The Staff of Cincinnati Soccer Talk is bringing back our End of Season Awards for the 2017 FC Cincinnati season. On Monday we released our 2017 Fan-Vote Player of the Year Harrison Delbridge who made a guest appearance on Tuesday night’s show. On Wednesday we released our 2017 Goal of the Year followed by Thursday’s 2017 Moment of the Year. Today we will release our final season award, the 2017 Staff-Voted Player of the Year. Stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk as we look back on our favorite points of the 2017 FC Cincinnati season.
Our staff nominated 4 players to go alongside the Fan-Voted Player of the Year Harrison Delbridge for the 2017 award. Check out the results below:
1.) Harrison Delbridge
Bryan – Delbridge was Mr. Consistant for FC Cincinnati in 2017. He is a player that rarely concedes a fatal mistake and has rarely disappointed in his time in Cincinnati. An FC Cincinnati original, he has made the most appearances in all competitions outside of Mitch Hildebrandt and he led in most defensive categories for the club while his teammates were consistently changed around him. Yes, the defense was leaky at times, but that was due to poor play ahead of him and instances where he would be left on an island. Take away Delbridge from the squad and we don’t make the playoffs or have a deep USOC run.
2.) Corben Bone
Bill – Corben Bone is a player who doesn’t often get enough recognition. He doesn’t make the big saves in the back line or scores a lot of goals for the team. But the midfield is the heart of the team. Balls played out of the back need to flow through the midfield and up top where we can take shots on goal. When the midfield breaks down, balls coming out of the back come right back at our defenders eventually leading to goals against. Our strikers are left starving up top. It’s critical that we have a player in the center of the pitch who can distribute the ball without losing it. Corben has filled that role for us. He’s comfortable passing forward, backward, left, right, short or long. He moves freely around the center of the pitch creating opportunities and linking up with the back line or making plays into the attacking third. I looked at some of his stats to see if they validated this impression. I only looked at players who had clocked over 1000 minutes to avoid outliers. Corben has the 3rd highest number of passes, behind only Delbridge and Walker but his passing accuracy is the highest at 85.9%. His long pass accuracy is 70.2%, the highest except Danni who only made 3 long passes. His passing accuracy drops to 81.9% in the opponent’s half which is still the highest for the team and is an impressive 90.4% in Cincinnati’s half of the field. His crossing accuracy is 38.5% which is 3rd best behind Djiby and de Wit, both of whom only made single digit numbers of crosses. This seems to verify what I’m seeing which is a player who doesn’t often lose the ball and is extremely capable of distributing.
Boston – Corben Bone isn’t the most flashy player. He also isn’t scoring buckets of goals. But he has been the silent rock for FC Cincinnati in the background. Bone has the highest passing accuracy on a team tied for last in the Eastern Conference. He has generated chances for the forwards and at times he is the one getting the ball out of midfield into the attacking third. Players like Bone get little credit but in my opinion, you miss the playoffs without him.
3.) Djiby Fall
Seubs – My Co-Players of the Year for FC Cincinnati are Danny Konig and Djiby. Their 23 combined league goals helped secure this team a playoff spot, even though it was much lower in the standings than we had hoped. The next closest player had 5 goals. That’s a big gap. Konig was a midseason acquisition when Djiby was serving his suspension, a shrewd move by Jeff Berding to bring him into the fold when he did.
Ben – Like him or not, he drug this team through the USOC. Big goals all year, mainly the lone goal vs the Crew will be his best for me. Maybe a controversial player this year, but there is no doubting his importance to this team. Hands down Djiby Fall is my Player of the Year.
4.) Danni Konig
Brad – I think that this pick could turn many heads but outside of Kenney Walker, I’d find it harder to figure out where we’d be without the striker. Konig may not have started every game but he played like each one was his last. His play could not have been more critical when Djiby was out due to suspension or benching. He has been that one player who we could count on to be consistent game in and out. My favorite memory of him will be the 77thminute goal at Louisville to put another notch in our belt against our rival.
5.) Kenney Walker
Yosief – While he doesn’t wear the armband or show up on the scoresheet very often, this team would be lost without Kenney Walker. He solidifies the midfield and his defensive presence has kept the team in games all year long.
Griffin – The player of the year has to go to Kenney Walker. The clubs performances without him on the pitch are noticeably different than when he is on the pitch. He has to be one of the most under-appreciated players in the league. The man leads the club in assists, chances created, key passes and tackles won. All while being fifth in games played after missing some time with injuries and discipline. Please tell me who on this roster leaves a bigger void when not in the starting eleven?
Ken – This award is the most difficult one. I think there were a number of players that were really close and the fact that the USL season was less than stellar nobody stood out on their own. Djiby/Konig/Jimmy showed offensive prowess at crucial moments and Harry/ Mitch shined defensively. But Kenney Walker brought a steadiness to the team that helped keep the ship afloat. He does the dirty work, displaying his abilities to intercept/tackle/ play physical. The team has nobody else that can do what he does at the moment.
Rob – FC Cincinnati supporters definitely notice when midfielder Kenney Walker is on the pitch. He’s the field general, dropping back to help the back line and feeding up and out to the wings and strikers. He always has a cool head and is invaluable on set pieces. But it’s even more noticeable when he’s not in the lineup. The club just doesn’t function the same without him. These attributes make him FCC’s Most Valuable Player.
Winner: Kenney Walker