Oct 26, 2011, 12:56 PM EDT
The Philadelphia Union will begin their first ever playoff series against the Houston Dynamo this weekend, with game 1 in Chester on Sunday. Before the playoffs make or break what should be considered a fantastic run no matter what, we thought we would take the pulse of Union fans on what were the best and brightest moments and players on the pitch this regular season.
OK we’re not going to vote for an actual Most Valuable Player, because it’s Sebastien Le Toux, hands down. But who would be the Union’s Second Most Valuable Player?
Who is the Union’s Second MVP?
Brian Carroll, Faryd Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes
This goes to the Union player who wasn’t with the club last year. This being the MLS, there were quite a few to choose from. We’re not going to list them all, but here are a few.
Who was the Union’s Top Newcomer?
Freddy Adu, Brian Carroll, Keon Daniel, Gabriel Farfan, Michael Farfan, Faryd Mondragon, Veljko Paunovic, Zac MacMath, Carlos Valdes
Best of the Backline
The Union back line went from inaugural year weakness to second year strength. The defense conceded 13 fewer goals this season, despite playing four more games.
Who was the Union’s best defender?
Danny Califf, Gabriel Farfan, Carlos Valdes, Sheanon Williams
Which Union player showed the most improvement during the 2011 campaign compared to 2010?
Who was the most improved member of the Union?
Danny Califf, Amobi Okugo, Kyle Nakazawa, Roger Torres, Sheanon Williams
Sub of the Year
The MLS season runs for 34 games over eight long months. A successful team must have quality depth and the ability to shift tactics and players on the fly. The quality of the players coming off of the substitutes bench goes a long way towards determining a team’s success. These Union players were the key contributors off the bench.
Who was the best off the bench?
Danny Mwanga, Roger Torres, Kyle Nakazawa, Jack McInerney, Freddy Adu
With the team improving from 8-15-7 to 11-8-15, a 17-point swing over four more games, it feels a little counterproductive to seek out the players who could or should have been better along the way. But, here are a few we expected more from.
Whose performance was most disappointing?
Juan Diego Gonzalez, Justin Mapp, Danny Mwanga, Carlos Ruiz
Most Likely to Make the Jump Next Year
Take one look at the Union roster and you can see they place an emphasis on identifying and acquiring youth. The roster is littered with talented young players who have gained significant experience this season. These are the players we feel are most likely to make the leap and break out next season.
Which Union player is most likely to be an MLS star next year?
Michael Farfan, Gabriel Farfan, Jack McInerney, Danny Mwanga, Zach Pfeffer, Roger Torres, Sheanon Williams **(We had to reset the poll below due to two players being left off that were intended to be on. The votes on this poll have been restet as well; please feel free to cast yours again if you have already.)***
So that’s our completely scientific poll of the field of Union players deserving of consideration for 2011 regular season awards. In the comments, please feel free to let us know who you voted for, why, and whether we omitted anyone deserving in any category. It wasn’t easy to fit so many players into these subjective categories, so there’s bound to be a few.
Compiled by Rev and Matt P.
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