Awards Pick 'Em: Who should win Coach of the Year? MLSsoccer.com editors weigh in

Porter and Kreis - Pick Em

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USA Today Sports

It's been the most unpredictable, up-and-down MLS season in recent memory, and maybe of all-time. With one week left, every Western Conference playoff team could end up on 54 points, and five Eastern Conference teams could end up on 49 – with three making the postseason, and two missing out.

But we're brave, so with what will probably be the wildest final week in league history remaining, we're dishing out our awards picks. Foolish? Maybe. But as the Romans said, audentes fortuna iuvat!

See the full awards schedule here!

Editor Score Comments


Greg Lalas
Editor-In-Chief

JASON KREIS
Real Salt Lake

This might be Kreis' best coaching performance of his career. RSL lost several big pieces in the offseason and had to deal with regular injuries and international call-ups. Yet he incorporated a few new pieces, nurtured Luis Gil into a legitimate star-in-the-making, and led his team right into thick of the Supporters' Shield fray.


Jonah Freedman
Managing Editor

OSCAR PAREJA
Colorado Rapids

The popular pick is Porter, and deservedly so. But the job Pareja has done piecing together parts and playing with style points is fantastic. His starting lineup has included two rookies, a second-string goalkeeper, a 20-year-old central defender and a left back who, 18 months ago, was driving cars at Atlanta's Hartsfield airport. Now he's got a team that is the last one anyone will want to face in the playoffs.

Kristel Valencia
Editor FutbolMLS.com

CALEB PORTER
Portland Timbers

Porter is responsible for the total transformation of a team that for two years was a big failure under John Spencer. He retained the best elements from the former staff, surrounded them with elite talent and assembled a team that not only is entertaining but also a fighter during 90 minutes of a game.


Matt Doyle
Armchair Analyst

MIKE PETKE
New York Red Bulls

Forget the on-the-field stuff, which speaks for itself. It's the off-the-field stuff that's made Petke special, as he's kept an historically fractuous locker room together – including a famous practice dust-up with his biggest star.


Andrew Wiebe
Editor

CALEB PORTER
Portland Timbers

If not for a stumble in the US Open Cup, Porter's Timbers could still be chasing a treble. And even if the double – Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup – doesn't come off, Porter's proven almost immediately that his collegiate dominance was no fluke.


Jason Saghini
Director of Video

CALEB PORTER
Portland Timbers

I could argue for three coaches in the Western Conference alone, but right now I'm leaning toward Porter. He's taken a team that was struggling for identity last year and not only given them one, he's turned them into the toughest team to beat in MLS.


Simon Borg
Senior Editor

CALEB PORTER
Portland Timbers

What separates Porter from the other equally qualified candidates is the fact that the Timbers had the most ground to make up while dealing with more pressure than any other MLS market. And what made it most challenging: Porter had to oversee a psychological overhaul of a team that was suffering from a full-on identity and confidence crisis.


Nick Rosano
Editor

CALEB PORTER
Portland Timbers

Pareja, Petke and Kreis may all have their cases, but for me the choice is a simple one. Not many new coaches can transform a team that's been an also-ran in its first two seasons into a legitimate contender in their first year, much less while turning over so much of their roster and playing aesthetically pleasing soccer. But that's exactly what Porter has done.