simply inspiring to see Dasan become such a big part of the Chicago community and give his free time and efforts to help improve the lives of others. He is truly a role model for us all.
The big award of course is for Most Valuable Player. The race ended up coming down to two players, with Logan Pause narrowly edging out Patrick Nyarko. This award was also voted on by local media and the Fire Technical staff. In 26 matches, Pause tallied 1 goal and 3 assists. Nyarko also had a great year. In 27 appearances, he tallied 1 goal and 8 assists, but showed great speed and play making ability. At least one write believes Nyarko should have received the MVP award instead of Pause.
Logan was a very steady part of our team this year, but this is the award I disagreed with. I do think Logan had a solid year for us, and provided a lot to the team. He plays the game hard and the right way, but I think we had a couple of other players that should have been awarded the MVP. Nyarko is one of them. Sean Johnson could also be considered, though only playing regularly for part of the year makes it harder to award to him. I think by far, Freddie Ljungberg has to be considered. Again, he joined us in the middle of the season, but the award is for most valuable player to the team, not who played the most. Even though we faded down the stretch, I definitely don't think we would have finished where we did without Freddie. He brought fire and passion to the game. He also was a playmaker, creating havoc for the other teams and setting up plays for our guys. He plays 100% at all times, and in my opinion should have been considered for what he was able to accomplish since joining the team. I really hope we keep him for another year at least. I would love to see what he could do for us during a full season, especially paired with Nyarko.
I also think Brian McBride could be considered. In 26 appearances (18 starts and 8 substitutions), he registered 6 goals and 2 assists. Even though Brian may not have had the same year this year that he has in the past, he was still very valuable to our team, and could be considered for MVP too.
The Fire, along with Section 8, will honor C.J. Brown's career, and the other award winners, on November 9th at 6:30 PM CDT. The event will take place at The Pitch at 2142 N. Clybourn Avenue. It will be an incredible time for all those able to attend- make sure you mark your calendars!
What do you guys think? Should Pause have received the MVP? Someone else? Attending the Supporter's Party? Give us your thoughts!