The Benny Awards continue, with today's award named after one of the most infamous members of D.C. United: Freddy Adu. You all know the story of the "next Pele" who signed with MLS when he was 14 and since then has appeared on 9 different teams in the next 10 years. He has most recently been let go from Bahia, which is the team from which United acquired Rafael Gladiador. The award in his honor is given to the person who created the biggest story throughout the year, based on any criteria which you want to use.
Previous recipients of this award include Hamdi Salihi, Andy Najar, Chris Pontius, Santino Quaranta, and Rodney Wallace.
1. Rafael Gladiador: Hyped from the very beginning as a major announcement, Rafael was signed to a young designated player contract and was expected to contribute right away. Instead, he sat on the bench and gathered questions as to why he wasn't playing; when he eventually did, he showed why he wasn't playing (goal against Columbus excepted). He was released in the middle of the year and looks like be one of the biggest DP busts in MLS.
2. Allen Lew: The mild-mannered city administrator has been behind a number of high-profile development deals for the city during his tenure, including the Nationals' stadium project. His appointment as the leader of the D.C. United stadium push on the city's side has gotten the team to its closest point towards getting a new stadium in their history; however, this week's news has shown that there is still a long way to go for this project to reach completion.
3. Chris Pontius: The very epitome of what has gone wrong with D.C. United this year: long term injuries, a massive drop in performance, and a lack of confidence even when he is healthy and playing. Throughout 2012, Pontius was the most important D.C. United player, even surpassing DeRo; throughout 2013, people were wondering what had happened to him.
4. Ben Olsen: The stories have been swirling around Ben Olsen all season. Coming off of the 2012 season, in which every decision he made seemed to go right, the 2013 was a stark contrast. Questions about his personnel selections, tactics, and signings have dogged him all season. However, despite all of this he has maintained the confidence of his players throughout the season, and while leading them to the US Open Cup title, which is one of the main reasons that he will be back next season.