Home MLS Toronto FC Why was Koevermans AWOL on Newcomer of the Year ballot?

Why was Koevermans AWOL on Newcomer of the Year ballot?

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It would be hard to see either New York Red Bull Luke Rodgers or Vancouver Whitecap Eric Hassli stop Mauro Rosales from being Major League Soccer’s Newcomer of the Year.

The award goes to the top first-year MLS player who isn’t considered a true rookie (as in, he’s played professionally elsewhere).

Rosales had a fantastic season running the Seattle Sounders midfield, and that should have given him the edge in voting, which was completed over the last weekend of the regular season,over Hassli and Rodgers.

But, should there have been another name amongst the finalists?

Danny Koevermans’ name wasn’t on the ballot for voters to select. And while his body of work, 10 MLS games, might not be enough to dislodge Rosales, he deserved to get some notice from the voters. Toronto FC’s Dutch striker scored eight times and added an assist in those 10 games. And, as good as Plata was in stretches for the Reds, he scored three and added five assists over a full season.

And Rodgers? Nine goals… in 23 matches. More than twice as many games as Koevermans, and just one more goal.

Koevermans was everything you’d want in a Designated Player — committed and willing to do the dirty work. And, ahem, get results.

If Torsten Frings, who signed with TFC at the same time Koevermans did, wasn’t on the ballot, I’d understand the omissions. Neither were considered to be in MLS long enough to merit consideration. But, Frings was on the ballot. And Koevermans wasn’t.

And, honestly, Koevermans would have got a vote out of me. Maybe not a first-place vote, but a second-place to be sure. He was that impressive in his one-third of a season in North America.

His impact on TFC can’t be dismissed. This was a team that was good down the final stretch of the season, and a big part of that was having a true target man who could score goals with his feet or by beating defenders in the air.

Is it fair to call it a snub? I think so.

If Koevermans is adjudged not to have played enough games this season, he should be eligible for the award next year. In the NHL, if you don’t reach 25 games in your first season, you are eligible for Rookie of the Year in season two. Maybe the same sort of rule should apply to Koevermans.

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One Comment

  1. Andre

    November 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Koevermans is one of the best strikers in the league, but I think that there are a lot of MLS fans who don’t really follow soccer too much outside of their own team, or region. Obviously there are several American markets which I would call more worldly then that, but for my money TFC, Montreal, and Vancouver fans are more knowledgeable. Maybe throw in Seattle, NYC, and some of the more northern teams’ fan bases. Nevertheless, I bet if TFC had made the playoffs, Koef would be on the ballet. Which only serves to further illustrate what I mean, Concacaf CL is far more important than the playoffs, in fact Koef -or Joao Plata- were directly responsible for TFC moving to the quarters, to me that is a huge feat, and more merituous of mention than moving to the playoffs — although we should aspire to both.

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