Benny Award 8: The Popie

Award-popie_medium
Following an unexpectedly long intermission, we return once again to the Benny Awards, where we honor D.C. United players for their work done in 2010.

This week's award is the Popie, named for one of the greatest defenders in MLS history Eddie Pope. The award is granted to United's defender of the year.

1. Last year's recipient of the Popie Award was Dejan Jakovic, who appeared to take a surprising step back in 2010. The young Canadian has strong tackling ability, is good in the air, and is a better dribbler than most would expect, but his season also contained far too many costly mistakes for a player of his caliber.

2. Jakovic's partner in central defense for most of the season was Julius James, who was quite easily the most improved player on the team. James went from a fringe starter who had been let go by two previous teams to the leading contender for a defensive award on the worst team in the league. Maybe that's not so much of a step up afterall.

3. Despite playing only nine matches with the club after arriving via trade from the Columbus Crew, United named Jed Zayner as its Defender of the Year. Zayner demonstrated consistency and versatility in his work at the end of the season, starting at each spot on the backline at least once. He may have been a  big reason why United looked better after Ben Olsen took over the coaching reigns.

4. Getting a lot of responsibility in his rookie year, Bill Hamid was United's best goalkeeper in 2010. He staked his claim on the starting job far earlier than anyone could have guessed before stepping aside due to injury. The 20-year old Academy signee could be asked to start on Day 1 in 2011.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Black And Red United

You must be a member of Black And Red United to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Black And Red United. You should read them.

Join Black And Red United

You must be a member of Black And Red United to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Black And Red United. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker