By definition the Convey award goes to the team's Rookie of the Year. But there's a couple of different ways you could interpret that. Do you give the award to the young player who has made the biggest contribution so far this season? Or do you give it to the guy who has the best chance of being a star in the MLS? Or maybe those both describe the same player? The award's namesake Bobby Convey played for United from 2000-2004, starting 18 matches for the club his rookie year.
The man from the mines Craig Thompson has made the most appearances for the team this season, and his work rate and willingness to contribute on both offense and defense has been impressive. He's a decent fill-in player, but it's questionable whether he has enough upside to be a starter in the MLS.
Not only has Ryan Cordeiro been lighting up the Reserve division (for whatever that matters), he's also the only rookie with much to brag about on his league stats. Cord has earned one assist (on Emilio's gamewinning goal against Chicago in June), and almost notched a goal while we were in the process of running up the score on the Rapids last month. In order to get more playing time though, Cordeiro has got to learn to play better defense. Straight up.
Another big contributor this year has been Pat Carroll, with 3 league starts and 4 appearances. He's provided adequate depth in league play and in Superliga when we were hurting for bodies in the back. Time will only tell whether he will end up being a lifetime fringe starter like his brother Brian or his constantly injured soon-to-be-cut brother Jeff.
And finally, the last remaining rookie on the team is Mike Zaher. He's made two starts for the club and played pretty well during those limited chances. Could have a future in this league, if he can work hard enough to overcome his size disadvantage. His look makes me wonder whether he will seek a trade to return to LA this offseason.
(the 2008 Benny awards)
The first two weeks have surprised me so far in that one player in each poll is still currently receiving over 50% of the vote. This week though, I won't be so surprised...