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Award 4: The Donnety

By definition, the Donnety award goes to the player who has been the biggest disappointment this year. Yes, harsh, I know. But this award's definition could probably be interpreted in a couple different ways. And because I love controversy, of course I will leave that interpretation up to you. Do you give the award to a guy who has played well at times, but hasn't lived up to the hype or to his high salary? Or do you give the award to a more marginal player who was expected to take a step forward this year, but instead took two steps back? The award's namesake Matias Donnet came to United in 2006 with star potential, having previously played in the Serie A, and having won numerous championships with Boca Juniors. But he made only 8 appearances in DC.

1. Many fans have expressed their disappointment with Marcelo Gallardo this year. There's no question that he's made some positive contributions this year while on the field, but does his 4 goals and 3 assists in 14 league appearances justify his Designated Player status and his $1.8 million salary?

2. After some really encouraging minutes toward the end of the 2007 season, I don't think I was the only one who felt like Rod Dyachenko was poised to have his breakout season in 2008. But now he seems less and less likely to be invited back to the team next year. As a quick reminder, not only did we trade a first round draft choice to Toronto (which they used on Pat Phelan, now of New England), but we also chose to protect Dyachenko last year over Brian Carroll in the Expansion Draft.

3. We heard a lot of hype this offseason from Payne and Kasper about the possibility of having a goalkeeping competition between Zach Wells and Jose Carvallo. As it turns out, the competition was over who could get cut first. Carvallo won. And Wells now seems to be restricted to Champions League duty for the remainder of the season.

4. The forward who made the smallest contribution this year was Franco Niell, who spent only a short time with the club. Niell did manage to score a goal in the Champions Cup, and had a wee bit of success in the Reserve Division, but he spent most of his time with United on the ground.

(the 2008 Benny Awards)