MVP and Golden Boot Race Heats UpAs the 2015 MLS regular season winds down, the race for MVP and Golden Boot is head to head
by Katherine Rupp | Wednesday, October 21, 2015
What do you get when you take a small, nimble body; Italian roots; speedy, athletic, and talented legs and mind; and of course, Toronto FC? And who’s the tall, strong forward who has been a spark plug for a young Midwestern team?
Although Major League Soccer is not yet to the playoffs (with about two games left for some teams, and the last game for all teams set for #DecisionDay on Sunday, October 25th), there’s a really small shortlist for MLS MVP – mainly consisting of the aforementioned players that were alluded to in Sebastian Giovinco and Kei Kamara.
Something special happened this season with both Toronto and Columbus. Each team has had a catalyst to, not only get to the playoffs (this year being the first for Toronto FC in its history), but also to play attractive, well-meaning soccer. Since Giovinco and Kamara are catalysts for their teams, both have helped their respective teams come out of slumps that the squads haven’t played its best, and also propelled their teammates to greatness – and the MLS Playoffs.
Although Kamara has been fantastic for Columbus Crew SC this season, one can safely put a conquering hand on Major League Soccer’s Landon Donovan MVP Award for the former Juventus and current Italian national team player, Sebastian Giovinco. What’s more, the Atomic Ant – as Giovinco is often known – may also be receiving the MLS Audi Golden Boot award. With Giovinco and Kamara ‘competing’ for the amount of goals in the regular season, it’s been a one-on-one Trillium Cup this whole season. Additionally – to more than likely give the Golden Boot to Giovinco, Kamara is suspended for Crew SC’s #DecisionDay game this weekend because of yellow card accumulation. However, even if Giovinco is bestowed the Golden Boot, Kamara must be applauded because of his 22 goals that were netted without any penalty kicks and all from open play.
Besides Giovinco and Kamara, a few other players that should be have a spotlight on them because of outstanding accomplishments this year include Benny Feilhaber, Robbie Keane, David Villa, and Cyle Larin. Although a bit down the pecking order from Seba and Kei in terms of MLS MVP, Feilhaber has had a fantastic year for Sporting Kansas City that resulted in many fans and media members in calling for Jurgen Klinsmann to call up the midfielder to the US national team. Although that is unlikely to happen under Klinsmann, Feilhaber’s offensive and defensive workrate, playmaking skills, and goals this year for Kansas City made the team stay afloat.
As far as Keane, Villa, and Larin, they are the next in line for the Golden Boot after Kamara and Giovinco, who hold steady at 22 goals. With one game left for each of their teams (LA, NYCFC, and Orlando City SC, respectively), each player has one last chance to surpass the top men who are at 22 goals apiece. Unlikely as that is, Keane has had a stellar year, when not injured, and scored 19 goals, while NYCFC captain David Villa and potential MLS MLS Rookie of the Year candidate and OCSC forward Cyle Larin bagged 17 goals this 2015 season.
For most teams having one game left, it’s the time of year of jostling positions for the MLS Playoffs, but for Columbus Crew SC and for Toronto FC, it’s the time of year to possibly have one of their players hoist an award – and possibly two. And regardless of if Kei Kamara or Sebastian Giovinco win the MLS MVP award and/or the Golden Boot award, both Columbus Crew SC and Toronto FC have been lifted to another level because of each player’s brilliant season, through the help of teammates and through their own fantastic skills.