SANDY, UT - OCTOBER 22: Nat Borchers #6 of Real Salt Lake fights for the ball with Kenny Cooper #33 of Portland Timbers during the first half of an MLS soccer game October 22, 2011 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
Last night the Portland Timbers had an event at the Nines hotel in downtown Portland to celebrate the season ending as well as hand out a bunch of awards to the players and coaching staff. Pretty typical, really... Still, it's important to recognize a players achievement throughout and this was a fine way to do it.
Surprisingly Kenny Cooper took the Golden Boot. I say surprising not because it was up in the air or anything like that, but rather because up until September-October he was fairly far down on the list behind both Jack Jewsbury and Jorge Perlaza. I didn't really expect him to take the award prior to that. Just goes to show that some players just hit their strides later than others.
Here were the awards given:
- Golden Boot – Kenny Cooper
- Player’s Player of the Year – Jack Jewsbury
- Supporters’ Player of the Year – Troy Perkins
- Young Player of the Year – Kalif Alhassan
- MLS W.O.R.K.S./Timbers Humanitarian of the Year – Jake Gleeson
- Play of the Year – Darlington Nagbe’s goal July 2 vs. Sporting KC
- Portland Timbers U-23s Player of the Year – Brent Richards
- Timbers/OYSA ODP Boy’s Coach of the Year – Joe Sottile
- Timbers/OYSA ODP Boy’s Player of the Year – Rubio Rubin
- Timbers/OYSA ODP Girl’s Coach of the Year – Mac Wilson
- Timbers/OYSA ODP Girl’s Player of the Year – Ellie Boon
You can find out why each person was given their award after the break!Golden Boot – Kenny Cooper
Presented by Timbers Ring of Honor inductee John Bain, forward Kenny Cooper was awarded the Timbers’ Golden Boot as the club’s leading goal scorer in 2011. Cooper tallied eight goals on the campaign, starting with the club’s first MLS goal in the season opener at Colorado. Among his two game-winning goals this season, his winner over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Oct. 2 was named MLSsoccer.com’s Goal of the Week for Week 29. Cooper, the only Timbers player to appear in all 34 league matches in 2011, scored four goals in a six-match span from Sept. 16 to Oct. 19, near the end of the season.
Player’s Player of the Year – Jack Jewsbury
Voted by the players, midfielder and captain Jack Jewsbury was selected as the Player’s Player of the Year. The Timbers’ leading scorer, Jewsbury posted career numbers with the Timbers in 2011, setting career highs for points (22), goals (7) and assists (8). He was the only player in MLS this season to post multiple four-game streaks of earning points in consecutive games. The nine-year veteran earned his first MLS All-Star selection in 2011 and was one of the top vote-getters by fans at the midfield position. As captain, Jewsbury helped lead the Timbers into the thick of the MLS Cup playoff race in their inaugural MLS season.
Supporters’ Player of the Year – Troy Perkins
Voted on by fans, goalkeeper Troy Perkins was awarded the Supporters’ Player of the Year. In 29 matches this season, Perkins logged a career-high nine shutouts and made 91 saves; he led the club with 29 consecutive starts. Making a number of key saves throughout the season, Perkins won MLSsoccer.com Save of the Week four times – more than any other goalkeeper in 2011. He played 342 minutes, including three consecutive shutouts, from Aug. 20-Sept. 21, without allowing a goal – the fifth-longest shutout streak in MLS this season. Perkins was named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week in Weeks 12 and 18.
Young Player of the Year – Kalif Alhassan
Midfielder Kalif Alhassan assembled a successful first MLS campaign, finishing among team leaders with six assists in 32 matches. Making his MLS debut on March 19, Alhassan, 21, became just the fifth player in MLS history to log assists in each of his first three home matches and would go on to tally a total of five assists over his first five home matches. He was named to the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week in Week 5 and finished the season with three game-winning assists. Alhassan was one of six Timbers players selected to the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star ballot.
