Cerritos, K.C. win Fair Play awards
San Jose Earthquakes forward Ronald Cerritos and the Kansas City Wizards were announced as the winners of the 2005 Kraft Global Fair Play and Kraft Global Team Fair Play awards Wednesday, recognizing Cerritos' sportsmanship and the Wizards' status as the team with the fewest penalty points during the regular season.
Cerritos, also a candidate for MLS Comeback Player of the Year, was voted by media, players, coaches and general managers as the most sportsmanlike player in the league, beating out the Chicago Fire's Justin Mapp and D.C. United's Brian Carroll. The eight-year veteran committed just 21 fouls in 30 games this season and not once was he entered into an official's book. In fact, in 115 games since the 1999 season, the El Salvador native has been cautioned just once. He has seen yellow only seven times throughout his career and he has never been sent off in an MLS game.
In addition to his sportsmanship, Cerritos was a valuable prong in the San Jose attack upon returning after three years away from the club. His six goals tied for fourth in the club, and his nine assists were second only to Dwayne De Rosario's 13.
In one of just two objective awards handed out at the end of each MLS season, the Kansas City Wizards claimed the Kraft Global Team Fair Play award for having the fewest disciplinary points during the season. Their 327.5 points were 25.5 less than the runner-up Chicago Fire and nearly 90 less than the third-place New England Revolution.
A team earns one point for each caution point received by one of its players, 10 points for each red card and 0.5 points for each foul committed. Additionally, 15 points are subtracted from a team's total for every game where none of the club's players receives a yellow or red card. The Wizards finished the season with the fewest yellow cards, red cards and fouls committed, putting their status as the most sportsmanlike team in the league beyond doubt.
The Kraft Global Fair Play award was determined by equal voting from the media (33.33 percent), MLS players (33.33 percent) and MLS coaches and general managers (33.33 percent). With each voting category representing one-third of the total votes, the formula used for determining the award winners involved assigning 33.33 total points to each category for a possible total of 99.99 points. Therefore if a player received 50 percent of the votes in any of the three voting categories, he would earn 16.67 points (half of 33.33) for that category. The voting totals were as follows:
Kraft Global Fair Play - Individual
Media Players Coach/GM Total Ronald Cerritos 6.00 5.08 7.04 18.12 Justin Mapp 4.29 5.82 4.65 14.76 Brian Carroll 4.57 5.43 2.66 12.66
Kraft Global Fair Play - Team
Caution Red Card Fouls Com Clean Game Total Kansas City 168 10 194.5 -45 327.5 Chicago 186 30 227 -90 353 New England 237 20 220 -60 417
Jason Halpin is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.