AFTN’s Vancouver Whitecaps End Of Season Awards – 2012

AFTN’s Vancouver Whitecaps End Of Season Awards – 2012

The 2012 MLS season is all over bar the shouting. And by shouting we mean the rest of the playoffs, but we’ve no real interest in them any more!

So it’s time for our second annual end of season awards. (You can see our 2011 awards HERE).

You might not agree with some (or all 19) of them. Great! Let us know who would have got your votes in the comments below….

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AFTN WHITECAPS PLAYER OF THE SEASON :

WINNER: JOE CANNON – He won the 3-2-1 award and we do feel that he was the Whitecaps’ player of the season. Eight clean sheets in 26 appearances and a string of important saves that won us victories and saved us from defeats. Thanks for a lot of our early season form, and points total, can be laid firmly at his door and as such, so can our place in the playoffs.

2nd: Alain Rochat – Mr Consistent over the season, even when it came to him playing in unfamiliar positions. I still feel he is better at left back and switching him from there, coupled with a failing Y-P Lee as the season went on, is what really hit the Caps’ attacking edge.

3rd: Andy O’Brien – We nearly had him as runner up but felt with him having only played eight games it maybe wasn’t being rational. Still, he gave some much needed bolstering and leadership to a struggling defence and has been fantastic in every aspect since coming to Vancouver. Looking forward to seeing a whole season out of him in 2013.

{Last year’s winner: Camilo Sanvezzo}

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AFTN WHITECAPS YOUNG PLAYER OF THE SEASON :

WINNER: CALEB CLARKE – What a year for the 19 year old, earning his first professional contract, making his first MLS appearances, banging in 24 goals in 23 regular season USSDA games and scoring for his country. And you know there’s a lot more to come.

2nd: Ben Fisk – Another outstanding year for ‘Ben 10’ , where he was named USSDA MVP for Finals Week and one which has hopefully seen him earn a MLS contract with the Caps for 2013. For if they don’t offer him a contract, someone else most certainly will.

3rd: Gagan Dosanjh – The captain of the PDL team just got better and better as the season went on. The Caps are keeping an eye on him at UBC and he’ll hopefully be back for another spell with the U23s next season.

{Last year’s winner: Caleb Clarke}

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AFTN’S WHITECAPS TO WATCH IN 2013:

WINNER: BEN FISK – It was disappointing that he didn’t make the MLS squad for this season, but the delay has only made him more hungry to make the first team and he’s putting in the hard work to make it happen, whether that be in Vancouver or elsewhere.

2nd: Brody Huitema – With 20 goals in 22 regular season USSDA U16 games, a lot is expected of the talented striker as he moves up to U18 level. It’s been a fairly good start so far for him personally, with three goals in five appearances and it will be interesting to see how well he performs once the new look U18s really find their feet, as they have struggled at the start of the new season.

3rd: Yassin Essa – Yassin has developed well over the past two seasons but he can be patchy and needs to continue developing in his final year in the Residency. He was on fire towards the end of the last USSDA campaign and has two goals in five appearances so far in a season which could really shape what he goes on to do in the game.

{Last year’s winner: Caleb Clarke}

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WHITECAPS GOAL OF THE SEASON :

WINNER: DARREN MATTOCKS v TORONTO (11/7/12) – Hard to believe how high he jumped the first time you see it. Even more so on repeat views. I think the shock value of the goal is what has us having it at number one but a close thing with the runner up.

2nd: Eric Hassli v Toronto (16/5/12) – First time strikes don’t come much better than this. Perhaps if he’d done these strikes a little bit more he’d still be in Vancouver.

3rd: Camilo v Chivas (4/10/12) – An unspectacular and unconventional finish from the Brazilian, but the reason this goal made the top three was for the build up play. The move lasted 46 seconds and 13 passes and started with Barry Robson winning possession in the Caps box. Move went: Robson, Richards, Camilo, Watson, Lee, Koffie, Rochat, Harvey back to Robson, Harvey, Rochat, Robson, Richards, Camilo, goal! (This goal narrowly beat out Sebastien Le Toux’s winner against Colorado at BC Place in June, which also had a great build up and a good finish. Was another close run thing).

