2018 Colorado Rapids Independent Press Corps Season Awards

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RCE CITY, CO - AUGUST 25: Kellyn Acosta #10 of the Colorado Rapids dribbles past Damir Kreilach #6 of Real Salt Lake at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on August 25, 2018 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Editorial (October 28, 2018) – Last Word on Soccer in conjunction with the Colorado Rapids independent media are excited to announce the first ever Colorado Rapids Independent Press Corps Season Awards. As the independent media covering this team, we take seriously the opportunity to cover 2018 Colorado Rapids and constructively criticize without burgundy-tinted glasses.

And many of us like to snarkily throw down, especially after years like 2018. Consider this a peanut gallery rebuttal of the 2018 Colorado Rapids season and the awards from A Burgundy Affair. Contributors from Last Word on Soccer, Pro Soccer USA, Burgundy Wave, Around MLS, The Denver Post, Rapids Republic, and Mile High Sports participated.

2018 Colorado Rapids Independent Press Corps Season Awards

This inaugural set of awards consist of five individual and five event/team awards based on relevancy and significance. It’s pointless to have a Goalkeeper of the Year award when one guy started all but four games.

Clear definitions were provided for each award. Voters were allowed up to three votes per award, with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two for a second place vote, and one for third. In the event of a tie, the recipient with the most first-place votes was selected. Now to the awards.

Player of the Year:

Most outstanding player for the club in 2018.

Winner: Edgar Castillo
Runner-Up: Dominique Badji
Third Place: Jack Price

“The 32-year-old left back was a defensive stalwart while serving as the key man in every Rapids attack, finishing the year with a team-high 3 goals and team-high 5 assists.” – Mark Goodman, Around MLS

Newcomer of the Year:

Most outstanding player who was in their first year with the club. Winners/nominees for Player of the Year are eligible.

Winner: Edgar Castillo
Runner-Up: Jack Price
Third Place: Kellyn Acosta

Young Player of the Year:

Most outstanding player under the age of 24.

Winner: Kellyn Acosta
Runner-Up: Kortne Ford
Third Place: Sam Nicholson

“He only played half a season in Colorado, but Kellyn Acosta needs to be the centerpiece of the 2019 Rapids — that is if he even wants to be here another year.” – Daniel Boniface, The Denver Post

Underrated Player of the Year:

Most undervalued/unsung player.

Winner: Axel Sjoberg
Runner-Up: Dillon Serna
Third Place: Marlon Hairston

“It seems weird to say a former MLS Best XI player was the Rapids most underrated player, but for whatever reason, coach Anthony Hudson underrated the 6-foot-7 Swede, and played him sparingly.” – Daniel Boniface, The Denver Post

Bust of the Year:

The least outstanding player of the year and biggest disappointment. Salary and expectations should be taken into account. Does not have to be awarded to a player.

Winner: Yannick Boli
Runner-Up: Danny Wilson
Third Place: Head Coach Anthony Hudson

“A near-majority of the new additions, players and other personnel, could be candidates for this award. I’m going with Yannick Boli though. Most expensive center forward and he has two MLS goals. He couldn’t get into the Starting XI for much of the year, some of that being his fault some being circumstance. He seemed to fit Hudson’s style of play and just never clicked. He’s probably not coming back. He might not be a bust as a professional athlete, but his signing, handing, and results have been a bust.” – Matt Pollard, Last Word on Soccer

Mistake of the Year:

Defined as the biggest blunder/howler of the year in a game. Can be a play, decision by player or coach, or an individual 90-minute performance.

Winner: Niki Jackson’s red card vs. Real Salt Lake, August 25.
Runner-Up: Tim Howard’s red card at Real Salt Lake, April 21.
Third Place: The drawn-out experiment of playing non-outside backs at right wing-back, a bunch of games.

Best Game of the Year:

Most impressive result/performance in all competitions.

Winner: 3-0 win vs. Philadelphia Union, March 31.
Runner-Up: 2-1 win vs. LA Galaxy, August 4.
Third Place: 2-0 win at Minnesota United FC, October 13.

Worst Game of the Year:

Least impressive result/performance in all competitions.

Winner: 6-0 loss vs. Real Salt Lake, August 25.
Runner-Up: 2-0 loss at Nashville SC, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, June 6.
Third Place: 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake, April 21.

Last Word on Soccer has made the editorial choice to not provide these highlights for the sake of reader sanity.

Goal of the Year:

Most impressive goal of the season in all competitions, including PKs.

Winner: Edgar Castillo vs. Minnesota United FC, June 23.
Runner-Up: Edgar Castillo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, June 1.
Third Place: Dominique Badji vs. Sporting KC, March 24.

Quote of the Year:

Quote that stands out the most from any Rapids personnel, player, coach, or front office member.

Winner: “I’ve said the same thing too many times, I apologize. I apologize to the fans who came out, they were so good again tonight, good turnout, stayed to the end. Those guys down behind the goal were cheering throughout the game which is just really impressive. Absolutely gutted we’re not giving them the performances and the results.” – Anthony Hudson, opening statement after lossing 3-0 vs. Los Angeles FC, October 6.

Runner-Up: “If this is a preseason game for us, before we lead into our first game of the season, we’re very very happy.” Anthony Hudson, discussing the result after losing to Toronto FC in the CONCACAF Champions Leauge Quarterfinals, February 27.

Third Place: “No stupid red cards.” – Kellyn Acosta, lessons learned after losing 6-0 to Real Salt Lake, August 25.

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