It wouldn’t be awards season without some controversy and that was the case again when the MASL announced its Newcomer and All-League lists, but there was no question that the league’s five major award winners were completely deserving.

Trying to cash in on the notoriety of former MLS players who have taken up residence in the MASL, the league added a Newcomer of the Year award and, instead of doing an All-Newcomer Team, they lumped some newcomers in with the rookies and created a formless 13-man All-MASL Top Newcomers list.

Also for the first time, players were allowed to vote on league awards, but there were still some incongruous results. Emmanuel Aguirre made the league’s expansive Honorable Mention list, which was essentially All-MASL 4th, 5th, and 6th Teams in no particular order, but did not make the Top Newcomer Team despite leading the league in blocks (even though it needs to be said again that the league’s shots, blocks, and saves are an estimate, at best).

Similarly, De Bray Hollimon, didn’t land on any All-MISL or Newcomer lists, but popped up as a finalist for Rookie of the Year.

Harrisburg Heat goalkeeper Matt Perrella, who played 11 games, wasn’t even on the ballot, presumably because he didn’t play in half his team’s games, but Jermaine Jones made the Top Newcomer Team and was a finalist for Newcomer of the Year, despite playing only five games. He ended up losing to Mississauga’s Mo Babouli for that award but, by playing five or less games, Jones is still eligible to win the award next year!

There were some major snubs. Micheal Ramos and Hugo Puentes, who were both in the top 10 in goals and points, didn’t even get an Honorable Mention. Nor did Rio Grande Valley Barracudas goalkeeper Diego Angel Arriaga, who easily should have been a finalist for Rookie of the Year after going 15-5 with a 4.26 GAA. He didn’t even make the league’s Honorable Mention list, but Paulo Nascimento and Danny Waltman, who won 16 games combined, both did. The same is true for Diego Reynoso who certainly deserved an Honorable Mention after going 18-5.

The biggest snub, and a real head-scratcher, was Genoni Martinez, the seven-time Defender of the Year who returned to lead the Barracudas to a 13-win improvement, didn’t even garner an Honorable Mention, let alone a finalist spot for Coach or Defender of the Year.

On the main awards, there was some disagreement from our panel and the MASL voters, but each of the five award winners were truly deserving:

  • Zach Reget was turning heads all year as a top rookie to watch
  • Phil Salvagio led the Sockers to a league-best 23-1 record
  • Darren Toby was the most buzzed about defender and finally came into the spotlight
  • Boris Pardo won a league-record 22 games
  • Nick Perera led the league in scoring by a wide margin

Below is a summary of all the results and links to our five articles and fan polls.

Rookie of the Year

Matt Huber, Soccer and The CityZach Reget
Sydney Nusinov, Turf and BoardsTavoy Morgan
Greg Suttie, Suttie on SoccerDiego Angel Arriaga
Fan VoteZach Reget
MASLZach Reget

Coach of the Year

Matt Huber, Soccer and The CityGenoni Martinez
Sydney Nusinov, Turf and BoardsGenoni Martinez
Greg Suttie, Suttie on SoccerPhil Salvagio
Fan VoteGenoni Martinez
MASLPhil Salvagio

Defender of the Year

Matt Huber, Soccer and The CityDarren Toby
Sydney Nusinov, Turf and BoardsGenoni Martinez
Greg Suttie, Suttie on SoccerGenoni Martinez
Fan VoteGenoni Martinez
MASLDarren Toby

Goalkeeper of the Year

Matt Huber, Soccer and The CityBoris Pardo
Sydney Nusinov, Turf and BoardsJosh Lemos
Greg Suttie, Suttie on SoccerJosh Lemos
Fan VoteJosh Lemos
MASLBoris Pardo

Most Valuable Player

Matt Huber, Soccer and The CityFranck Tayou
Sydney Nusinov, Turf and BoardsBoris Pardo
Greg Suttie, Suttie on SoccerNick Perera
Fan VoteIan Bennett
MASLNick Perera

About The Boards Awards:
Turf and Boards is proud to present the second annual Boards Awards in recognition of excellence in the Major Arena Soccer League. The 2018-19 Boards Awards will include Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, Defender of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year and, finally, Most Valuable Player. Rather than picking one definitive winner in each category, our panel of Matt Huber (aka Merlin, Soccer and The City), Greg “Ponto” Suttie (Suttie on Soccer) and Turf and Boards publisher Sydney Nusinov will each weigh in with their own choices for each award. Plus we want to hear from you in our poll.