Several Portland players are in contention for the Fifth Annual CONCACAF honors, including Player of the Year and Best XI selections, and the CONCACAF website is open for Timbers and Thorns fans to vote for their choices.
From the Timbers, Diego Valeri and David Guzman have been nominated for inclusion in the Best XI. It would be remiss of me not to note that when I checked the poll website Guzman was in second place with about 20% of the vote, while Valeri was 9th, with about 1%.
From the Thorns, fans have a much wider selection of players, and honors.
Christine Sinclair and Tobin Heath are in the running for Player of the Year. They’re in a tough race, with competition from Sam Kerr, Alex Morgan, and Julie Ertz, among others. As surprised as I was that Valeri was doing so poorly I was utterly stunned that Sam Kerr trailed Morgan 41% to 50%. Our two Thorns (Sinclair and Heath) were running third and fourth, respectively, with 2% apiece.
Sinc is also up for Best XI (forwards). Here her competition is an even tougher field that includes Marta as well as Morgan, Kerr, and Christen Press, the current leader in the poll.
Mark Parsons is nominated for Coach of the Year, competing against bigger names such as Jill Ellis and Tom Sermanni, as well as his NWSL Final opponent, Paul Riley.
Two Thorns are in the competition for Best XI (defenders): Emily Menges and Meghan Klingenberg. I can’t endorse voting in this one strongly enough; despite having played as or more strongly than any other player in consideration, and leading her team to the championship, Emily Menges is languishing in 4th, with only 1% of the vote, behind Ali Krieger (75%), Kelley O’Hara (41%), and Diana Saenz (of UD Moravia and Costa Rica, with 2%).
Three more Thorns are among those players under consideration for Best XI (midfielders); Allie Long, Lindsey Horan, and Tobin Heath. In perhaps the most appalling example of voting since November 2016, the Great Horan was running 5th in the poll, with only 9% of the fan vote, well behind Karla Nieto of CF Pachuca, Julie Ertz, and Jessie Fleming of UCLA and Canada.
While not recommending this, the CONCACAF site doesn’t appear to track voting by platform, so as they used to say in Chicago; support your Timbers and Thorns - vote early, vote often!