{Last year’s winner: Eric Hassli v Seattle (11/6/11)}

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WHITECAPS GAME OF THE SEASON :

WINNER: v SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (5/5/12 – BC Place) – Late winners are always fun, but when they come at the end of a game against the league leaders, they’re even better. It was a fantastic all round team performance, fighting back from a goal down to win 2-1 with a 94th minute strike. This game showed us we belonged at the top of the West. Then…

2nd: v Los Angeles Galaxy (18/7/12 – BC Place) – First half of heavenly proportions and a final ten minutes from hell. Still, let’s remember the good parts and how we did more than just compete against the team with all the big names. There was no sitting back and defending like hell against LA this time around, although some defending in those last ten minutes would certainly have helped.

3rd: U18s v Dallas (22/7/12 – Houston) – The only defeat in our top three, as the U18s lost the USSDA Championship game 3-2 to their MLS rivals but put in a battling performance. This was a momentous game for the Residency program. Not only did they reach, and narrowly lose, a national final, it also marked the end of an era as this talented young group now broke up and went their separate ways, hopefully for some of them to reconvene in the Whitecaps MLS squad one day.

{Last year’s winner: v Kansas City (2/4/11 – Empire Field)}

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WHITECAPS COACH OF THE YEAR :

JOINT WINNERS: RICHARD GROOTSCHOLTEN AND CRAIG DALRYMPLE – Although Richard left in April, the groundwork he had done with the U18s and U16s saw both teams advance to the USSDA playoffs and the U18s just miss out on Championship glory. Craig Dalrymple did well to step in and finish the job off, and both deserve the plaudits for a fantastic season.

{Last year’s winner: Colin Miller}

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BEST AWAYDAY :

WINNER: ORLANDO – Ok, more an away fortnight, but a great pre-season trip with great facilities, weather and the chance to see the Caps lift a trophy. Doesn’t look like the Caps are heading back there next year though.

2nd: Colorado – Not a trip I made, but those that did came back with stories of wonderful hospitality and friendliness. A vital win also helped.

3rd: Portland – It’s still fun heading down there, and also combining a week on the beautiful Oregon coast, but two trips in a year, when one of them isn’t a playoff game, take the shine off it a little. The wonderful gameday atmosphere always helps when you go down there though.

{Last year’s winner: Portland}

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MOST EMBARRASSING OR ANGER INDUCING MOMENT :

WINNER: FAILURE TO BEAT TFC -Three games. No wins. We couldn’t do what 72% of the rest of MLS managed to do and beat Toronto. 13 other teams did it, including Chivas! It cost us our first Voyageurs Cup and that’s what makes it even more embarrassing.

2nd: Jun Marques Davidson’s face slap flop – Still horrible to see how he went down to the ground so easily after De Guzman slapped him in the Voyageurs Cup game in Toronto. We call our opponents out for such actions, so we’re not going to let our guys off either.

{Last year’s winner: The Empire grass pitch debacle}

DISGRACE OF THE SEASON :

WINNER: THE SEKERES AND PRICE SHOW’S REACTION TO THE “FUCK YOU DALLAS CHANT” – Price was away and it was Matt Sekeres and producer Trevor Martin who tried to whip up a storm with their overblown outrage at some swearing at a football match. Unbelievable that they could devote so much airtime to something which will blast out of their TV’s far more during any broadcast English Premiership match. I quite liked the S&P show, but after that, I wouldn’t waste a second listening to them.

{Last year’s winner: Sportsnet}

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HERO OF THE YEAR :

WINNER: YOUNG-PYO LEE – Y-P has been a model professional since joining the Whitecaps and is a player many of the young players coming through should aim to mirror. He never moans, he just gets on with his job. His popularity amongst the Korean population in particular has seen him much in demand, yet he always has time after every game to spend ages signing autographs and posing for photos in the car park. He knows that fans are important in making a player what he is. His reaction to referee Petrescu in the playoff game also added to his legendary status.

{Last year’s winner: Joe Cannon}

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VILLAIN OF THE YEAR :

WINNER: DAVID FERREIRA – Diving bastard. Nuff said. It’s always great to have a real hate figure though and he’s shading it from Fredy Montero and Blas Perez right now.

