For New England Revolution fans, 2015 is likely to be remembered as Scott Caldwell's breakout season.
No longer an unsung hero, Caldwell gained national recognition for his ability to do the dirty work alongside some of the league's most talented midfielders. The Massachusetts native sound positioning allowed players like Jermaine Jones, Lee Nguyen, and Diego Fagundez to get closer to goal. Caldwell himself chipped in offensively, finishing the year with career highs in goals (two) and assists (five).
As if scoring your first professional goal wasn't enough, Caldwell has been named as our Revolution Player of the Year.
Player of the Year: Scott Caldwell (10 points)
Nick: The ever-dependable Caldwell practically invented the term "fan favorite." Humble but gritty, hard-working but even-tempered, he served as a rock in the middle of the park in 2015. But perhaps even more impressive than his defensive prowess was his ability to spur the attack from a deep-laying position. After contributing four assists and no goals in his first two seasons with the Revolution, Scotty scored twice and added five assists in 2015. The Akron grad deserves recognition for a standout campaign.
John: Situated in the heart of midfield, odds are you didn't even notice the Akron grad hard at work. That's no slight on any fan, but rather a testament to Caldwell's efficiency. Yes he scored two goals and added five helpers, but Caldwell's impact extends far beyond the stat line. Whether it's his tracking in defense, subtly potent tackling ability, or intuitive sense of when to join the attack, Caldwell simply is indispensable. The best part is Caldwell still has room to grow.
Jake: Let's face it, for a team that couldn't string together consistent results, the face of consistency on the field this year was Scott Caldwell. He appeared in all 34 for the Revs' games this year (including 32 starts) and has his best offensive season ever with two goals and five assists. His first career goal against Real Salt Lake back in April sparked one of the most emphatic team celebrations as the third year Homegrown midfielder was mobbed by his teammates. As Paul Mariner said, "It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy." In a season marred by inconsistency, Scott Caldwell's consistency earns him the nod for Team MVP.
Steve: At the beginning of the season, most people predicted that the Revolution's MVP would be Jermaine Jones. At the end of season, most were lauding the efforts of a different central midfielder. Although generally quiet, Caldwell was omnipresent in the midfield, always popping up in the right spots. With the midfield constantly in a state of flux, it was comforting to know that Caldwell would be a constant.
Runner Up: Andrew Farrell (7 points)
Nick: The converted right back needed a few matches to get a feel for his new home beside Jose Goncalves. From there, Farrell shined. His high pressure helped stalled opposing attacks, his athleticism helped clean up the box and his confident play over the ball helped maintain possession. Also of note? Those booming, bicycle-kick clearances. Jay Heaps had no backup plan if Farrell struggled to adapt to life in the center of the defense—and the former Louisville man answered the call.
Jon: There is no denying that Farrell struggled at first to transition from right back to center back, but oh boy did he shine once the transition eased. Farrell's athleticism is off the charts, and he used that time and time again to his advantage in 2015. I've also never seen someone so eager to defend, as Farrell routinely exulted after a slide tackle or headed clearance. Add in the fact that Farrell is pretty slick in possession, and the quiet USMNT chatter becomes even more understandable.
Seth: The transition to center back was a bit rocky for Farrell but everything smoothed out after the first two games of the season. Farrell was dynamite in the middle, showing off his impeccable timing and athleticism. Often his own-worst critic, the Louisville man had a commitment to get better on a daily basis. The Revs had nine shutouts this year, in large part because of Farrell.
Jake: Two games into the season it seemed the Revolution's plan to switch Farrell from right to center back was going to be a disaster. But the former #1 overall pick proved why he was such a good college centerback, with an array of acrobatic clearances being showcased in seemingly every game. Farrell does tend to get over aggressive at times, and his positioning can hurt the backline overall, but the improvement and consistency Farrell showed from the beginning of the season to the end (dismal playoff game aside) is worthy of praise.
Chris Tierney (5 points)
Nick: Tierney, the longest-tenured Revolution player, put together a career year in 2015. He created a team-high 1.9 goal-scoring opportunities per match, amassed a career-high six assists and earned his first-ever MLS All-Star selection, an honor he deserved years ago. Now with 186 Revolution appearances under his belt, Tierney has left his mark as an all-time great—and seems to have plenty of gas left in the tank. This guy means more to the club than anyone else.