The LA Galaxy officially announced their end of the year awards for the 2017 season. And while the season was certainly one to forget, the Galaxy did have two standouts on the senior team that deserved every bit of additional praise they received.
Both awards were voted on by members of the Galaxy Press Pool via a secret ballot. Reporters were asked to list their top three nominees for each category — Player of the Year and Defender of the Year.
ROMAIN ALESSANDRINI – LA GALAXY PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Romain Alessandrini was awarded the LA Galaxy Player of the Year (presented by Herbalife). By most accounts, this looks to have been a near-unanimous vote to Alessandrini who was one of just four players in the league to finish with double digits in both goals and assists. On the season he scored 13 goals while assisting on 12 others. Ultimately accounting for more than 60-percent of the team’s total offense. His goal tally also includes four game-winning goals while also getting a game-winning assist.
In total, Alessandrini made 30 appearances with 27 starts in his first year in Major League Soccer. He amassed 2,441 minutes for the Galaxy and was the most dangerous offensive player during the year.
The only thing separating Alessandrini’s season from those of league MVP candidates was a string of 10 games that lasted throughout the summer months that saw the Galaxy offense quiet considerably. But all in all, Alessandrini was the only clear choice for this award on a team that was filled with several subpar performances.
ASHLEY COLE – LA GALAXY DEFENDER OF THE YEAR
On the defensive side of things, Ashley Cole was the only clear selection on the back line for the Galaxy. The 36-year old Englishman was a leader on and off the pitch playing in and starting 29 or the Galaxy’s 34 games. He totaled just one minute shy of 2,500 and exceeded his 2016 total by 272 total minutes.
For Cole, it was a new experience to play on a team that was horrible. And although his status with the club for next year remains up in the air, he seems committed to finding a way to stay in Los Angeles. Whether or not the Galaxy feel the same way is still up for debate.
Cole was one of the few consistent voices on the season to call out the Galaxy’s issues when he was asked. But in doing so, was always professional in his pointed criticisms while being insightful for those that were following the team. For both players, this season is one to throw away. But the only clear choices for
For both players, this season is one to throw away. But with regards to the awards they were given, they were easily the best players on both sides of the ball for the 2017 Galaxy. Without either of these players, the season could have been much worse — kind of scary to think about, actually.