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2017 Workhorse of the Year

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With offseason underway, we look back at the vote results over the course of the season and name our top FC Dallas player for 2017.

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In the sappy and meaningless words of Forrest Gump, indeed, this past season was a bit unexpected. From the opening march to face Pachuca in the CCL and a scintillating rise in form of players like Kellyn Acosta and Maxi Urruti to the bitter soul-crushing drought of the summer, it’s hard to really comprehend what happened to FC Dallas, especially looking in the rearview mirror. Despite our rosy outlook, it became difficult to know which team fans were going to get week in and out.

So as we look back, we pause to consider those players who we voted on over the course of the season for their individual and team performances. It’s a fascinating list for a lot of reasons, but just to give you a sense of the scope of the overall season, I listed our winners below with the dates of the Workhorse articles. It’s incredible to see this vote mirror the ultimate struggles that FC Dallas would have.

February 28 - Carlos Gruezo

March 7 - Kellyn Acosta

March 14 - Paxton Pomykal

March 21 - Kellyn Acosta

April 11 - Matt Hedges

April 18 - Maxi Urruti

April 25 - Carlos Gruezo

May 2- Maxi Urruti

May 9 - Matt Hedges

May 16 - Matt Hedges

May 23 - No One

May 30 - Matt Hedges

June 6 - Michael Barrios

June 13 - No One

June 20 - Matt Hedges

June 27 - Maxi Urruti

July 4 -Victor Ulloa

July 11 - Ryan Hollingshead

July 18 - No One

July 25 - Cristian Colman

August 1 - No One

August 8 - Michael Barrios

August 15 - Cristian Colman & Matt Hedges

August 21 - Jesse Gonzalez

August 29 - Matt Hedges

September 5 - Michael Barrios

September 12 - Jesse Gonzalez

September 19 - Matt Hedges

September 25 - No One

October 3 - Jesse Gonzalez

October 10 - Jesse Gonzalez

October 17 - No One

October 24 - Kellyn Acosta, Mauro Diaz, and Matt Hedges

Tallying up the total votes, Matt Hedges comes away with 9 Workhorse wins, the illustrious and skilled No One with 6, Jesse Gonzalez with a late-surging 4, Maxi Urruti, Michael Barrios, and Kellyn Acosta with 3 apiece, Carlos Gruezo and Cristian Colman (!) with 2 each, and Paxton Pomykal, Ryan Hollingshead, Victor Ulloa, and Mauro Diaz with 1 each.

So, I’ll make it official - Matt Hedges, captain, and stalwart defender is BigD’s official Workhorse of the Year winner for 2017.

But let’s read the tea leaves.

If you want to look to the positive side of things, it is exciting to look back and see that, for some reason, Cristian Colman received a couple of Workhorse wins. Did he really play that well in spots? Does that bode well for the future? Likewise, seeing fans throw love to Paxton is something to take heart from as well. Maybe this is a sign of the changing of the guard and the opportunities and potential to come.

I also give deep credit to Matt Hedges who did not always play well in this season and still dominated the final tally despite missing games due to USMNT call-ups.

On the negative side of things, so many votes for so many different players speaks to the challenge that this team faced. Was it a lack of leadership? Was it just too many moving pieces? Kellyn Acosta started the year red hot and then disappeared (until the very end). Will Mauro Diaz’s name pop up more consistently in 2018? What player could have been more present (beyond Matty) over the course of the campaign? Tough, tough questions, but I was surprised to see plenty of No Ones mixed in which shows that this team really did not work out in the end.

And I do feel a little thankful that Hernan Grana didn’t win any but unnerved that Walker Zimmerman had such a miserable year.

What are your thoughts? Is Matt Hedges the rightful Workhorse of the Year winner? What do you take from the rise and fall of certain names on this list? Post your comments below, but most importantly, thank you for voting! We’ll see you next year.