MLS 2016 Regular Season Recap and Awards

By MLSAces
Oct. 26, 2016

 Here it is folks, the 2016 MLS Aces regular season round-up. I want to thank everybody who has read all of the work published on this blog for what has been my first full season doing this. This MLS season has came with plenty of surprises and plenty of great plays. We have had some huge signings that have changed the outcome of their squads. This season has been full of excitement and adds to the reasons why we all love Major League Soccer.

First, I wanted to start with a bit of recap of what has happened over this MLS season. The western conference has finished like this:

1. FC Dallas 17-8-9

2. Colorado Rapids 15-6-13

3. Los Angeles Galaxy 12-6-16

4. Seattle Sounders 14-14-6

5. Sporting Kansas City 13-13-8

6. Real Salt Lake 12-12-10

7. Portland Timbers 12-14-8

8. Vancouver Whitecaps 10-15-9

9. San Jose Earthquake 8-12-14

10. Houston Dynamo 7-14-13

The eastern conference has finished like this:

1. New York Red Bulls 16-9-9

2. New York City FC 15-10-9

3. Toronto FC 14-9-11

4. D.C. United 11-10-13

5. Montreal Impact 11-11-12

6. Philadelphia Union 11-14-9

7. New England Revolution 11-14-9

8. Orlando City SC 9-11-14

9. Columbus Crew SC 8-14-12

10. Chicago Fire 7-17-10

Looking at the western conference FC Dallas has had a phenomenal season with a bit of drama. Dallas has come away with two of the major U.S. club trophies (the U.S. Open Cup and the Supporter Shield). They now are looking at the final trophy of MLS Cup but they are missing their best player. Mauro Diaz`s injury really hurts their chance at the treble but this team has enough talent to still compete. They had some earlier drama in the season with former star Fabian Castillo. It seems that Dallas is far past Castillo and now looking to win MLS Cup. The Rapids have also had an interesting season as well. They have signed Jermaine Jones, Tim Howard, and Shkelzen Gashi which have been center pieces to their success. They have also traded for former Union midfielder Sebastian Le Toux who is now an everyday starter for them. The Rapids were not looked upon highly going into this campaign and now are second in the West and able to win MLS Cup. The LA Galaxy have had an interesting season as well. They have had injuries to top players such as Robbie Keane, Robbie Rogers, and Gyasi Zardes. But their depth has been key to their success and also their signing of former MVP Landon Donovan helps. Now one of the most interesting teams in MLS this season, the Seattle Sounders. The Sounders had one of the worst starts to an MLS season after one of the most exciting off season signings. Then they fired head coach Sigi Schmid and made Bryan Schmeltzer their new manager. They then signed Nicolas Lodiero who seemed to spark many players around him. Now the Sounders are sitting fourth in the West. Sporting Kansas City is fifth in the west after a very inconsistent season. Dom Dwyer dominated on the attack with sixteen goals on the season but didn't have much help up top. Benny Feilhaber had a bad first half of the season while Graham Zusi had a very off club year. Real Salt Lake has fallen to the six seed in the west after failing to make the playoffs last season. The signing of Yura Movsisyan and the emergence of Joao Plata has given them a true attacking threat.

Now onto the eastern conference playoff team. The Red Bulls finished first in the east and had the top statistical leaders in goals and assists. Red Bull striker Bradley Wright-Phillips has won the golden boot this season scoring 24 goals and midfielder Sacha Kljestan lead the league with 19 assists. It was a great season from the Red Bulls who started off a bit slow. NYCFC finished second in the east in only their second year of existence. David Villa came in second in the golden boot with 23 goals scored. Their defense was much improved behind Patrick Viera and their rookie phenom Jack Harrison gives hope to the future. Toronto FC finished 3rd in the east with a pretty good defense and the emergence of possibly the best attacking combo of Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore. Now with a healthy Giovinco TFC is looking to make a deep playoff run. D.C. United seemed like they were sure to miss the playoffs. But the acquisition of Patrick Mullins has given them a real forward threat. The Impact finished in 5th place but have seemingly lost Didier Drogba for the rest of the season. With no Drogba I`m not sure how far Montreal can make it into MLS Cup playoffs. Finally, we have the Philadelphia Union in 6th place. The Union have had a great season for what they were expected to do going into the season. But in the last month of the season the Union have fallen and played absolutely awful. We will see who comes out of the east soon!

Now that the recap is done I am going to announce the MLS Aces 2016 award winners!

-MLS Aces Coach of the Year: Pablo Masteroni- Colorado Rapids

-MLS Aces Defender of the Year: Jelle Van Damme- Los Angeles Galaxy (28GS, 4A, 2,436MINS)

-MLS Aces Goalkeeper of the Year: Andre Blake- Philadelphia Union (32GS, 6SHO, 99SV, 50GA)

-MLS Aces Rookie of the Year: Keegan Rosenberry- Philadelphia Union (34GS, 2G, 4A, 3,060MINS)

-MLS Aces Newcomer of the Year: Nicolas Lodiero- Seattle Sounders (13GS, 4G, 8A, 1,170MINS)

-MLS Aces Comeback player of the Year: Kevin Molino- Orlando City (26GS, 11G, 8A, 2,315MINS)

-MLS Aces MVP: Sacha Kljestan- New York Red Bulls (30GS, 6G, 19A, 2,623 MINS)

Finally, we have the MLS Aces Best XI for the 2016 MLS Season:

FOR: Bradley Wright-Phillips NYRB

FOR: David Villa NYCFC

MID: Sacha Kljestan NYRB

MID: Giovanni Dos Santos LA

MID: Ignacio Piatti MON

MID: Mauro Diaz FCD

DEF: Axel Sjoberg COL

DEF: Jelle Van Damme LA

DEF: Matt Hedges FCD

DEF: Justin Morrow TFC

GK: Andre Blake PHI

Congratulations on all the players who were listed above. I will soon be posting an article previewing the first round of the playoffs and my prediction! Thank you all again for reading!