2020 Independent Press Corps Colorado Rapids Season Awards

2020 Colorado Rapids season awards Cole Bassett

EDITORIAL – Last Word on Soccer in conjunction with the Colorado Rapids independent media are excited to announce the third annual Independent Press Corps Colorado Rapids Season Awards. As the independent media covering this team, we take seriously the opportunity to cover the insanity that was the 2020 Colorado Rapids season and constructively criticize and praise the club.

Contributors from Last Word on Soccer, Pro Soccer USA, Burgundy WaveThe Current, American Soccer Analysis, Footy at 5280, Switch The Pitch, and Mile High Sports participated.

2020 Independent Press Corps Colorado Rapids Season Awards

This second year of awards consist of seven individual and four 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:

The most outstanding player for the club in 2020.
Winner: Cole Bassett

“The young homegrown shown this year, with the most goals and most assists on the team. He deserves this award not just because of what he did in 2020, but because of what he represents – the Rapids academy starting to deliver world-class talent.” – Colin Peterson, Burgundy Wave

Newcomer of the Year:

The most outstanding player who made their first contract year with the first team.
Winner: Younes Namli
Second Place: William Yarbrough

“I was hoping the wing forward might be good enough to be a 5 goal/8 assist player in MLS, but he’s only generated 2g/3a. Still, his dribbling is splendid and he’s been at least close-to a DP quality player. Maybe we’ll get more raw production next year.” – Mark Goodman, American Soccer Analysis

Young Player of the Year:

The most outstanding player under the age of 24.
Winner: Cole Bassett
Second Place: Sam Vines

Understandably, if a player overwhelmingly voted as the Player of the Year and he’s under 24, he’s the best young player on the team as well.

It should be noted that runner-up Sam Vines was the only Iron Man of the team this year, playing 90 minutes in all 18 regular season games.

Underrated Player of the Year:

The most unsung player of the season.
Winner: Danny Wilson
Second Place: Keegan Rosenberry

Best Game of the Year:

The most impressive result or performance of the season.
Winner: 5-0 win at Real Salt Lake on September 12
Second Place: 3-1 win vs Seattle Sounders on November 1

Worst Game of the Year:

The most disappointing match of the season.
Winner: 4-0 loss at Sporting KC on October 24
Second Place: 3-2 loss vs Sporting KC on July 17 at the MLS is Back Tournament

Goal of the Year:

The most outstanding/memorable goal of the season, including PKs.
Winner: Keegan Rosenberry vs Seattle on November 1
Second Place: Kellyn Acosta at Portland on November 4
Third Place: Jonathan Lewis at D.C. United on February 29

Play of the Year:

The most significant/memorable play of the year that was not a goal. Assists are eligible.
Winner: A bunch of Younes Namli tekkers 

We basically had a five(?) way tie for different dribbling, 1-v-1, and passing sequences from Younes Namli. So we’ll just have this entire video be the winner.

Postponement/Cancellation of the Year:

The most significant postponed/cancelled match of the season. Any of the eight games of the restarted regular season that did not take place as originally scheduled are eligible.
Winner: October 14 at Seattle Sounders
Second Place: October 7 vs Los Angeles FC
Third Place: July 4 vs Houston Dynamo

That game against Seattle was the only road game of the five games that were not completed in the new 23-game regular season. The LAFC match would have been the only regular season match between Colorado and Bob Bradley’s side. The third place game is from the original 34-game regular season schedule. That would have been the 4th of July game in which Pablo Mastroeni’s number would have been retired.

Quote of the Year:

The most significant/memorable quote of the year by any Rapids personnel, player, coach, or front office member.

“There are enough people who are outraged about what has transpired and what continues to transpire. You see all sorts of protests. I talked to my daughters about one of the most heartening things is to see the number of protesters who aren’t just Black protesters. Their ages—so many young people.

You feel like this could be a moment in time that could change this country going forward. It is one thing to protest for yourself, and your own type of people, it is another, to protest for people because it is the right thing to do. And we see more of that now than over the past years. So many Americans, outside of Black Americans, are now starting, possibly for the first time, to understand what it feels like to be Black in America. And they are recognizing that it is not right.” – Robin Fraser

This Is So 2020:

The most 2020 event, moment, development, or aspect of the season.
Winner: Making the playoffs despite the COVID-19 outbreak with MLS going with PPG
Second Place: A bunch of players potentially missing a playoff game due to Int. Duty and Quarantine 
Third Place: Winning the Rocky Mountain Cup 

I’ll let Marco Cummings of The Current sum up the 2020 Colorado Rapids season:

“The Colorado Rapids make the playoffs for the first time in four seasons during a season in which fans are unable to attend and dozens of soccer journalists have been laid off due to COVID-19, many of them award winning, credible, and well-established, like Grant Wahl. Additionally, many fans can still not view Colorado Rapids games due to KSE’s continued dispute with most of the major broadcast carriers. It begs the question: If the Rapids make the playoffs and no one is able to see or read about it, did it really happen?”

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