MLS W.O.R.K.S./Timbers Humanitarian of the Year – Jake Gleeson
Jake Gleeson was instrumental in the Timbers’ community outreach efforts in 2011. In addition to attending numerous community appearances, Gleeson served as a mentor for local youth club Hillside Soccer Club through the Timbers’ Adopt-a-Club program during the season. He was actively involved in several fundraising initiatives throughout the season, including one for the Brian Grant Foundation as well as Big Brothers Big Sisters – one of the Timbers’ community pillar partners. Gleeson was a participant in Mercy Corps’ "Lose the Boot" and International Day of Peace campaigns, helping to raise money for the organization’s sport for change programs around the world.
Play of the Year – Darlington Nagbe’s goal July 2 vs. Sporting KC
Put to a vote of the fans, the 2011 Timbers Play of the Year was awarded to midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe and his unbelievable goal scored against Sporting Kansas City at JELD-WEN Field on July 2. Off a deflected free kick, Nagbe juggled the ball twice before smashing a shot from the top right side of the box into the far top corner of the goal; it was his first professional goal. The highlight was named one of the Top Plays on ESPN’s SportsCenter that evening and just days after surpassed one million views on YouTube.com. It was also named MLSsoccer.com Goal of the Week in Week 16.
Timbers U-23s Player of the Year – Brent Richards
Forward Brent Richards recorded a standout season for the 2011 Portland Timbers U-23s in the Premier Development League. Richards let the team in scoring for a second straight season, finishing with 22 points in 14 matches. He logged a team-high six assists and shared the team lead in goals with eight. The Timbers U-23s’ all-time leading scorer, Richards earned PDL Player of the Week honors in Week 3 of the season, scoring a hat trick in a road win over the Washington Crossfire. He was named to the PDL All-Western Conference Team for a second straight season following the 2011 campaign.
Timbers/OYSA ODP Boy’s Coach of the Year – Joe Sottile
Joe Sottile was the Oregon ODP 1996 boy’s state pool coach in 2011. He led the ’96 group to a semifinal finish at the ODP Regional championships in January, finishing third among 14 teams. In July, he had a record 12 Oregon ODP players selected to the ODP Regional Holdover Pool. Two of his players are part of the residency program for the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team. Additionally, Sottile was an active staff coach for the Timbers’ youth camp program in 2011 and coached at the club’s Regional Training Center on the west side of Portland.
Timbers/OYSA ODP Boy’s Player of the Year – Rubio Rubin
Rubio Rubin, a forward, led the Oregon ODP 1996 team to a second straight semifinal appearance at the ODP Regional Championships in 2011. He’s been a member of the Oregon ODP 1996 Pool and the Region IV ODP for the past three years. In September, Rubin accepted an invitation to join the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., making him one of the top 25 players in the United States in his age group. He recently played with the U-17s at the ASG Cup in Spain.
Timbers/OYSA ODP Girl’s Coach of the Year – Mac Wilson
Mac Wilson co-coached the Oregon ODP 1995 and 1996 teams in 2011. He led both teams to their respective ODP Regional Championship matches for a second straight year – a feat no other Oregon team had accomplished. At ODP Girls Regional Camp this summer, Wilson coached the Oregon team to an undefeated record, becoming the first Oregon team to sweep the competition at an ODP Regional Camp. He was an active staff coach for the Timbers’ youth camps program in 2011, while continuing his post as an assist coach for the women’s soccer team at the University of Oregon.
Timbers/OYSA ODP Girl’s Player of the Year – Ellie Boon
Elizabeth "Ellie" Boon led the Oregon ODP Girls 1995 team to a second straight ODP Regional Championship finals appearance in 2011. At ODP Girls Regional Camp this year, she helped the Oregon team go unbeaten against the competition. She’s been a member of the Oregon ODP ’95 pool for the past four years and is a four-time Region IV ODP Regional Pool player. Boon was a member of the U.S. U-15 Girl’s National Team pool in 2010 and previously participated in a U-14 Girls National Team camp.