David Beckham may have been snubbed from Great Britain's Olympic team. However, the Los Angeles Galaxy player is still receiving accolades for his performance in Major League Soccer. At the 2012 ESPY Awards on July 11, Beckham was recognized as the "Best MLS Player." Beckham also took the honor in 2008.
The Galaxy have dominated the ESPY awards for the Best MLS Player category. Since the award's inception in 2006, Landon Donovan has won the award every year except for 2008 and 2012 when Beckham won. Considering Donovan was the Galaxy's MVP in 2011, I was a little surprised not to see him on the ballot this year.
Other MLS players nominated for the ESPY were Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Dwayne De Rosario (DC United) and Chris Wondolowski, (San Jose Earthquakes). All of these candidates were good picks. Davis led the league with 16 assists in 2011. De Rosario was the MLS MVP last season. Both Wondolowski and DeRo scored 16 goals. However, Beckham had his best MLS performance in the 2011 season. Last season, he contributed 15 assists, the second highest in the league and scored two goals. He also helped the Galaxy take the Supporters' Shield and win the MLS Cup. In addition, even when he didn't make a goal or assist, he often gave the pass or long ball that led to the goal. Beckham may only have five assists and three goals this season. However, I expect those numbers to increase quickly in the coming weeks.
Through an online vote, fans determined the EPSY award winners. The ESPYS are a combination of sports recognition and entertainment. Thus, it's not surprising that big names like Donovan and Beckham have taken home the award most years. While I am a big fan of both of these players, it would be nice to see a lesser known player win the award in the future. To me this would be evidence of Major League Soccer's growing popularity and awareness in the United States.
Yes, there are plenty of talented players in MLS. However, based on his popularity and skill, Beckham will continue to win awards.
Melissa Matters is a long time Los Angeles resident and devoted Los Angeles Galaxy fan.
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