We have reached the end of the Benny Awards season, so there is only one more award to give out: The Etchy Award, given to D.C. United's most valuable player. The award is obviously named after El Diablo himself, Marco Etcheverry, who was the catalyst of those early D.C. United teams and who was named the MLS MVP in 1998. Past winners of this award include Chris Pontius, Andy Najar, Jaime Moreno, and Dejan Jakovic.
1. Perry Kitchen: This year Kitchen was one of the few constants in a team that was always changing around him. That Kitchen was able to play even close to his 2012 level is a testament to his skills, in a year when no one played as well as they did last year. He led the team in assists, an area in which he continues to improve, and his break up play is still just as good (and can still get better).
2. Bill Hamid: Everything I said in the best defender article applies here as well: "Hamid remains one of the best young goalkeepers in the league, and his calls into the national team are a remained that Juergen Klinsmann thinks so too. Always capable of making that spectacular save, but was sold out too often by the defenders in front of him this year. The fact that he didn't just curl up into the fetal position is a testament to his growing mental strength as well."
3. Luis Silva: A midseason acquisition, Silva immediately improved the way that D.C. United played, scoring goals in each of his first three games. While his goal-scoring touch cooled after that, the team did play better soccer throughout the balance of the season (not that the team was good enough to change the results); Silva, along with a few other players, is one of the people we can rely on going into next season.
4. Dwayne De Rosario: We can all admit that Dwayne De Rosario was disappointing throughout most of this season in league play. However, throughout D.C. United's US Open Cup run, De Rosario found some sort of magic, scoring five goals throughout the run of the tournament. While he is now departed for other climes, without DeRo there would be no US Open Cup championship this year.