Saturday, December 13, 2008

Canadian 2008 Player of the Year Nominees

The Canadian Soccer Association has released their list of nominees for 2008's Fan's Choice and 2008 adidas Canadian player of the year awards. The shortlists are the same for each, but fans are informed that their vote is merely part of a popularity contest, while the media will be sure to vote for players based on performance! Condescend much?
Fans can select any Canadian player. The list of senior nominees is the same as the list for the 2008 adidas Canadian Players of the Year award. Unlike the player of the year vote (based on performance, voted by coaches and media), the CanadaSoccer.com Fans’ Choices is based on popularity. Each fan can make one male selection and one female selection.
As always, the CSA is on the cutting edge when it comes to making use of internet technology:
Fans can email their Fans’ Choices to rscott@soccercan.ca with the title ’CanadaSoccer.com Fans’ Choices’ in the subject line.
The following are the male nominees:
Male Nominees from the Men’s national team / Nominés de l’équipe nationale masculine senior
- Julian de Guzman – Scarborough, ON
- Dwayne De Rosario – Scarborough, ON
- Rob Friend – Rosetown, SK
- Ali Gerba – Montréal, QC
- Atiba Hutchinson – North York, ON
- Michael Klukowski – Oshawa, ON
- Paul Stalteri – Etobicoke, ON
- Tomasz Radzinski – Toronto, ON
- Adrian Serioux – Scarborough, ON
- other selection
My own view is that this award should recognize performance with the national teams as well as the player's club side. This complicates things as certain players were key components of a successful club season but failed to perform to the same level with Canada (I'm looking at you Rob Friend), some were brilliant for Canada but struggled to find a regular club place (Ali G), and still others had solid but unspectactular campaigns on both fronts (Serioux, Hutchinson). Further complicating things is that the award is for the calendar year 2008, so for European based players one must consider halves of two distinct seasons.

A quick rundown, including 2008 NT stats, should serve as a refresher before you all dutifully fire off your emails, remembering to base your vote on popularity and not performance.

Here we go:

Player Date Opponent Competition Role Mins G YC RC
Julian de Guzman 03/26/08 Estonia Friendly starter 90 0 1 0

05/31/08 Brazil Friendly starter 78 1 0 0

06/15/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 70 0 0 0

06/20/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 67 0 1 0

08/20/08 Jamaica WCQ starter 90 1 0 0

09/06/08 Honduras WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

09/10/08 Mexico WCQ starter 90 0 0 0
Totals



575 2 2 0

I have difficulty imagining a scenario where Julian de Guzman does not win the award. He is the most popular player and by far the most successful professionally. His MVP 2007-08 season with Deportivo needs to be recognized. His NT play was excellent for his first 5 matches of '08, but not up to his usual standard for the last two.

Player Date Opponent Competition Role Mins G YC RC
Dwayne de Rosario 01/30/08 Martinique Friendly starter 90 1 0 0

03/26/08 Estonia Friendly starter 90 0 0 0

05/31/08 Brazil Friendly starter 80 0 0 0

06/15/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

06/20/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 90 2 0 0

08/20/08 Jamaica WCQ starter 90 0 1 0

09/06/08 Honduras WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

09/10/08 Mexico WCQ starter 90 0 1 0
Totals



710 3 2 0

Dwayne De Rosario has been excellent in the past and won at least one of the awards last year. But both his NT and club play with Houston Dynamo have declined since 2007. He won't get my vote.

Player Date Opponent Competition Role Mins G YC RC
Ali Gerba 03/26/08 Estonia Friendly starter 45 0 0 0

06/04/08 Panama Friendly sub 45 0 0 0

06/15/08 St. V & G WCQ sub 83 2 0 0

06/20/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 90 2 0 0

08/20/08 Jamaica WCQ sub 12 0 0 0

09/06/08 Honduras WCQ starter 64 0 0 0

09/10/08 Mexico WCQ sub 20 1 0 0

10/11/08 Honduras WCQ starter 45 0 0 0

10/15/08 Mexico WCQ starter 90 1 0 0
Totals



494 6 0 0

Ali Gerba was arguably the most impressive national teamer in 2008, but couldn't hold down a regular job for much of the year.

Player Date Opponent Competition Role Mins G YC RC
Rob Friend 03/26/08 Estonia Friendly sub 45 0 0 0

05/31/08 Brazil Friendly starter 90 1 0 0

06/04/08 Panama Friendly starter 45 0 0 0

06/15/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 7 0 0 0

08/20/08 Jamaica WCQ starter 78 0 0 0

09/06/08 Honduras WCQ sub 26 0 0 0

09/10/08 Mexico WCQ starter 81 0 0 0

10/11/08 Honduras WCQ sub 45 0 0 0
Totals



417 1 0 0

In many ways, Rob Friend was the anti-Gerba. He was one of the top strikers in the 2. Bundesliga in 07-08, and has continued to score as his Moenchengladbach made the jump to the 1. Bundesliga (if only they could defend). However, apart from his boner-inducing goal against Brazil, he didn't do a whole lot for Mitchell's Eleven.

