NASL Spring Season Awards

After last week's All-Stars and No-Stars squad, it's time to give out awards to players and clubs that deserve recognition
by Chris Hockman   |   Friday, July 19, 2013

Defending The Fort - column on San Antonio Scorpions (SASFC) & the San Antonio soccer scene.

There were a number of good and not so good performances in the apertura season of NASL. And as the time comes to look back on the season, I’d like to recognize those notable performances.

Golden Boot: Hans Denissen (San Antonio Scorpions) – 8

While some may argue this award should be shared with Brian Shriver, the commonly accepted tie breaker in the Golden Boot race is fewer minutes played, which Denissen has a clear edge in and doesn't look like slowing down as the fall season starts.

Underachievers of the Season: Minnesota United

Sure there are much worse teams in this league than Minnesota United, but there are few that had the expectations Minnesota had. For a team that spent as much money as this club did, finishing in 6th place below a woeful FC Edmonton is simply embarrassing.

Overachievers of the Season: Atlanta Silverbacks

No one expected last season's Wooden Spooners to jump all the way to the top. It was an impressive performance that was really been built on the back of a remarkable team performance rather than any standout individuals, Atlanta proved that a champion team beats a team of champions any day.

Worst Signing of the Season: Adin Dzafic (San Antonio Scorpions)

It was a mixed bag for the Scorpions trip to Eastern Europe to get some players with Edin Husic and Luka Vucko doing well, but the rest have already been sent home. With that in mind this 'honor' falls to the 1st player sent home, Adin Dzafic, who didn't play a single second of NASL soccer.

Signing of the Season: Ruben Luna (Atlanta Silverbacks)

He may not have been an incredible player, but given 12 months ago he was locked out of FC Dallas then couldn't see even a minute with the Scorpions, his signing for the Atlanta Silverbacks has proven a masterstroke. Luna has always shown plenty of promise and it looks like at Atlanta he's finally delivering.

Dud of the Season: Esteban Bayona (San Antonio Scorpions)

It was such an incredible season for Bayona in 2012. He came off the bench and starred for the Scorpions and was routinely a hero for San Antonio's fans. The thought was with Pablo Campos out of the way he could really shine. Unfortunately for San Antonio, his finishing touch really deserted him in the spring season as he struggled to hit the target most days.

Bayona kept the golden boot winner out of the starting XI for much of the season, inexplicably. Expect Bayona to settle in to a bench role for the fall season where he could return to the big impact that he made in 2012.

Player of the Season: Javier Saavedra (San Antonio Scorpions)

The veteran Mexican proved the doubters, including this writer, wrong. After struggling to break in to the 1st team and doing little to impress when he was there in 2012, Saavedra was the key for the Scorpions in their late run that saw them fall just short of the spring title.

His experience saw him routinely be that vital link from defense to attack and was routinely the one with the pass right before the final ball or providing a killer through-ball himself. He may not have been the most spectacular player in the league this season, but his ability to get stuff done was crucial and he was certainly the biggest surprise.

Chris HOCKMAN

Nationality:
Australia
College:
Univ W. Sydney & Youthworks Coll.
Club Domestic:
Houston Dynamo, San Antonio Scorpions, Austin Aztex
Club Foreign:
Central Coast Mariners
Originally from Australia found football (or soccer as you Yanks call it) a great connection in a new country. Freelance writer since 2005 covering Australian and US Soccer. Based out of San Antonio but can regularly be seen in Houston, Austin and Dallas.
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