Quick. Pick an MVP for Sunday's game against Real Salt Lake. Now stop and notice that your jaw has dropped and you have a dopey blank stare. Not easy, is it? The game was not one of the Union's better performances and no particular player stood out. But someone has to be the MVP, right? Usually it's the goal scorer in a 2-1 loss, but this goal was a penalty kick and that's like half credit. First let's look at what the fans, top analyst and algorithm selected this week. You'll see pretty quickly there wasn't a consensus.
The fans voted for favorite Andre Blake who could not be blamed for either goal. Adam Cann of PSP gave a tie to Brian Carroll, Chris Pontius and Blake, so at least there was some agreement. The Whoscored algorithm picked Ken Tribbett as best player while the fans said he was the worst. More on Tribbett's performance in a minute. Somehow Fabinho comes out on top overall this week when combining all the scores. That's Fabinho's frist such award from the fans and experts.
No one agreed on the least valuable player, either. After Tribbett, PSP gave it to Creavalle and Whoscored flipped the script on Carroll and rating him the poorest. However, combining all scores Ilshino comes out the worst. Like I said, this game was distinguishing for absolutely no one.
Staff MVP and the case for Tribbett
The esteemed experts at Brotherly Game were unable to add any clarity to this week's performance. Barry Evans and Doug Gobrecht made cases for no one to be MVP (for the 2nd consecutive week). "Everyone looked off. No team cohesion. No ideas when down. I don't think anyone deserves the nod," said Doug.
Nicholas Youngstein thought Chris Pontius was best and he certainly had strong moments. I threw out Ken Tribbett and bear with me fans who voted him worst. Sure Tribbett could have stepped forward a little stronger on the Plata goal but otherwise he was solid defensively. He pressured well up the pitch with two successful tackles, an interception and a recovery in the attacking half. He also handled the bar far more than any other Union player. Tribbett attempted 60 passes in the game which is 20 more than Richie Marquez and Brian Carroll, who were next highest on the team. Barry Evans was quick to add, "[Tribbett] also dribbled past more men than Ilsinho [Sunday] night."
Matt Ralph broke the tie with a half-hearted vote, "Boy this is hard, but Tribbett did have one of his better games in a Union jersey."
So the MVP this week is a confusing mess. Let's hope a few players step up in a positive away against rival DC United on Saturday night and we have a difficult decision again, but for a better reason.