So far in the 2012 Bennies, we've had two close contests with no clear favorites. We've had a pair of unheralded left backs competing for the Richie, and a bunch of underwhelming internationals competing for the Nelly.
This award isn't anything like those.
The Andy is our version of the Rookie of the Year, and there's no reason to even pretend that anyone other than Nick DeLeon will win. He set a United rookie record with six goals during the regular season, and then added two more in the playoffs. DeLeon was great, constantly impressing his with his control and vision. He finished just behind Austin Berry for the MLS ROTY award, and probably would have won if the voting had happened after the postseason.
So DeLeon is the winner of the Andy in 2012. Let's just get that out of the way right now. But we still have to vote for something, right?
If we ignore the 2008 season in which we had to decide between Craig Thompson, Ryan Cordeiro, Pat Carrol, and Mike Zaher for this award (Gosh that's terrible!), D.C. United has had a fantastic record of drafting top talent. But of the four young players that were eligible for ROTY awards in their respective season and that are all currently still on the United roster, which is the best? Along with DeLeon, United's Chris Pontius, Andy Najar, and Perry Kitchen are among the best MLS players in their draft classes (or homegrown class for Najar). Now you can vote for the best Andy Award winner.
Feel free to interpret the word "best" in whatever way you'd like. It could mean the best player in their rookie season, the best player NOW, the most potential, anything. Cast your vote below, and share your perspective in the comments.