Summer is in full swing here in Big D as temperatures begin to hit triple digits on a daily basis. That only means it is time to hand out some mid-season awards for FC Dallas.
As we've been talking this season there have been some major positives to this year and some disappointments in more recent weeks. That is just how a regular season goes. This is only half of the year really as there is still so much soccer left to be played out this season.
So here we go.
MVP - Michel
It will be hard to argue against this one in my book. Michel has added so much to this team, a new outlook on how to take set pieces and a guy that can be plugged in to different spots on the field. He is the perfect Schellas Hyndman player in that respect. He's also been a good locker room addition, which as we've seen this year is a tough thing to compete with as there have been many good additions to the Frisco locker room.
Top rookie - Walker Zimmerman
Dallas has six rookies this year* but Zimmerman has been the best one to date. His two goals were solid in the games against Philadelphia and Sporting KC. But his positioning and ability to muscle anyone off the ball has been outstanding to watch out of a young player.
Top moment - Hand of Coop
Anytime you beat Houston it is a good thing. And thankfully Dallas has been able to do it twice this year - once in league play and the other in the US Open Cup. But the real fun was seeing Kenny Cooper score the game winner against the Dynamo back in March during Rivalry Week in MLS. Dallas had gone up two goals only to let the Dynamo back in it with two of their own before Cooper finished off this goal.
Best Game - 2-0 win over Vancouver
I still look back at this game back in April as one of the most complete games I've seen out of Dallas in a few years. David Ferreira was pulling all the strings in the attack. George John was muscling everyone off the ball in the back and thanks to an own goal and a Blas Perez header, Dallas earned their fifth shutout of the season.
Best Save - Raul Fernandez against Portland
There may have been some better saves out of Fernandez but this is one that I keep going back to in my mind as one of his best. Two big reflex saves against the Timbers. Unfortunately Portland would get the better of Fernandez later in the game on a goal from Darlington Nagbe, a goal that most keepers wouldn't have a chance at saving.
Best Addition - Michel/Fernandez
I really have trouble separating these two as the best new addition for this club, and for any club in the league for that matter. Fernandez has had his moments where he was shaky at first or with his communication being lacking with the defense. But the last couple of months he has probably helped earn Dallas more points than had the team turned to Chris Seitz in goal (no offense to Seitz but I'm thankful Fernandez beat him out for the No. 1 spot in preseason).
And for Michel, like I said earlier, he is the team MVP at this point. He has done so much on in so many games.
Biggest letdown - Eric Hassli
I love watching this guy and I certainly enjoy talking to him (the guy is a riot). But no goals so far this year and I know many of you point to the Portland game as a defining moment in his time so far with Dallas when he left the game eight minutes in with back issues. I'm still holding out hope that he'll finally score a goal or two with Dallas here. He is still too talented in my mind not to.
Toughest loss - Portland in the USOC
This was certainly a match that Dallas should have won. At home, playing like champions for the first half, Dallas just looked good and dominant against a team that wasn't losing at the time. But luck wasn't on their side and the second half saw the Hoops implode and allow Portland to score three unanswered goals. Perez got one late for Dallas but it was too little too late at that point.
Fell free to add your own mid-season awards below in the comments section. Or just comment on the ones above. Let's hear what you all have to say about this.