Our award season continues today as we look at who was the Most Improved Player in 2014 for FC Dallas.
After tallying the votes it was a close decision between Victor Ulloa and Moises Hernandez but in the end it was Ulloa that came away with our Most Improved Player award.
Ben: Victor Ulloa - It's easy to swap Watson and Ulloa in the Unsung and Most improved slots, but I picked it this way because Watson was an established Jamaican international last year, and Ulloa was an academy graduate who never saw the field last year. Then he filled in during an injury crisis against Portland in a home win and played pretty well. Then he started getting a little more time. Then after an injury to Hendry Thomas, he planted his flag in central midfield in May against San Jose and played all but 9 minutes of MLS action for the rest of the season. Showing good grit and passing vision, his came consistently improved over the last of the 5 months to the point where aficionados of the Hoops suggested he might be MVP of the team. I think his success is another argument for Most Valuable Pareja.
Drew: Victor Ulloa - To go from released to being re-signed as a depth piece for the year to full time starter. Such a transformation and such an impressive player to watch. Not to mention he is just a great kid too.
Jason: Moises Hernandez - From loan spell, to bench, to ousting incumbent Jair Benitez in a span of a year. Some rash challenges aside, Hernandez really stepped up into a dependable left back this year.
Jay: Fabian Castillo - I'm not ashamed to admit that I was yelling to sell him last season. His continual desire to run straight to the end line and shoot the ball into the side net caused more headaches for FCD than it did goals. Apparently all Fabian needed however was a new coach. What a difference a year makes. Castillo has morphed into was of the most dangerous attacking players in MLS and a guy that teams must game plan for. With his performance this year it's easy to see why his name continues to be brought up as being a target of interest from teams overseas.
Mo: Victor Ulloa - Vic went from not being guaranteed a contract to one of the league's nicest stories. Mo Hernandez gets a bit of a look, but Ulloa was by far the most improved in my opinion.
Owen - No vote - Since I didn't watch them much last season, I'm going to recuse myself on this one... A lot of me would say Castillo again, but I'm not sure. Escobar also was great at times, but not sure what he looked like a year ago...
Ryan: Moises Hernandez - Ok, I know he wasn't with us the past 2 years cause technically he was on loan, but he's still a valid pick right? The two loan spells has made this guy into the future LB for FCD, taking the job from Jair Benitez midway through the season and OP didn't look back. Worked both sides of the ball admirably and was a key part of why we got as far as we did.
Scott: Je-Vaughn Watson - He easily was the player that frustrated me the most last year, but this year he showed his heart and hustle. Especially in the playoffs, his motor never stopped and he became a real help on creating overlaps and letting the team stay wide.
Taylor: Victor Ulloa - From barely making the team to being an integral part of the team. Ulloa has had an amazing year. What a turn around.