One day after a dramatic 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake ended their debut MLS season on a slight up-note, the Timbers were back home on Sunday night, handing out hardware at the inaugural Stand Together awards banquet.
The top honor of the night went to Cap'n Jack Jewsbury, who was voted "Player of the Year" by his teammates. And deservedly so: Portland's first-ever Major League Soccer All-Star had a banner season, tallying seven goals and eight assists—both career highs. But beyond the numbers, Jewsbury was a sage influence on a young team, and his set-piece delivery early on keyed Portland's offense when run-of-play goals proved tough to come by. Sure, Jewsbury lost a step as hamstring issues hampered him down the stretch, but without him, Portland's season would've ended much sooner.
"When I first got traded here, I'll be honest, I was a little nervous," Jewsbury said during the awards show/fundraiser for the team's community fund. "I had been somewhere for eight years in Kansas City, and it felt comfortable. And to be somewhere different for me and my family was hard. They made everything as easy as could be for us and a smooth transition and I truly appreciate that and I'm sure my wife would say the same."
The Golden Boot award (for most goals) went to embattled forward Kenny Cooper. He finished with eight goals on the season, which—um, awkward—was about half of what Portland fans were hoping for when the big Texan signed the team's second-highest salary. Cooper all but vanished for a 14-match stretch (after a minor on-field meltdown), but in the end was the only Timber to play in every MLS match this season. Whether Portland's Golden Boot winner will get the boot and be traded/unprotected in the expansion draft remains to be seen, but there's little doubt fans' patience with KFC ran thin even as he showed a bit of life down the stretch.
Also receiving awards were Darlington Nagbe (Play of the Year), Troy Perkins (Supporters' Player of the Year), Kalif Alhassan (Young Player of the Year) and Jake Gleeson (Timbers Humanitarian of the Year). Full list of awards here.
Honors they could've given out? I has suggestions:
• Unsung Hero/Best Defender/Most Awkward Celebration Face—Eric Brunner
• Itchiest Trigger-Foot—Alhassan and Lovel Palmer in a dead heat
• Most Entertaining Twitter Feed—Another tie, this time between the actual Peter Lowry and the fake Kenny Cooper
• Best Achievement In Hair—Sal Zizzo
• Best Achievement In Avoiding A Haircut—Eric Alexander
• Most Intensity Before Matches—Perkins
• Most Intensity During Matches—Timbers Army and probably this guy
• Most Intensity During A Modeling Stint—Mike Chabala
• Best Comeback/Most Likely To Be Confused With An NFL Fullback—Bright Dike
• Mr. Congeniality—David Horst
• Most Likely To Succeed—Diego Chará and Nagbe