I've previously questioned if the voters of MLSsoccer.com's 24Under24 were actually doubting their choices, and now it seems I'm not alone in scratching my head at how some ‘media’ vote for various MLS honors.
Ironically, it’s two MLSsoccer.com editors that wondered publicly if the media that votes for MLS awards are even watching the Colorado Rapids.
On Monday's MLSsoccer.com's ExtraTime Radio Podcast, after talking with Rookie of the Year co-front-runner Dillon Powers, editors Nick Firchau and Simon Borg raised the topic if the media that vote for the year-end awards are paying attention to the Rapids.
"I'd like to believe that voters actually watch games, and don't watch just highlights," Borg said. "Because if you watch just highlights, you're not seeing what Dillon Powers does."
Firchau then added his take on voters in regards to at least the Rookie of the Year award.
"I'm very curious on the voters, and how they are going to vote," Firchau said. "Whether or not they see the Rapids enough. We talked about 24 Under 24, and it's a similar (media) group - it's not exactly the same. And I remember thinking when guys like Chris Klute didn't show up, and Shane O'Neill, and thinking 'are you even watching these guys? Are you watching the Colorado Rapids play?'
“You'll see obviously and very quickly that these are very talented, good young players. If they're not watching the Rapids, they're not going to see Dillon Powers, and they're going to vote for DeAndre Yedlin - which isn't a bad thing either, but I'm just wondering if these guys are going to get their due."
Borg and Firchau raise an interesting point (LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST).
I noted earlier on Tuesday how the members of the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) – who vote for the MLS Player of the Week - have yet to select one Rapids player as the best of any week this season. That’s a decision as a whole, not necessarily every individual voter.
On the flip side, we also pointed out last week that Oscar Pareja has been highly praised by national outlets:
During ESPN's broadcast of the New York-Seattle match last Sunday, commentator Taylor Twellman named Pareja as one of his top candidates for the year-end award. NBC Sports ProSoccerTalk's Steve Davis also listed Pareja as a top three candidate, Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney recently had Pareja as the top choice, and SoccerByIves also has Pareja as a top candidate. Other media have also expressed the same sentiment via social media, including Boston-based reporter Kyle McCarthy.
What I find interesting is that none of these well-known and respected national media members above are listed as voters on NASR’s website.
The ballots for the year-end awards will be sent to media in a couple of weeks. We’ll have to wait and see how it all turns out, though I think it shouldn’t even be a question that Deshorn Brown, Dillon Powers, Clint Irwin, and Oscar Pareja should be at the top of the list in their respective categories.
(By the way, I think Yedlin is a fantastic player and rightly deserves attention for a great rookie season. But is it wrong to remind fans that perhaps part of the reason for the hype on Yedlin came from the fact that MLS Commissioner Don Garber personally selected the Seattle defender to be in the MLS All-Star game?)