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Award 8: The Popie

By definition, the Popie award goes to United's best defensive player in 2009. The award's namesake is former national team defender Eddie Pope. Not only is Pope widely recognized as the best defender in United's history, but he is also responsible for the most important goal in United's history.

Last year's winner was Bryan Namoff with over 50% of the vote. It's also telling of DC's defensive struggles in 2008 that the runner-up for this award last year was Devon McTavish, and he had not started a single game in central defense all year until last night.

1. Bryan Namoff is a strong contender to defend his title in 2009 with another great year. He's also contributed to the team with his most productive offensive year to date, with 2 goals and 4 assists.

2. Dejan Jakovic has been the first central defender in years to solidify his position in DC United's lineup, starting every game while healthy. He has exhibited great vision, anticipation, movement, and strength, placing him among the best central defenders in MLS.

3. Clyde Simms may not be a true defender by trade, but he is the team's best ball-winner, and he won the "Defender of the Year" award at last year's team reception.

4. Josh Wicks started 19 regular season games for DC United this year and earned 5 shutouts. His 1.40 goals against average is not among the best in the league, but he appeared to have locked down the starting goalkeeper position for the team before getting injured.

Please enter your votes now through the end of the season, and remember to post in the comments section to be eligible for the exciting prizes that I announced last week.

Next up: The Esky - Who is United's most valuable player?