For those not aware, the Hermann Trophy is soccer’s equivalent to the Heismann.
So I’m scanning the blogs out there, and I came across the following comments on this post concerning the 15 semifinalists for the award.
12 forwards and 2 mids in that list. Seems like the trophy is skewed towards goal scorers.
To which Adam replied:
It has to be – there is no way that there are 5 people in this country who can honestly say they’ve seen each of these kids play numerous times this season to really get an idea of who is the best player, therefore they have to go off of stats. They even make an attempt to incorporate D1 coaches as if that’s a “fair” way to do it. In reality, D1 coaches only know where their players fit in with other teams in their conference. Have any of these semifinalists been on the same field in a game together this year? If so, how many times has that happened?
It’s an inexact poll – take it for what it is. It’s not like the Heisman where every game is televised and every person with a vote at least has the opportunity to see every single player in every game.
Well, they’ve both got it right of course. Stats rule here. And if or when there’s a player with less than stellar numbers, pedigree and hype are what work. It’s just the way it is. Even ‘extra-soccer’ factors sometimes come into play. Ever notice, had experience with, or suspected how seniors get sympathy votes or awards?
It may not seem like much, but all these things serve to undermine who makes it to the professional ranks and who doesn’t.
Take Creighton striker Ethan Finlay. This year I’ve watched 14 of their games and I can tell you with zero doubt that he isn’t even the 3rd best player on that team! My opinion of course. But it is glaringly obvious that the boy can’t finish. Yep, with 14 goals to his name I’m saying that. You don’t have to be an elite striker to put up that stat on this Creighton team. He also struggles tremendously to take a player 1v1, can’t hold possession when receiving as a target, and is generally a poor decision-maker.
I’m sure he’s a fantastic human being and he definitely works hard on the field, but one of the best 15 players in the country is ridiculous.
That’s the state of affairs.
With 203 D1 teams, little televised coverage, and little college soccer analysts, what can we expect?
The box score rules!