2019 MLS Aces Awards!
This article is going to contain some spoilers if you didn’t listen to the MLS Aces Podcast Ep. 124, so go listen to that first (and I mean you can leave us a 5 star review if you want too...)! This year with the new website I decided to have the guys here at MLS Aces as well as the fans vote on our 2019 MLS Aces Awards. MLS and those pundits are allowed to vote on their picks for MLS Awards right? Well we are a podcast for the fans by the fans, and I wanted the voting to represent that. We had 37 people vote and to those who did, THANK YOU! We had people on MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and our Team of the Season. If there were any ties on voting I was going to allow the guys here at MLS Aces to break that tie, but thankfully there weren’t any. So let’s see the winners and how the voting broke down:
MLS Aces Comeback Player of the Year:
Winner: Jordan Morris (SEA)
2nd place: Kacper Przybylko (PHI)
3rd place: Pedro Santos (CRW)
After not playing a game in 2018 due to injury, Seattle’s Jordan Morris was a key piece to the Sounders 2nd place finish in the West. Morris came out and played in 26 games, starting 24 of them. Morris scored 10 goals which had him at 2nd on his team behind Ruidiaz’s 11 goals. His 7 assists also had him finish 2nd on the team behind Nico Lodiero. It was a positive sign to see for Seattle fans and USMNT fans seeing JoMo stay on the field this year.
MLS Aces Coach of the Year:
Winner: Bob Bradley (LAFC)
2nd place: Bruce Arena (NE)
3rd place: Dome Torrent (NYC)
I mean this one might be more of an argument than people voted… but can we deny how great Bob rallied the troops this season? Bob Bradley had LAFC functioning as a mini-Barcelona, out working, out passing, transitioning, and dominating opponents. LAFC now has the most points in a single MLS season as well as tied for most goals in a single MLS season. Well deserved for Bobby B.
MLS Aces Rookie of the Year:
Winner: Hassani Dotson (MIN)
2nd place: Andre Shinyashiki (COL)
3rd place: Brendan Aaronson (PHI)
This was the closest voting in the entire process. I think there was a fair case for both Dotson and Shinyashiki but Dotson won out. Hassani Dotson was able to finish with 24 regular season games under his belt, starting 15 of them. Dotson finished the year with 4 goals from his adjusted left-back/left midfielder role. Dotson provided an energy spark out wide for the Loons and will be a key piece moving forward for them in the playoffs and 2020.
MLS Aces Newcomer of the Year:
Winner: Heber (NYC)
2nd place: Carles Gil (NE)
3rd place: Alejandro Pozuelo (TFC)
I think that this award might have had the most diverse submissions; from Gil, Pozuelo, Fernandez, Segura, and more… Heber came out the winner. Heber missed the first few games of the season for NYCFC as they were working out his signing, but Heber was able to finish the season with 22 games played. In those games he was able to score 15 goals, 4 assists, and all smiles on his face. As a fan of NYCFC I can say that he was able to really help save our season.
MLS Aces “Uncle Sam Nelson” Goalkeeper of the Year:
Winner: Vito Mannone (MIN)
2nd place: Matt Turner (NE)
3rd place: Bill Hamid (DCU)
Named after our star co-host on the MLS Aces Podcast, Uncle Sam is a goalkeeper lover! So The first ever rendition of this award has to go to the Italian Stallion Vito Mannone. Mannone came to Minnesota with a ton of experience from Europe. He proved that experience was key as he started all 34 games for the Loons. He racked up a total of 11 shutout, 129 saves, and helped lock down what was previously a pretty shitty defense in past seasons.
MLS Aces Defender of the Year:
Winner: Ike Opara (MIN)
2nd place: Eddie Segura (LAFC)
3rd place: Aaron Herrera (RSL)
Continuing on about improving a shitty Minnesota defense… Ike Opara helped do that. Opara played in 30 games for the Loons this season and was able to be the anchor for this backline. Opara shut down big time forward and was able to also tack on 3 goals offensively as well. Well deserved to a good guy and a great defender.
MLS Aces Most Valuable Player:
Winner: Carlitos Vela (LAFC)
I mean… do I need to explain this one? Vela broke record after record. Vela broke two amazing records, the first the most combined goals and assists in a single season with 34 goals and 15 assists. Vela also broke the single season goal scoring record with those 34 goals. The golden boot winner is easily the MVP and why LAFC were the best team all season long.
MLS Aces Team of the Season:
GK: Vito Mannone (MIN)
Defense: Aaron Herrera (RSL), Ike Opara (MIN), Eddie Segura (LAFC), Miles Robinson (ATL)
Midfield: Mark Anthony Kaye (LAFC), Maxi Moralez (NYC), Alejandro Pozuelo (TFC)
Forwards: Josef Martinez (ATL), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LAG)