We now know who won Chivas USA's club awards. The players apparently were honored Saturday, but the team refused to acknowledge the winners until this afternoon, even when pressed about it.
That's too bad, because they all had outstanding seasons for a club that's still going through an uneasy transition -- more so in the front office, where things are not as advanced as they are on the field under Robin Fraser -- and the players deserved the recognition in “print” three days ago.
Here are the winners:
MVP: Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, our choice for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year, had a superb campaign, keeping the Goats in game after game with spectacular saves, leading to the common Fraser refrain: “I wish we could go a few weeks where we don't talk about how great Dan was.” He was great, deserves this one.
Defender of the Year: Heath Pearce made the move from outside back to the middle after Jimmy Conrad's concussion and established himself quickly among the best in the league and won call-ups to the U.S. national team, which he's been in and out of for a few years. A late-season injury slowed him down, but he enjoyed a fine first season with Chivas.
Humanitarian of the Year: Midfielder/defender Michael Lahoud, one of the most versatile players on the Goats' roster, is involved in so many worthy causes, and then most notable are his work getting the word out in the fight against childhood cancer and in the “Schools for Salome” project to build schools in Africa, especially in Sierra Leone, where he is born.
Spirit of Chivas USA: A club-only award (the others are universal through the league) that honors character goes to forward Alejandro Moreno, the Goats' captain, whose leadership and work ethic were among the team's strongest tools.
In addition, Nick LaBrocca was honored as the Golden Boot winner, a statistical award, after scoring seven goals with six assists.