During the game on Saturday, NBC announcer Brian Dunseth said (I'm not making this up) it would be hard not to vote for DeAndre Yedlin for rookie of the year after all the attention he's gotten this season. That was even after he had been torched all game by a couple other rookies... their names will come to me, I'm sure. Regardless, I'm pretty sure that "getting attention" is not one of the main criteria for winning a "best player" award. Maybe what Dunseth meant was that the voters are sheep with a coastal bias. That I could believe. After Saturday's head-to-head rookie of the year battle, I thought I'd recap the competitors' stats:
I sorted them alphabetically, and only included Zardes for comparison. He shouldn't have a prayer of winning, but he's on the Galaxy, so of course he has a prayer. Undeniably, stats only tell part of the picture. How the teams are doing and the importance of the players to their teams should matter at least as much as stats. All of these criteria look good for the Rapids duo. And there was a big x-factor on display against the Seattle Sounders on Saturday. Deshorn Brown scored two goals while being defended by Yedlin. One was on an unofficial assist from Powers (unofficial because Yedlin barely touched the ball as Brown ran by him), who also scored. In a tight race (which this will be even if it shouldn't be), head-to-head competition this late in the season should count for something. Brown and Powers have consistently outperformed their fellow rookies all season, and especially if the Rapids make the playoffs, there would be little excuse for the Rapids not winning their first Rookie of the Year award.
Oh, and for what it's worth, the Rapids' campaign for Brown and Powers is clever--check it out if you haven't (part 1; part 2).
In 2007 a struggling Rapids side was embarrassed to the tune of 5-0 by a Division 2 Seattle Sounders side in the Open Cup. It was one of the most humbling Rapids games I've seen. Since then Seattle joined MLS and has continued to own the Rapids (including the Community Shield and Open Cup, the Sounders are 10-2-2 against Colorado since they joined MLS) . It was nice to break out of that with a bang and return some humble pie to Seattle.