In the spirit of full transparency, and wasting no time since the balloting was announced, I am jumping in with both feet and giving you my picks for Dynamo Theory's 2011 Creamsicle Awards. Hopefully, we can finish the year and start the next with a healthy discussion and debate on reviewing what was, for me, the most fun Houston Dynamo season that didn't have a trophy-winning celebration at the end of it.
So here we go, with videos and photos to back me up. Go below the fold if you dare!
Team MVP: Brad Davis. No brainer. Easier pick than if there had been a Creamsicle for Best Goalkeeper on the ballot. What hasn't been said about Brad Davis this year? My personal favorite moment, though: Firing up his team by organizing a Dynamo Stadium tour the week before the Eastern Final. I don't guarantee that Dynamo would have won MLS Cup with Davis healthy and in the lineup, but you would have seen more offense, no doubt.
And here's an interview he did right about that time in front of the stadium:
Forward of the Year: Brian Ching. In a year when there was no real consistency from anyone in the forward position, the only one who you felt could change a game at any moment, who consistently drew the opposing defense's attention, was Captain Kamehameha. Since the competition was so sparse in this role, I'm giving it to Ching on bookending the Robertson Stadium Era by scoring the last goal in the place. Second place: Will Bruin
And here's the moment that did it for me.
Midfielder of the Year: Davis. The bend on the ball in that video clip tells you everything you need to know. The addition of Camargo and Moffat midyear were crucial, absolutely crucial to Dynamo going as far as they did. But let's face it, for all the reasons stated above, how could you ever say that Davis is the MVP of the team and not even the midfielder of the year? His highlights are too many to mention, and, crucially, far greater than most US National team midfield candidates. Just sayin'. Second place: Adam Moffat
Defender of the Year: Geoff Cameron. Here's an interesting debate. Andrew "Crazy Horse" Hainault was the best defender who played only at defender all year long. No question in my mind about that. Corey Ashe might come close, but not if you saw each and every game. Ashe was a revelation at left back this year, but Hainault had to deal with a weakness, the right back position, when he was in the center, and then locked down the right when he moved over there. So why isn't he my pick for Defender of the Year? Cameron's move back to central defense showed us all over again what it's like to have an absolute lock on the Route 1 Gate. Simply put. You win. He made Boswell play better than at any point since, well, since the last time Cameron was in central defense, in 2009. His mobility, toughness and outright command of his space on the field made him easily Dynamo's best defender on the year. Second place: Hainault.
And my favorite moment was when he gave Jack McInerney the business for trying to dive on his turf. Get up kid, and get your ass outta here! That's at the end of this video:
Newcomer of the Year: Adam Moffat. Here's one where I am most inclined to pick a tie, between Moffat and Camargo, but in the end, I'm going with Moffat. The reason is that the guy made an obvious impact from the time he stepped on the field on Orange. His two rocket-blasts drew defenses out of shape on more than one occasion when he was in position to unleash another one, and it's hard to deny the sheer style of uncorking the first Moffat Rocket against his old team. He also delivered the set piece assist that led to the winning goal in the Eastern Final. Camargo was the silent assassin out there. Never flashy playing out of position at CAM (He's always been a DM.), he knew that his job was to create space in order for Brad Davis to get time on the ball to do what he does. With Davis out in the last game-and-a-half of the season, he created more, notably his sweet, sweet pass to release Costly for the second goal in KC. He was also strong in the second half in MLS Cup though outgunned with Davis out. He was a big reason Dynamo went on the run, but in the end, I just felt Moffat's contributions were greater. Second: Camargo.
Ladies and gents: The Moffat Rocket
Rookie of the Year: Will Bruin. Not much competition here. Rookie year, starting many games, out with injury, coming back from injury, co-leading the team in goals. Future's so bright, gotta wear bear-shaped shades. Second: Alex Dixon.
Moment of the Year: Dixon's goal. For sheer exuberance and off the charts seismic "WOW!!!" factor, I'm giving this to Dixon. I mean, the stadium groundbreaking is more important for the long term, and the Eastern Final meant a trophy. Both are greater accomplishments and have longer term import. However, Dixon's goal. Holy crap. He did that right in front of me, and you should have seen the bend on that sucker when he fired it. Rimando had no chance. None at all. Years from now, when I'm taking my grandchildren to Dowling Street, I look forward to boring the hell out of them, complaining about the then-current crop of Dynamen, and telling the story of Dixon's last-second stunner. Second: Winning that trophy.
And the video that I'm sure certain Dynamo Theory commenters watch at least once a week. At least.
Goal Celebration of the Year: Dancing Bear. Just for the sheer "What. In. The. Heck. Is. That?" aspect of it all. Also, very unique. Only a guy with a bear motif can pull it off without having the guys in white suits show up. Second: Dixon
Best Non-Adam Moffat Playoff Beard: Tally Hall. It used to be the best playoff beard belonged to Pat Onstad. No question about it. In just three weeks, that guy looked like he had just crawled out of the Canadian Rockies personally to stuff the crap out of the New England Revolution. This year, it was nice to see Hall kept the tradition going in goal. I think the only way Donovan executed that chip correctly in the final is because he had his eyes closed. Otherwise, he would have been too scared. Second: Camargo, the young Brazilian Santa Claus.
I mean look at this:
Tweet of the Year: Geoff Cameron's. That is the way to come to your captain's defense. Show Marsch up to be the classless little dork he is (modesty forbids harsher language. This is a family site, right?). I loved Ching's for sheer surprise value and the amount of its retweeting. But to me, Cameron captured the moment and what everyone was thinking. Second: Ching.
So those are my picks. I am very much looking forward to reading what everyone chooses. And I hope you all have a great New Year in 2012, the year of the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium.