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Poll: United's MVP

With D.C. United having passed the midway point of the league calendar, it's the proper time to select the club's most valuable player. The candidates:

Josh Wicks, who has come to DCU's emotional rescue after winning a three-man battle for the starting goalkeeping job; Dejan Jakovic, a smooth central defender who has made everyone forget the Peralta experiment last year; Bryan Namoff, who is enjoying his finest all-around season at right back; Christian Gomez, who has shown glimpses of returning to all-star form and scored three goals; Jaime Moreno and Luciano Emilio, five-goal scorers; Santino Quaranta, second in the league in assists and influential at midfield and forward; and Chris Pontius, the leading candidate for rookie of the year who has filled a variety of positions.

This is a tough one, no?

By Steve Goff  |  June 23, 2009; 4:03 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Wednesday Kickaround

Comments

Wicks and the back line get my vote.

Posted by: Juan-John | June 23, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

This thread doesn't seem to have much action, so in response to I-270's reference in a previous thread to the movie The Game of Their Lives:


Wait a minute. I'm only now finding out about a movie with Gerard Butler AND soccer? How have I missed this truly great cinematic twofer?

And how am I supposed to concentrate the rest of the day? This would be like DadRyan finding a movie about Playboy bunnies on bicycles.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | June 23, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Not really one person on this team that I would call indispensable or an MVP . . . but Wallace's play stands out just a notch above.

Wicks? He's only gotten 8 games. Hard to be an MVP with that stat.

Posted by: delantero | June 23, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Really tough call, but then on a good team it should be. I had trouble giving it to Christian, Jaime or Emilio because they haven't been good consistently but only part of the time. Wicks may very well be our MVP by season's end but in my mind he's played too few matches to be an MVP at this point. Pontius is a rookie, a very good one, but again hard to say's he's our most valuable player. Frankly you could make a decent argument for Olsen (who got the final goal in the closing seconds against NE which got the team started on better play and I'm convinced his presence has led to a grittier, harder working team with more heart). But ultimately I voted for Jakovic. He has done what Wicks has done but for more games--providing a stabilizing influence in a critical area. Our attack takes turns having different players be influential. But on defense, if we win, it's Wicks and Jakovic every game.

Posted by: JoeW1 | June 23, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I think the very fact that it is hard to point to one player as a half way point MVP speaks volumes about this team. I think overall, (in MLS standards) we are an very good team with a lot of talented players.

I voted for Quaranta because he has been dangerous every time he touches the ball, as Moreno's stats are inflated due to PK's and Emilio sometimes looks like he can't dribble a ball.

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 23, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

After he leaves for the Gold Cup, and we lose all sense of defensive stability, you will all wish you voted for Jakovic.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 23, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Olsen.

Posted by: Reignking | June 23, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I vote for Pontinamovicaranta

Posted by: OWNTF | June 23, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I went with Pontius, but it could have just as easily been Quaranta. I think Pontius has played more positions and more minutes so that was enough for me. I couldn't go for any defenders because we still have a very porous defense. Olsen has missed too many games otherwise he would have been the pick as well. I really think this year's missing ingredient is a combo of Pontius and Wallace.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | June 23, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Moreno just because of muscle memory. He brings such a calm and collected coolness to the club with the ball at his feet, he's a truc game-changer. Jakovic, Quaranta, Namoff and Pontius are all close seconds with Gomez and wallace even closer thirds.

Wicks needs more games to be MVP, but he should get them. Simms is the most reliable and Benny is the heart of the team.

Emilio really needs to step up his game, right now he is competing for worst DP of the year.

Posted by: The_Dude_Abides1 | June 23, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

UnitedDemon wrote:" "After he leaves for the Gold Cup, and we lose all sense of defensive stability, you will all wish you voted for Jakovic."

Second that.

All the others have had moments of shining throughout -- which is good, shows lots of balance. But Jakovic's general solidity and calmness in the center is what has allowed us to generally play 3 in the back and establish a solid rotation where we can bring a lot of different talent on and off as needed.

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 23, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Namoff. Almost as many big saves as Wicks. Extends our offense beyond the midfield. Plus, he plays 90 and in almost every game.

Posted by: fischy | June 23, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The real positive for United is that they are more of a true "team" this year, and very solid contributors like Simms and Wallace can't even get on the initial list of "Who is D.C. United's midseason MVP?"

Posted by: tab5g1 | June 23, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

As well as Jakovic and Namoff have played this season, United is still giving up a buttload of goals. 3rd from the bottom in MLS right now in goals allowed. I find it hard to give an MVP vote to players on a backline that continues to give up goals.

At this point, I think Quaranta probably gets the vote as he's been very productive as well as versatile. However, I think he's far from the most important player on this team. I think that falls to Gomez and while he had a slow start to the season (not uncommon for him), he is starting to warm up and that is only good news for United.

Posted by: ARickey | June 23, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Who is Freedom's MVP? Most entertaining? Bompastor. Most valuable? No question - -
"Washington goalkeeper Erin McLeod has been selected WPS's Player of the Week for Week 13 after notching her second shutout in six appearances to lead the visiting Freedom to a 1-0 triumph over Saint Louis Athletica. The Canadian made seven saves, including a big 63rd-minute stop on Week 12 winner Eniola Aluko, and twice received help from her crossbar as Washington climbed to second place in the WPS standings.

McLeod is the third Freedom player to receive Player of the Week honors, joining Abby Wambach (Week 5) and Sonia Bompastor (Week 6)."

Posted by: OWNTF | June 23, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I vote for Pontinamovicaranta

--------------------------

+1

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 23, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"The Freedom’s Allie Long, who left the same game with what is believed to be a broken toe, will not travel to Boston."

Did I miss this on Insider or do we not cover the Freedom any more?

Posted by: OWNTF | June 23, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

After he leaves for the Gold Cup, and we lose all sense of defensive stability, you will all wish you voted for Jakovic.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 23, 2009 4:45 PM

The real positive for United is that they are more of a true "team" this year...

Posted by: tab5g1 | June 23, 2009 5:03 PM

Yes, and yes.

Without the improved defense, DCU could be looking like LA Galaxy 2008 - leading the league in goals scored & given up! It seems Jakovic is the biggest part of the improvement.

But maybe Olsen can be given credit for the improved team attitude! Or was it the change in vendors at RFK?

Posted by: CDRHoek | June 23, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

http://ussoccer.com/sights/slideShow.jsp_896-0.html

In that picture, if they both take a first touch at the same time, does the ball explode? Pull the fifa glitch and just get stuck at a random point high above the stadium? Does a brick wall spontaneously erect itself?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 23, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I think it has to be either Quaranta or Jakovic. Namoff and Wicks have strong arguments as well, but Wicks has only played in half of our games, while Namoff's superb form in the first 7 or 8 games has tailed off a bit to being merely good.

Quaranta is creating danger constantly, and with everyone we've played in an attacking position. I feel that he influences our play more than Pontius, who even in the middle is less of a playmaker and more of a dynamic attacker.

Jakovic, meanwhile, has caused himself a couple problems, but has also put out a ton of fires set by others. His combination of speed, size, and ability with the ball are frankly priceless for us. A player of his type is exactly what we needed in the back, and even with our high number of goals against, you can only imagine where we'd be without him.

If you read MVP as "best", then I'd say Quaranta. If you read it as "the player it would be the biggest problem to replace", I'd say Jakovic.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 23, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Okay, that didn't work, I was thinking the 3rd picture in that gallery.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 23, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

If I had to choose only one player for MVP right now, I'd vote for Jakovic. Even though we are giving up a lot of goals, his play has allowed us to play in the 3-5-2. Where he plays on the field and his talent level makes him the MVP.

That being said, I think that Namoff has had the best overall season to date.

Posted by: isaac101 | June 23, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I'd vote for the Playboy bunnies on bicycles if B&RRD posts the link. Otherwise, I'm voting for Mir Hossein Moussavi.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 23, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Published: August 2, 1983 NYT

Prime Minister Mir Hussein Moussavi of Iran has announced that Iran will boycott the 1984 Olympic Games to be held in Los Angeles, the official Iranian press agency reported.

