Saturday's 4-0 win for FC Dallas over Portland marked the 17th game of the season meaning we've reached the halfway point. To commemorate that, we'll be doing a few different posts this week related to the midway point in the season, but first off we're doing team awards. I hope to hear from you on your team awards...You're welcome to just use ours or add your own as well.
Drew Epperley: Daniel Hernandez
The captain has really stepped up his game this season in light of the injury to David Ferreira. More recently he has taken on the duties of taking the set pieces, which has started to really help the offense out. He's a calming figure in the midfield for the club and without him the defense would have more pressure put on them and the offense would lack a good punch.
Daniel Robertson: George John
When David Ferreira went down with what could be a season-ending injury, we all knew that it would be up to the defense to keep this thing together. For my money, George John has been the best defender in MLS this season. If you take out the Kansas City game, the combined score of the last 11 games George John has played in is opposition 3, George John 2. I feel like with the personnel Dallas has, John is the most important player on the field and the most irreplaceable one.
Game of the first half
Drew Epperley: 4-0 win over Portland
I know it is the most recent victory for this club but looking back on it, it was probably one of the most complete games this club has played all season if not over the last couple of seasons. Defensively the team held a club that is very good on set pieces in check and the offense came alive in both halves of the game with goals on set pieces and from the run of play.
Daniel Robertson: 2-1 win over LA Galaxy
For me, this is the game that gave this team the confidence to know that they'll be fine without Ferreira. It was a bizarre game with the rain delay and late winner from Shea, and remarkably LA hasn't lost since then.
Goal of the first half
Drew Epperley: Brek Shea vs LA
It was obviously the most memorable goal of any so far this season. A cross or a shot, it didn't matter, it just went where it was suppose to - the back of the net.
Daniel Robertson: Brek Shea vs LA
Shea may even have a prettier goal that this one(Kansas City), but there will be no more important goal scored this season. Without that goal, FCD is 7 points behind LA and in a much worse position than they are. The mental boost for the team, the confidence boost for Shea, the points boost in the standings, everything about this goal was enormous.
Unsung Hero AKA Bobby Rhine Award
Drew Epperley: Andrew Jacobson
By far the best deal Schellas Hyndman and company made going into this season was getting AJ. He's a force in the midfield and has quickly became Daniel Hernandez's best partner there too. The guy doesn't lose 50-50 balls and typically does a good job of helping create chances on the offensive end. His stats aren't sexy but his play gets the job done when it matters most.
Daniel Robertson: Andrew Jacobson
After seeing him a couple of times in practice, I told you guys he would be starting by mid-season and it didn't take him that long. Jacobson is just starting to receive some plaudits for his recent play and he's really beginning to come into his own. It's amazing how a player can blossom under the right coach and system.
Biggest Disappointment AKA Duilio Davino Award
Drew Epperley: Ricardo Villar
Wasn't he suppose to replace Dax McCarty? Yeah, that hasn't worked out well at all for him or the club. Instead he is a fairly high salary wasting away on the bench from game to game.
Daniel Robertson: Eric Avila
We've all waited for Avila to get his chance and it finally happened early this season. Unfortunately, the UCSB Gaucho just couldn't take the reigns and show consistent flashes of the talent we know he has. Perhaps it's time to give Avi a chance in another system, because I'm not sure it will ever come off for him in Frisco.
2nd half breakout player
Drew Epperley: Jackson Goncalves
If Jackson gets more time on the wings with Fabian Castillo out with the Colombian national team in the U20 World Cup, we could easily see him breakout even more than he did against Portland. I think we all agreed Saturday that Jackson had his best performance to date with the club and it seems that playing on the flank was a reason behind that.
Daniel Robertson: Maykel Galindo
It may not come in MLS play, we might see it in Concacaf Champions League or US Open Cup, but once Galindo gets healthy I think he's going to score a few goals for this team. Of course, Jackson is a great choice as well as it seems he's come back from Brazil with a whole new mindset and intensity....also you guys know I have to throw Andrew Wiedeman in here.
So what do you think? Let's hear your mid-season awards!