ExtraTime Radio Podcast
LISTEN: The ExtraTime Radio Extravaganza (five shows, five days) is complete! We've previewed the Eastern Conference, talked MLS broadcasting with John Strong, gone behind the scenes of the referee world with Peter Walton and Alan Kelly and given the Western Conference a good once over. Last but not least, the guys go around the table to give their 2017 MLS predictions. Subscribe so you don't miss a show!
Here, for posterity, are the 2017 predictions of the ExtraTime Radio brain trust. Listen to our predictions special above, and check out our extremely accurate 2016 picks for perspective!
|US Open Cup||NY||LA||DAL||DC|
|Golden Boot||Giovinco||Ola Kamara||Altidore||Giovinco|
|Defender of the Year||Torres||Mensah||Torres||Zimmerman|
|Goalkeeper of the Year||Hamid||Howard||Hamid||Hamid|
|Rookie of the Year||Lima||Harkes||Abubakar||Harkes|
|Comeback Player of the Year||Dempsey||Dempsey||Dempsey||Dempsey|
|Coach of the Year||Vanney||Vanney||Pareja||Berhalter|
|Newcomer of the Year||Almiron||Almiron||Blanco||Nikolic|
|24 Under 24 winner||Larin||Almiron||Elis||Almiron|
D-mid of the Year
Defensive midfielders almost never get official, leaguewide recognition. Nobody votes for them for MVP, and nobody votes for them for Defender of the Year, and there's no "midfielder of the year" award. So this is our tip of the hat to the guys who do the dirty work.
Fullback of the year
Everything we said above about defensive midfielders also applies to fullbacks, only more so since d-mids do occasionally make the Best XI. But fullbacks? Nah. In the past decade only one (Todd Dunivant for LA in 2011) has gotten a Best XI nod, which is inconceivable given the primacy of back-four systems and the importance of overlapping fullbacks in those schemes.
The Golden Boot, but for assists. Should we call this "The Valderrama Award"?
Teenager of the Year
Eligible players were born on or after March 3, 1997, and thus start the season as a teenager.
Breakthrough player of the year
This award is a little bit "it's all in the eye of the beholder," but generally speaking: Did you go from being a reserve to a key starter? Did you go from being a starter to an All-Star? Those are generally the two types of breakthroughs we look at. Only players in their third year or beyond are eligible.
Acquisition of the year
Our second "eye of the beholder" award, this is more than a question of who moved the needle the most, both on and off the field. Rather, it could be a savvy but muted trade that boosts a middling team into MLS Cup contention, or a Homegrown signing or draft pick that take the league by storm. Or, of course, it could be a splashy DP signing.
Front office of the year
Another "eye of the beholder" award. Teams that do a good job of building rosters to compete now, and into the future, deserve their dap – especially if they fill up their stadium every week in the process.
- Doyle: D.C. United
- Wiebe: Atlanta United
- Gass: Toronto FC
- Baer: Columbus Crew SC