{Last year’s winner: Tommy Soehn}

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THINGS WE’D LOVE MLS TO CHANGE :

We decided to keep the same top two from last year!

WINNER: THE STANDARD OF REFEREEING – You think you’ve seen some of the worst referees in the world, then along comes MLS. And they just don’t seem to be getting any better at all.

2nd: More emphasis on the regular season – I’d personally go single table and get rid of the playoffs altogether. Not going to happen, so, if we’re going that way, we need less playoff spots, not more, or regular season is simply undervalued. I know that means the Caps are more likely to miss out but so be it.

3rd: Stop trying to sanitize the atmosphere – If MLS wants to grow further then they should be targeting the 20-40 year old male demographic more. I say more swearing and abusive chants, flares, smokes bombs. Create hostile home fortresses and don’t try and create family friendly atmospheres that will simply lead to empty seats and dull atmospheres on the TV matches. You use images of the rowdy rabble when it suits you.

{Last year’s winner: The standard of refereeing}

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THE WILLIE JOHNSTON “DID THAT JUST REALLY HAPPEN” AWARD :

WINNER: DARREN MATTOCKS GOAL IN TORONTO – As we mentioned above, it was hard to take in what had just happened the first time round, never mind on the replay.

{Last year’s winner: Eric Hassli’s double jersey sending off celebration}

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THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY AWARD :

WINNER: JOHN CAREW – Pilloried by many and perhaps over the hill, the Caps were linked with signing the big Norwegian just before the summer transfer window closed, but it would seem that a deal just couldn’t be done. Would he have made a better impact than Miller? We can only now speculate.

{Last year’s winner: Robbie Savage}

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THE “PLEASE JUST SHUT UP” AWARD :

WINNER: OLD MEDIA FUDDY DUDDIES WHO JUST DON’T GET FOOTBALL CROWDS AND SHOULD STICK TO TALKING ABOUT HOCKEY – Yeah it’s nice when they give some airtime to the Caps but more often than not these aural cancers are just clueless to what they’re talking about. Some of them definitely put to bed the old “there’s no thing as bad publicity” adage. Hard to believe that they hold any relevance in modern society anyway.

{Last year’s winner: poor TV commentators}

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HAIRCUT OF THE YEAR :

WINNER: GREG KLAZURA’S SHAVEN LOCKS – Greg Klazura is loved in the dressing room. When he decided to shave off his foppish hair and go with a shaved look, it created a monster, also know as ‘Klazura’s Headband’ on Twitter!

{Last year’s winner: Eric Hassli’s Mohawk}

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THE MUSTAPHA JARJU “WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY” AWARD :

WINNER: KENNY MILLER – He’s been a great servant to the Scottish National Team over the years and I will always admire and respect him for that alone. He has also had moments of greatness at his previous clubs, but MLS just doesn’t seem like the League for him and his team-mates don’t seem to be on the same page as him. With the current playing style of the Caps, he has been reduced to a bit part player and you can’t have that on $1.2 million.

{Last year’s winner: The Empire grass pitch}

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THE PAUL BARBER “TALKING OUT OF YOUR ASS” AWARD :

WINNER: MEDIA PUNDITS WHO DISRESPECTED THE WHITECAPS ACHIEVEMENTS – The media pundits who claim that the Caps backed into the playoffs or got in by the “backdoor” are doing the team and the players a disservice. The Caps earned their right to be there over the whole season. That’s why every team plays 34 matches. They may have limped over the line but they deserved to be there and had a four point cushion in the end.

{Last year’s winner: Paul Barber}

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FAN CHANT/SONG/BATTLE CRY OF THE YEAR :

WINNER: “FUCK YOU DALLAS” – It brought a tear to my eye to hear that ringing out around BC Place in August. That’s pure football passion and spontaneity right there. And to think that some want to censor that. Such things are what makes football great.

{Last year’s winner: “Boom!”}

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And that’s the end of our 2012 awards. Who knows what next year will bring?

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Authored by: Michael McColl

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