The agency, monitored here, reported that Mr. Moussavi had said the decision was reached unanimously at a Cabinet meeting Sunday.

It quoted Mr. Moussavi as saying the boycott was decided upon ''in view of United States interference in the Middle East, its support for the regime occupying Jerusalem and the crimes being committed by the U.S.A. in Latin America, especially in El Salvador.''

Posted by: OWNTF | June 23, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Aha! So, the Iranian regime has a history of interfering with their athletic teams for political purposes.

I would never have guessed...

Posted by: fischy | June 23, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Jakovic. Without him, the season's already over. And we haven't seen all of his game yet.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 23, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

1. Quaranta
2. Namoff

nobody else really comes close in my book.

Posted by: GoUnited | June 23, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Eight nominees, and none getting more that 25% of the vote. Clearly, DCU has no MVP.

Posted by: glfrazier | June 23, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"it's the proper time to select the club's most valuable player"

what is this, the Pro Bowl?

i picked Pontius for his versatility and because i'm completely on his bandwagon, but Quaranta is probably the better choice. hard to choose a defensive player for a team that's given up the 3rd most goals in the league, even though Namoff and Jakovic have been playing well.

also, OT, but i hadn't seen this reported here. ESPN got the Premier League right formerly held by Setanta:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jun/22/espn-wins-premier-league-rights

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 23, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

also, OT, but i hadn't seen this reported here. ESPN got the Premier League right formerly held by Setanta:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jun/22/espn-wins-premier-league-rights

Posted by: dimesmakedollars

*********************

That's for the UK. Setanta-US has not changed or lost it's rights. More to come on that perhaps.

Re: MVP: Fischy said it above - Namoff.

Quaranta has not even been a lock best 11 this season IF everyone is healthy and in form. (Although I would say he is now).

Posted by: JkR- | June 23, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Playboy bunnies on bicycles? Hmm. I'd sure give Bridgette a ride on my handlebar...;-)

Seems a shame that I'd be relegated to complain about that racist Statefarm commercial I just saw prior to the SUPER LIGA kickoff a handful of threads ago. What do I hope for here? Chicago to get stretched thinner? A win for an MLS club as opposed to a draw?
who cares?
ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Posted by: DadRyan | June 23, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Namoff for MVP (he's always been good, always overlooked, and playing better than ever); Quaranta for Comeback of the Year; Pontius for Rookie of the Year.

Posted by: b18bolo | June 23, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I thought seriously about Jakovic, who deserves all the praise he's getting here, and Quaranta, who may well be MVP by the end of the season and may well also be the emerging new Ben Olson in terms of team heart and soul. But I went with Namoff. 16 X 90 = 1440 = number of MLS minutes this season = number of minutes Namoff has played. We have other players who can play right back, but they have had to find other positions. Dependable excellence.

Posted by: dccal | June 23, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Plus, Fischy is usually right on the rare occasions when Chest is wrong.

Posted by: dccal | June 23, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Which in turn makes me think mid-season may be time for the Soccer Insider Posting MVP ballot. Chest is having a great season, as usual. I mentioned Fischy. I270 is in the conversation. Dadryan. Other nominees? (Sorry, Powerboater69.)

Posted by: dccal | June 23, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

@JkR- thanks for clarifying.

Now playing on FSC - frankie simek at right back (and almost scoring on a chip) Jonathan Spector at left back, Steve Ralston and Justin Mapp in the midfield and Donovan passing to Eddie Johnson for a tap in. It's Gold Cup 2007! Where is Simek on the USMNT radar right now? Is he still out of form due to injuries? And could Spector play on the left these days? Especially once Hejduk comes back?

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 23, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

also, OT, but i hadn't seen this reported here. ESPN got the Premier League right formerly held by Setanta:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jun/22/espn-wins-premier-league-rights
Posted by: dimesmakedollars

Great.......the Evil Empire adds to their warchest. Now maybe they can pretend to like the game??