Player Date Opponent Competition Role Mins G YC RC
Atiba Hutchinson 03/26/08 Estonia Friendly starter 73 0 0 0

05/31/08 Brazil Friendly starter 82 0 0 0

06/04/08 Panama Friendly starter 90 0 0 0

06/15/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

06/20/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

08/20/08 Jamaica WCQ starter 90 0 1 0

09/06/08 Honduras WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

09/10/08 Mexico WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

10/11/08 Honduras WCQ starter 90 0 0 0
Totals



785 0 1 0

Atiba Hutchinson has been a consistent performer for FC Copenhagen in league and UEFA Cup play, and in my view was one of the underrated performers in qualifying. Mitchell used him in a role that doesn't garner a lot of attention, which probably works against him.

Player Date Opponent Competition Role Mins G YC RC
Michael Klukowski 03/26/08 Estonia Friendly starter 90 0 0 0

05/31/08 Brazil Friendly starter 90 0 0 0

06/04/08 Panama Friendly starter 90 0 0 0

06/15/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

06/20/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 45 0 0 0

08/20/08 Jamaica WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

09/06/08 Honduras WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

09/10/08 Mexico WCQ starter 90 0 1 0

10/11/08 Honduras WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

10/15/08 Mexico WCQ starter 90 0 1 0
Totals



855 0 2 0

Mike Klukowski is still my boy. And he was one of the top performers of WCQ, though like Hutch, in an understated role. His Club Brugge continue to be the top club in Belgium, and he's an important of that league success as well as their UEFA Cup push.

Player Date Opponent Competition Role Mins G YC RC
Paul Stalteri 03/26/08 Estonia Friendly starter 90 0 0 0

05/31/08 Brazil Friendly starter 90 0 0 0

06/04/08 Panama Friendly starter 65 0 0 0

06/15/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

06/20/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

08/20/08 Jamaica WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

09/06/08 Honduras WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

09/10/08 Mexico WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

10/11/08 Honduras WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

10/15/08 Mexico WCQ starter 90 0 1 0

11/19/08 Jamaica WCQ starter 65 0 0 0
Totals



940 0 1 0

If there was an award for playing the most for Canada in 2008, Paul Stalteri would win it. And he would also win any award for playing the least for his club. But he's not really in the conversation when it comes to who played best in 2008.

Player Date Opponent Competition Role Mins G YC RC
Tomasz Radzinski 03/26/08 Estonia Friendly starter 73 0 0 0

05/31/08 Brazil Friendly starter 74 0 0 0

06/04/08 Panama Friendly starter 9 0 0 0

06/15/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 75 0 0 0

06/20/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

08/20/08 Jamaica WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

09/06/08 Honduras WCQ starter 22 0 0 0

10/11/08 Honduras WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

10/15/08 Mexico WCQ starter 90 1 1 0
Totals



613 1 1 0

Tomasz Radzinski may have played his last match for Canada, a virtuoso performance against Mexico in Edmonton. Club-wise, he is scoring regularly in 2nd division Belgium, a move that looks like the first step towards retirement.

Player Date Opponent Competition Role Mins G YC RC
Adrian Serioux 01/30/08 Martinique Friendly starter 90 0 0 0

05/31/08 Brazil Friendly starter 90 0 0 0

06/04/08 Panama Friendly starter 45 0 0 0

06/15/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

06/20/08 St. V & G WCQ starter 90 0 0 0

08/20/08 Jamaica WCQ starter 90 0 1 0

09/06/08 Honduras WCQ starter 90 1 0 0

09/10/08 Mexico WCQ starter 90 0 1 0

10/15/08 Mexico WCQ starter 90 0 0 0
Totals



675 1 2 0

I really liked Adrian Serioux's work for Canada in 2008. I didn't see much of FC Dallas this year, but I know he was an important cog in that machine as well.



Who will win . . . Julian de Guzman is at the height of his popularity right now, and was in the discussion for the recently awarded Lou Marsh prize for best Canadian athlete. He'll win, and likely deservedly so.

Who gets my vote . . . I'm a bit conflicted here, and not entirely convinced that I should be voting for a guy playing in the English 3rd tier, but Ali Gerba was the best and most consistent performer for Canada and only really offensive threat (you might include Radzinski here as well).

Ali G: OOT's choice for 2008 Man of the Year

As for the fairer sex, the nominees are:
Female Nominees from the Winners – Women’s national team – presented by Teck / Nominées de l’équipe feminine Winners, présentée par Teck
- Candace Chapman – Ajax, ON
- Martina Franko – Squamish, BC
- Kara Lang – Oakville, ON
- Diana Matheson – Oakville, ON
- Erin McLeod – Edmonton, AB
- Sophie Schmidt – Abbotsford, BC
- Christine Sinclair – Burnaby, BC
- Melissa Tancredi – Ancaster, ON
- Rhian Wilkinson – Baie d’Urfe, QC
- other selection
I had to comb over some Olympic liveblogs, and concluded that Sinclair was probably best. Since this is supposed to be a popularity contest, Kara Lang could win. My search referral stats ('kara lang hot', etc.) can attest to her appeal among a certain segment of fans.

This kind of thing floats some boats, apparently.


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I'll be watching AZ - Feyenoord this afternoon. The Rotterdam side is in the bottom half of the table right now, and I can't think of a better place for them. AZ need points to stayalone on top of the Eredivisie after Ajax knocked off a surprise NAC Breda team 3-0 on Friday [20:45 central European time; P2P streams]

1 comment:

PT7 said...

Ali Gerba over de Guzman? No way!