Friday, September 18, 2009

Benny Award 1: The Richie

By definition, the Richie Award goes to the most underrated player on the United roster. The award's namesake Richie Williams was probably the hardest working player on our championship teams in the 90s, but flew mostly under the radar when compared to the better known players.

Last year’s winner by a wide margin was Clyde Simms, earning over 50% of the vote. This year’s nominees are:
  1. Clyde Simms continues to be one of the best defensive midfielders in MLS, while still going virtually unnoticed in the national scene. Simms is a great ball-winner, and this year has even done well when occasionally forced to take on a new role as central defender and leader of the back line.

  2. Bryan Namoff was the runner-up for this award last year, and has very quietly had his most productive season ever with two goals and four assists, all while being our most consistent defender. It still makes no sense to me that Namoff is repeatedly passed up for USMNT duty in favor of guys like Marvel Wynne.

  3. Marc Burch earns his first Benny Award nomination by virtue of being the lowest rated DC United starter in the eyes of most fans. But does he deserve to be rated higher? Burch has improved defensively every year since being converted to a left back, his left foot continues to be a weapon when serving long crosses in from the back, and let’s not forget the Burchie bomb, which earned him a goal against Dallas just a couple weeks ago.
  4. Jaime Moreno owns the record for most career goals in MLS, but this year he hasn’t really gotten the respect that he deserves, even from the coaching staff. Moreno has only started 10 games so far this season, but he is still second place on the team with 7 goals (just 2 behind Emilio, who was started 20 games). Sure, some of those goals may have come from penalty kicks, but Moreno has scored 2 more goals than Blanco this year, and has the same number of goals and assists as Ching, yet he only gets a fraction of the national media attention that they get.

Please enter your votes now through the end of the season, and feel free to argue for your choice in the comments section.

Up next: The Nelly – What new addition has made the biggest impact for United this year?


Chest Rockwell said...

Gotta say, I think you've put up the best 4 possible candidates.

Simms is taken for granted by many DC fans, even though the only reason the 3412 worked at all for so long was because of the amount of ground he could cover from the middle. I don't have the numbers, but I'd venture a guess that he's once again our leader in minutes played in all competitions, despite playing the most physically demanding position on the field for most of the season. His ability to win tackles and clog passing lanes is vital; even when we play other decent players in that spot, we lose something because he's clearly head and shoulders above everyone else at that job.

So, despite good resumes for the others, I endorse Clyde Simms for a repeat Richie award.

rob said...

Maybe this being the first award is throwing people off? Because while Namoff might have been a deserving winner last year, my impression is that everyone knows how important he is to us this year. I agree with Chest -- it has to Clyde.