As for MVP - I go with Jakovic. Things are just so much better with him back there . Yeah we are still giving up a few goals too many but I feel so much better about the back line in general. They will improve thru the year and really be strong in the latter part of the season. He is solid, smart, confident, talented and very young.

Posted by: googlio | June 23, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Wicks and the three backliners.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | June 23, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

When it really comes down to it, I'd say Quaranta, as he's elevated his game tremendously this year. He was truly hurting when he couldn't come rip roaring into the season because of his injury down in Charleston, and since he's become available he's been nothing but class. Considering he's changing his shoes every half time and his touch still seems awfully deft regardless of the kicks I give him very high marks.
I at times wish he'd be a little more selfish and take some more rips, but playing a bit wide he's had very nice ballz into the box. He is one of the most imaginative guys I've seen in MLS lately, working the inside of his right foot like a bugged out on shroomz hackey sackin' legend, or somethin'...

Jakovic has been a revelation, but he's still a little ruff, and a little retarded on some plays. He may not understand how fine a margin it can be in MLS especially in a season of so many ties. Two or three weekends of the type of commitment the boys showed on Saturday night can take you out of the picture and put a total crap team in the play offs. Every game matters in MLS. Every play. Take that you Eurosnobs!

I'd say the whole team has showed a lot of heart this year. I couldn't be more pleased with the team effort. It's really the individual breakdowns that have me thinking twice about the rest of the boys. I hope that the Cocoon gang can turn it around and offer something in the second half of the season.
Come on Jaime, Ben, and Christian! I admit Christian did great in the two matches prior to Colorado. I really didn't expect much up there.

Above all I hope the US knocks Spain on it's backside tomorrow.
I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sick about hearing of how great Puyol is, when he's really not.

Posted by: DadRyan | June 23, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Namoff for MVP (he's always been good, always overlooked, and playing better than ever); Quaranta for Comeback of the Year; Pontius for Rookie of the Year.

Posted by: b18bolo | June 23, 2009 8:28 PM |
-----------------------------------------------

I guess I would second all of those votes. One caveat -- last year was really Tino's "comeback" year. I would like to see Gomez get the nod for that award (if there is one) this year...but I don't think coming back from being benched is the kind of inspirational story that usually wins such awards.

Quaranta is becoming a great playmaker. If he can improve his shooting, he might work his way back into the USMNT for regular duty. If he gets that good I suppose we should worry we might lose him to Europe, but something tells me Tino will be happy to stay here.

Namoff -- he's made one or two mistakes this year, but what defender has a perfect season? For me, he's had one of the best years that I've seen a defensive player have. Team MVP and MLS Defender of the Year.

And, Pontius will probably turn out to be the best of the lot.

Posted by: fischy | June 23, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Pontius is going to score the GWG in the World Cup Final next year.....
Off a killer krozz from tino!

Posted by: DadRyan | June 23, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I have never encountered a United side with so many people being occasionally outstanding. Everyone has been very good a lot of the time, but there is thus far no one place to look for leadership. You never know who's got it from night to night. One night Wicks is unconscious, another Pontius is scoring in stoppage, then Gomez is resurrected. Emilio has disappeared for a month, but for a while he was the hero. Keeps it interesting.

Posted by: bdwooton | June 23, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I just want to say, I dont want to jump straight to saying Transformers 2 was better, but they looked at the game tape, knew what to improved, and improved it.

OT, I know, but I figure we talk burn notice, and at 3 in the morning, I claim "no harm, no foul"

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 24, 2009 3:06 AM | Report abuse

OT: interesting local headline in today's WaPost...

Migrating Virgin Fest Becomes a Free Affair

(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/23/AR2009062303912.html?hpid=moreheadlines)

I'm guessing it isn't as interesting as it sounds.

Recent Topic: the best soccer movie ever is "Mike Basset, England's Manager"

And, finally, on-topic: No idea since the Seattle game is the only one I have been able to see this year, but a Moussavi vote would be immediately declared a loser even acknowledging irregularities that couldn't affect the outcome because the margin of victory was so overwhelming with 104 percent of the total population having turned out to vote for...Tom Soehn.

