Thursday, October 07, 2010

NSC Minnesota Stars 2010 Player Awards from du Nord and Inside Minnesota Soccer.

Before the kickoff of last nights USSF D2 playoff game between the Carolina Railhawks and the NSC Minnesota Stars, Bruce McGuire of du Nord and Brian Quarstad of Inside Minnesota Soccer took to the field and recognized the top NSC Stars players for the 2010 season.

Player of the Year: Andres Arango

This award could have gone to any number of players for their outstanding contribution this season. But one name seemed to surface above the others in his leadership and his mental and physical toughness on the field. This player logged in 2454 minutes and played in 28 of 30 regular season games. Over the course of the season he helped his back line to continually improve until they had three shutouts in the last four games of the regular season and allowed only 1-goal in those four games.

McGuire and Quarstad announce Arango as the Player of the Year, and present him with a bottle of champagne. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Olson.


Goalkeeper of the Year: Joe Warren
After spending 10 years with the Minnesota Thunder, Joe Warren retired from professional soccer in 2006. Warren was working full time for the National Sports Center when he was called upon to try out for the new NSC Stars soccer team and give his goalkeeping skills one more test. He came out of retirement to be back up for international goalkeeper Louis Crayton. Little did he know that Crayton would go down in the first half of the very first game of the year with a season ending ACL injury. Joe shook off the cob webs and rose to the occasion. In three different games he stopped 3 penalty kicks. He's appeared in 25 league games this season and has logged 2181 minutes. Not only has he been up to the task between the pipes, but his physical presence along with his leadership on the field is one of the reasons the Stars have made it to the playoffs.


Defender of the Year: Andres Arango
Arango, born in Colombia and raised in Canada, is an eight-year veteran of Division-2 pro soccer. He came to the Thunder in 2008 and signed a contract with the NSC Stars this spring. Early on it looked as if South African Vorgan Less and Arango would be a rock steady pairing as center backs. But Less tore his Achilles tendon ending his year in a preseason game. Like Warren, the pressure was on Arango to step up and not only play with proficiency but to take a leadership role if the Stars were to have success on the field. Arango has not only been up to the task but has excelled being the rock on the back line for Minnesota. He's also helped teammate Kyle Altman make the transition from midfielder to defender and has helped to guide second year outside back Chris Clements and rookie defender Scott Lorenz into a solid back line.


Midfielder of the Year: Daniel Wasson
Wasson may be one of the most unheralded players on the NSC Stars even though he's logged 2435 minutes and appeared in 28 of 30 league games. He's not a flashy player but one who quietly goes about his business and gets it done. He took many of the corner kicks and most of the free kicks for the Stars this season. He's often a physical presence on the field and is not only good at winning balls for the team but has also scored 2-goals and created 4-assists for 8-points, more than any other midfielder for the Stars.


Forward of the Year: Simone Bracalello
Bracalello was discovered in the Stars player combine in preseason. It was said that he had a good first step, could break free of defenders but more than anything had a canon for a shot. It took a while for the Italian to find his place with the Stars but recently he's scored some clutch goals that have been not only dramatic but inspiring. Paired with strike partner Devin Del Do, Bracalello has helped to instill a confidence in the teams attack that has been needed all season; and it couldn't have come at a better time. He has five goals and two assists for 12 points and 3 of his goals have been in the final month of play.


Rookie of the Year: Scott Lorenz
Lorenz was an unknown name to most coming into the season. But Manny Lagos had been watching the career of this 22-year old when he was at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. The Barrington, Ill. native played just about every position but goalkeeper as a Badger. He was invited to the Stars combine for a trial and didn't catch on at first. Eventually he singed a contract and saw some time on the pitch in US Open cup games. He was called to duty with an injury to defender Chris Clements and although he started slowly he caught on quickly. Within a short time he was playing the outside back position well enough to earn himself 19-games this season. His time spent youth club and college forward has aided Lorenz to be dangerous on the wings. He is also one of the best left-footed crossers of the ball on the team.


Special Consideration:
duNord and IMS would also like to give special consideration to Kyle Altman and Kentaro Takado for outstanding seasons and major contributions to the Stars.

Kyle Altman
After spending the 2008 season with the Minnesota Thunder, Altman took 2009 off to go back to school. He was signed this spring by the Stars and spent time early on in the middle of the field, He was soon called upon to drop back a spot and play centerback next to Andres Arango. Although it wasn't his natural position, Altman has been outstanding in his new role and has even managed to take nine shots and score one goal. He has teamed well with Arango and Altman's reading of the game has helped him along with a physical toughness that came out after making the move to defender.

Kentaro Takado
Takada moved to the US in 2009 and played for the Rochester Thunder PDL team. He made several guest appearances for the senior Thunder team last season including a game against Guatemalan champion Comunicaciones where "Taka" impressed. The Japanese midfielder sat the bench for a while early in the season but his appearances on the field impressed Coach Lagos. Takada has played the defensive midfield role for the team and excels in reading plays and then moving into the right spot to shutdown the oppositions play. He also has a deft touch and is one of the best passers of the ball on the team.


Anonymous joe the curmudgeon said...

Brucio photo bombing the NSC Minn. Stars photo. Nice!

9:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts