After a horrible July, August just seemed to get worse for the New England Revolution. Their winless run continued, and for the first half of the month, the team was horribly anemic in the attack. Luckily, their luck started to change with a goal against Chicago on the 18th, which was followed by back-to-back three-goal explosions against Columbus and Chivas. Unfortunately, neither match resulted in a win, though the Chivas match ended in a draw.
In addition to this long run of poor form, the midfield (and, indeed, the locker room) suffered a huge blow with the trade of Shalrie Joseph early in the month. Clearly, a big presence both in the clubhouse and in the midfield would have to be filled. Surprisingly, Jay Heaps elected to fill that void with his resident Swiss-army knife, Ryan Guy. Guy responded with consistently solid performances and a goal against the Crew, solidifying his spot in the lineup week-in and week-out.
For me, it isn't the statistics that made Guy the obvious first-choice for Player of the Month; one goal is hardly spectacular, and also wasn't the best on the team during that stretch. However, without Guy inserting himself into the midfield and settling the engine room along with Clyde Simms, the Revolution would have fallen apart completely through the month of August. Looking back on the player ratings through the month, Guy was consistently among the best-rated in the squad; he wasn't usually the best, nor was he voted Man of the Match in every game, but he was the only player who was consistently praised for his performances. Looking back at that, it had to be him.
Corey: Seriously how could you pick anybody else? Guy has come back from his mid-season injuries in a big way, showing that he can be the leader that this team desperately needs right now. Works harder than arguably anyone else out on the field and consistently has the right attitude in terms of preparing for games, playing in games, and reacting to results (win or lose). He's shown that he can play a variety of positions and can be a menace for opponents at any of them. He is a calm and cool professional who knows how to fight it out when the times get tough. Ryan Guy is everything I want the New England Revolution to be, and I think he is hands down the player of the month.
Matty: How can it not be the ultra-versatile Guy? Within the most arduous and frustrating stretch of the season Ryan Guy has been a revelation. Unstoppable motor, leadership through his example, and oh by the way, he can play too. Guy was all over the Revs midfield and brought an energy and toughness that the club sorely lacked after the loss of Shalrie Joseph. I asked for someone to step up when Shalrie left, but had no idea it would be Ryan Guy that'd be the man to step up. Clear cut choice for August.
Abram: Did I mention that no one was great in August? Seriously, absolutely no one. That said Ryan Guy was the best outfield player of a bad bunch. He is the Swiss Army Knife of the Revs, he plays forward, he plays right back, he plays in the midfield, he plays pretty much everything other position. Truthfully, he is not afraid to try things that no other Rev seemed to attempt in August. Perhaps he is Guam's Clint Dempsey.
Ryan's Line: 5 appearances, 5 starts, 1 goal, 0 assists; 13 points in TBM PotM voting
Matt Reis, 6 points: Matt Reis - Did we have struggles winning? Yes. Was it mostly due to Matt Reis? No. I have been pretty harsh on Reis this season, even going as far as to say Luis Robles should be selected as his heir apparent via allocation. Heck, I even wished for Shuttleworth to start starting again. Yes, he was rough the last few games of the months, but he was the most solid in an otherwise un-solid month. (Abram)
Lee Nguyen, 5 points: Sometimes he's the only guy who seems to want the ball on his feet or that can do anything with it when it's there. 7 shots, 1 goal through 281 minutes through August; the more important contribution from Nguyen compared to all other midfielders is the amount of minutes he's contributed thru the 2012 campaign so far. He has the minutes out of midfielders and third most on the club behind Reis and Tierney. Getting your best players on the field consistently has been an issue in New England and Nguyen's fitness and current contributions is a solution. Ideally I'd like more assists from a possession midfielders like Nguyen, who has only two so far this season. As I complain about him not passing, oddly I need him to be more selfish within shooting range. Nguyen gets the nod for his vision and pace. He's a guy that enables a counter attack. Benny may have similar ability but rarely is it done at the pace Nguyen does it. (Brendan)
The Player of the Month is compiled by all five members of The Bent Musket's staff. Each writer selects his top three Revolution players for the month, who are assigned point values - three points for the #1, two for the #2, and one for the #3. Then, points are totaled and the player who received the most points in the voting is named Player of the Month. Honorable mentions go to the next two players in the voting.