Notebook: Midseason Awards
For good reason, no club hands out midseason awards. But if D.C. United did, here are a few names that might come up based on their performance through the first half of 2012.
TOP NEWCOMER - Maicon Santos
Six weeks after FC Dallas decided against picking up Maicon Santos’ contract, D.C. United plucked the Brazilian off the MLS free agent pile in early January. Ben Olsen asked the motivated striker to give consistent effort on both offense and defense, and Santos has delivered. Beyond his seven goals – good enough for second on the team in scoring – the 28-year-old is by far the Black-and-Red’s best option as a pure target forward.
Runner Up: Nick DeLeon
DEFENDER OF THE YEAR - Daniel Woolard
There are really two choices for this honor, but exceptional versatility is a worthy tiebreaker that gives Daniel Woolard an edge. When the central back position was decimated by injury earlier this year, the 28-year-old slid into the middle and didn’t miss a beat. Often matching up against the opposition’s fastest player, Woolard has risen to the challenge on a weekly basis.
Runner Up: Brandon McDonald
MOST IMPROVED - Perry Kitchen
The only question here is whether or not it‘s actually fair to call Kitchen ‘most improved’. He may have actually been this good as a holding midfielder last year, but because Kitchen’s rookie season was spent bouncing between central defense and right back, he never settled into any role. 2012 has seen last year’s third overall pick find a home, and take a major step towards joining the elite at one of Major League Soccer’s deepest positions.
Runner Up: Joe Willis
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER - Dwayne De Rosario
With five goals and ten assists, De Rosario has been involved in 44% of the club’s total scoring output – much more than any other D.C. player. But DeRo’s value goes way beyond statistics. After an 0-2-1 start, when scoring chances were few and far between, De Rosario took it upon himself to drop into the midfield and create for others. As a result, United’s attack came to life and the team went from worst to first in the Eastern Conference standings..
Runner Up: Chris Pontius
D.C. United vs Columbus Crew this Saturday at RFK Stadium. Buy tickets
What do you think? Who deserves midseason recognition? Tell us in the comments section below.