The regular season is over and the playoffs are about to start, with the Rapids taking part for the third time in four seasons. That little playoff hump isn't going to stop us from having a bit of fun with the Rookie of the Year race, though. Playoffs aren't going to be likely to determine the winners of those sorts of awards -- if you don't believe me, let's remind ourselves how Austin Berry's Fire did against the Dynamo last season -- so it's time to ask the big question. #TeamDillon or #TeamDeshorn?
I asked a batch of Burgundy Wave's fine writing crew for their answers to the question. Let's see:
UZ - #TeamDillon. I said that I was going to be on Dillon's side unless Deshorn was able to break the MLS rookie scoring record, and even then I might not waver. (Un)fortunately, he didn't do it against Vancouver and so it's an easy choice. I've got a whole post up about this, actually.
Richard Terry - #TeamDillon. Dillon Powers has stepped into a starting central midfield role with Colorado and has done brilliantly this season. His vision, technique, physicality, and goal scoring abilities from midfield are enough to award the former Notre Dame standout with the Rookie of the Year honors.
Steve Vockrodt - As alluring as Deshorn Brown's 10 goals have been this season, I'm going #TeamDillion, a decision owing to Powers's ability to birddog Colorado's offense from the attacking midfielder position. Powers has been an effective conductor of the Rapids' attack, feeding passes and crosses, sustaining pressure and occasionally scoring with his powerful right foot, all contributing to a strong presence from the rookie. Brown has played quite well this season, and his speed and pace have been a spark for Colorado offensively. But Powers plays a more meaningful role for the Rapids.
Jpatrickrosch - Rational: Dillon Powers, out of Notre Dame gets my vote. He has played 2,457 minutes this year while putting five in the back of the net in addition to six assists. 41% of his shots this year forced a save and he started 29 of the 30 games he appeared in.
I think goal numbers are always flashy, and to see Deshorn Brown put up 10 goals and four assists is absolutely wonderful, but for me there is another number that is more important. 6 & 3, for me, are the most important numbers of the year. In the final three games this year the Rapids have gone 1-2 (losses to the Earthquakes and Whitecaps) and defeated that same Vancouver team in the home finale. It is not a coincidence that Powers has been out those three games and the Rapids have been outscored 6 to 3. His importance to this team is demonstrated by the struggle the Rapids have had scoring and the goals that have been given up. He is a box to box midfielder who has a cannon for a leg and is willing to do whatever is necessary to help this team win. With him, the Rapids have a shot at another MLS Cup. Without him, the road becomes far more challenging.
Alex Petri - #TeamDillon. It's incredibly close, both stepped up and have been vital to the Rapids’ success this season. Brown scored some big goals and was a constant menace. But Powers gets the edge because he had the added pressure of playing in the middle, driving and directing the team. Despite the heavy responsibility, he thrived, and almost never played like a rookie.
RockyCoors - I'm definitely #TeamDeshorn for a few reasons. He has grown more over the season than Dillon Powers. Halfway through the season he led the league in offsides by a huge margin. That has slowed in the last few months. Getting close to the rookie record of goals scored is what the voters who don't watch every game look for. He has recently played more of a supportive role on the wing than a pure striker on the field to utilize his speed which has been a learning experience but the Rapids played their best soccer of the year versus the Sounders with him in that position. He's been an offensive threat dare I say better than Omar Cummings. For these reasons I'm a #TeamDeshorn guy.
Purple Rox - I was #TeamDeshorn all the way until three weeks ago. I mean how could you not love the speed, the ten goals, the flair but then #TeamDillon goes down with a concussion. How can a center midfielder be all that valuable? Forget Rookie of the Year for the Rapids, I would say that #TeamDillon is the most valuable Rapid! In the three games he has missed the Rapids have looked flat out dysfunctional. The middle is a mess. Rapids have lost two road games and really without Torres unbelievable goal of the week nomination, we probably would have tied at home against Vancouver. That is the thing with soccer, we look to the goal scorers, the flashy paint schemes but in essence it's the stuff under the hood that matters. #TeamDillon quiet, bedrock play has really made the Rapids engine run this year. If he isn't on the pitch come Wednesday then Rapids playoff run will be short. #TeamDillon all the way for RoY.
So between the group of us, that's six votes for Dillon and one for Deshorn, with the 2013 team MVP coming out on top. Where do you sit with the regular season over? Vote below!