EDITORIAL – Last Word on Soccer in conjunction with the Colorado Rapids independent media are excited to announce the second annual Independent Press Corps Colorado Rapids Season Awards. As the independent media covering this team, we take seriously the opportunity to cover this bizarre 2019 Colorado Rapids and constructively criticize and praise the club
And many of us like to snarkily throw down. Consider this a peanut gallery commentary of the 2019 Colorado Rapids season and the awards from A Burgundy Affair. Contributors from Last Word on Soccer, Pro Soccer USA, Burgundy Wave, The Denver Post, Rapids Republic, The Current, American Soccer Analysis, Footy at 5280, Rise and Blaze, and Mile High Sports participated.
2019 Independent Press Corps Colorado Rapids Season Awards
This second year of awards consist of six individual and six event/team awards based on relevancy and significance.
Clear definitions were provided for each award. Voters were allowed up to three votes per award, with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two for a second, and one for third. In the event of a tie, the recipient with the most first-place votes was selected. Now to the awards.
Player of the Year:
Most outstanding player for the club in 2019.
Winner: Lalas Abubakar
Runner-Up: Kei Kamara
“This is a tough one to sort out. Both were fantastic as were others. Abubakar came into a team mid-season and immediately turned around the defense. Kamara was fantastic, but the team always had others who could score goals, with our without him in the game. If Abubakar doesn’t get loaned, there’s no viable replacement for him at center back that helps this team turn the season around.” – Matt Pollard, Last Word on Soccer
Newcomer of the Year:
Most outstanding player who was in their first year with the club. Winners/nominees for Player of the Year are eligible.
Winner: Lalas Abubakar
Runner-Up: Kei Kamara
Young Player of the Year:
Most outstanding player under the age of 24.
Winner: Andre Shinyashiki
Runner-Up: Sam Vines
Underrated Player of the Year:
Most undervalued/unsung player.
Winner: Keegan Rosenberry
Runner-Up: Jack Price
“Never underestimate the value of a reliable right back.” – Mark Goodman, American Soccer Analysis.
Bust of the Year:
The least outstanding player of the year and biggest disappointment. Salary and expectations should be taken into account. Does not have to be awarded to a player.
Winner: Anthony Hudson
Runner-Up: Benny Feilhaber
Coach of the Year:
Most outstanding coach for the club in 2019.
Winner: Robin Fraser
Runner-Up: Conor Casey
“I honestly don’t think Conor Casey got a raw deal, but I think it should be a combo win for Casey and Robin Fraser.” – Abbie Mood, Burgundy Wave.
Mistake of the Year:
Defined as the biggest blunder/howler of the year in a game. Can be a play, decision by player or coach, or an individual 90-minute performance.
Winner: Axel Sjoberg’s performance vs. Portland Timbers FC, March 2.
Runner-Up: Kei Kamara’s own goal vs. Montreal Impact, August 3.
This handball call on Sjoberg – I think it’s incorrect.
1) A player falls to the ground – where else are his arms supposed to go except underneath him to brace the fall?
2) This is ball-to-hand. Axel’s not reaching for it, he’s landing and getting struck by it. #Rapids96 pic.twitter.com/zwdfMACmpX
— Mark Asher Goodman (@soccer_rabbi) March 2, 2019
Best Game of the Year:
Most impressive result/performance in all competitions.
Winner: 6-3 win vs. Montreal Impact, August 3.
Runner-up: 1-0 win vs. Los Angeles FC, June 28.
Worst Game of the Year:
Least impressive result/performance in all competitions.
Winner: 4-1 loss vs. Houston Dynamo, March 30.
Runner-Up: 2-2 (4-2) loss vs. New Mexico United, Open Cup, June 12.
Goal of the Year:
Most impressive goal of the season in all competitions, including PKs.
Winner: Kei Kamara at Sporting KC, September 21.
Runner-up: Sam Nicholson at Portland Timbers FC, July 13.
Quote of the Year:
Quote that stands out the most from any Rapids personnel, player, coach, or front office member.
Winner: “We are fighting at the bottom with a bottom group of players and we have to find a way to pick up results whilst also being a team that tries to play a certain way.” – Anthony Hudson, after a 1-0 loss at Atlanta United FC, April 27, the final game of his tenure as head coach.
Runner-up: “I mean I was just trying to help the team as much as could, I was trying to work defensively to try to get the ball because obviously Portland was trying to slow the game down as they were up one goal. Coach Hudson just told me to go out there and work my balls off and it was gonna work. And it did.” – Andre Shinyashiki, on his game-tying goal in a 3-3 draw against Portland, March 2.
Story of the Year:
The most ridiculous and memorable story-line from the season.
Winner: The Plague.
Runner-up: The team’s season turnaround that had them fighting for playoffs on the final day of the year.
*The literal plague* descended upon the Colorado Rapids’ stadium – news so strange it overshadowed the bonkers 6-3 game that happened there that same day. @Snaves on the week in weird in #MLS: https://t.co/2rjdZ0aXVU pic.twitter.com/prqy8zoozX
— The Athletic Soccer (@TheAthleticSCCR) August 7, 2019