Posted by: troy6 | June 24, 2009 3:47 AM | Report abuse

My vote goes to Moreno.

You can still tell the difference in our play with/without him on the field. He may not score as many goals or run as fast these days but he still has complete control of the field and the best ball control in MLS.

When can we include his son in the starting lineup? He must be close to 10 by now.

Posted by: Southeasterner | June 24, 2009 5:33 AM | Report abuse

Wallace doesn't even get on the list????

Malarkey.

Posted by: FbAller | June 24, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

FYI, Spain's lineup

Vicente del Bosque saldrá con todo ante EE.UU. Quiere una plaza en la final de la Copa Confederaciones, por eso el técnico de la selección apostará de inicio por su once de gala, el mismo con el que debutó ante Nueva Zelanda salvo por la presencia de Piqué, que por entonces estaba tocado, que dejará en el banquillo a Albiol.

Así pues, el equipo titular estará formado por: Casillas, Ramos, Piqué, Puyol, Capdevila, Cesc, Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Riera, Torres y Villa.

Posted by: Reignking | June 24, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

This is almost as difficult a question as the "Who should be starting goaltender" question.

Personally, I can't rightfully vote for Wicks, when that question was posed to the community, Wicks was laughed off the stage. Mind you, the kid has played very well and has impressed me, I can't help but feel that he will fall off again. Maybe Simpon has taught Wicks something, but Wicks still has depth perception issues.

Although Namoff is, in my opinion, the most solid defender in the MLS, consistantly good, I am tentitive in giving him the MVP, though all star vote is in for him.

Personally I voted for Jakovic as he is that solid center back we have been looking for in that debacle Peralta experiement. Yes, Jakovic has some work to do, but he's been a solid presence back there and has performed admirably.

Quaranta is deserving of the vote as well. I am really happy to see the improvements in him as well. Gomez has really come on strong as well, but it's only recent and not deserving of the vote. Pontius, another player that has shown that he is deserving of that title. Very very difficult question to ask.

Where's Jakamoffantatius option?

Posted by: dogboy | June 24, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

If you read MVP as "best", then I'd say Quaranta. If you read it as "the player it would be the biggest problem to replace", I'd say Jakovic.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 23, 2009 5:20 PM
********

Chest - dead on as always. My only additional thought is that Rodney Wallace should at least have been on the list. I think he has been lost a bit playing inside, but when he was playing on the flank I thought he was consistently one of our best players. He brings consistent pace that we have lacked since Josh Gros, and he has shown he can be dangerous. I'd really like to see him out wide more.

Posted by: regularfan | June 24, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

-------------------------------------------

After he leaves for the Gold Cup, and we lose all sense of defensive stability, you will all wish you voted for Jakovic.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 23, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------

While I think Wicks, Namoff, Quaranta, Pontius, Wallace have been playing very well, Jakovic has been having an incredible season and is going to be missed a LOT during the Gold Cup. He is my choice for MVP for DC United at this point.

Posted by: Barracudas | June 24, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@JacobfromAtlanta-ish: Improvements in Tranformers 2? More screen time for Megan Fox?

@OWNTF: Do you work for the CIA? I'll chance my vote to... ummm.... Andre Agassi.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 24, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I vote other.

Gallardo, Peralta, the midget, Martinez and Carvallo are all MVP's for leaving the team since the beginning of last season. If it wasn't for them being gone, we'd be down in Red Bull territory.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | June 24, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Jaime Moreno. He is still the best player on the team. DC does not need him running around for 90 minutes, if he gives you a good 30 minutes it makes all the difference. Though I love the players on this team, they cannot match his skill. Not even Gomez. Etcheverry was like that too. Missing most of the game and then wham a good pass and that was that. He also serves as the security blanket for the rest of the team, without him they often look disorganized, his mere presence tends to provide them a center. DC of course, needs to try to find someone else like him because he won't last forever.

Second on the list this year: Quaranta.
Third: Namoff

Posted by: Benito6 | June 24, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Olsen -- this is a working person's team and Ben leads by example in terms of hard work and grit.

Posted by: Curious99 | June 24, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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