I know, I know. The 2015 season hasn’t started yet. But this is the wide world of sports. Things don’t always have to make sense. So, here you have the 2015 MVPs for FC Dallas as predicted by yours truly.
Defensive MVP: Matt Hedges
Matt Hedges has to be one of, if not the best player that hasn’t been called in to the US Men’s National Team. If his 2014 campaign wasn’t enough to convince Jurgen Klinsmann that he deserves a shot, his 2015 campaign will be.
At 6’4”, Hedges is the prototypical center back. He is big, strong in the air, and fast enough to stick to his defensive responsibilities. He also eats gravel for breakfast and rubs dirt on his wounds. That’s unconfirmed but more than likely accurate.
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On top of this, he provides a legitimate goal scoring threat when he goes forward. There are many reasons FC Dallas is so dangerous on set pieces; Matt Hedges is one of those reasons. Here’s a piece of video evidence.
Even more on top of that, he is intelligent and fits in well with other center back pairings. When Zach Loyd played alongside him on the back line, the two worked together in perfect harmony (not in a Stevie Wonder Paul McCartney way, though).
If Hedges stays healthy, which he has done over the past three seasons since joining FCD in 2012, he will provide defensive solidarity and consistency that this FCD team will need in 2015.
Offensive MVP: Fabian Castillo
I say this with some hesitation. Castillo has yet to earn my full trust, but I think that this could be his year to finally prove me wrong.
If Castillo is going to win this award, it will be for two reasons: he will start linking up with his teammates more and he will improve his finishing. If these two things had been better this past season, he would have been unstoppable.
He already has the pace and the ability to get in behind a defense. He already has the dribbling skills to dance past that defense. He already has the Colombian nationality on his side (that’s gotta count for something, right?).
If he hones in his intellectual side of the game and begins connecting with his teammates, more assists and, inevitably, more goals will follow.
Plus, he is only 22! He is still getting better and better. If he can follow up his great 2014 season with a more refined and calculated 2015 season, Castillo will easily win the offensive MVP.
Overall MVP: Mauro Diaz
In my opinion, players like Mauro Diaz are often underrated when it comes to player rankings. Everyone is very quick to jump on the leading scorer and label them as the MVP for the team. Without players like Mauro Diaz, however, those goals and chances are never created.
When he is on the pitch, Diaz is the oil to the FC Dallas attacking machine. You can find him sliding in between defensive holes, holding up possession on a break, or providing that piercing ball through the defense. Like an engine with no oil, the FC Dallas attack often sputtered and lacked power when Diaz wasn’t on the field.
It truly was a shame that he didn’t get to play as much as he deserved this past season. When he played, he really was a difference maker. If he stays healthy and continues to mature, he is going to have a monster year.
Diaz will continue to be the man that drives this FCD attack forward, both literally and figuratively. The little Argentinean will prove his worth and have a breakout year if he gets his chance.