During an up-and-down 2016 campaign, Revolution supporters have seen Lee Nguyen return to top form, Je-Vaughn Watson score game-winning goals, Andrew Farrell find success in his familiar right back spot and Kei Kamara add elite athleticism to the number nine role. In the midst of four strong seasons, has one player separated himself from the pack?
To answer this question, we rounded up four candidates for first-half MVP. Players who received a first-place vote from a Bent Musket staffer earned two points; players who received a second-place vote received one. Who's your pick?
Staff Votes: 6
Key Stat: Leads the Revolution with 2.7 chances created per match
After a slow start, Nguyen returned to his usual productive ways in May and never looked back. Over a span of four matches from May 14 to June 18, Nguyen contributed four assists and three goals, a run of play that proved integral to helping the Revs recover from a 1-3-7 start to the season. He now leads the Revs in shots (45), assists (7), goals (5) and chances created (2.7 per match). If he can continue to build chemistry with Kei Kamara, who appears on the verge of finding his scoring touch, Nguyen figures to finish with double-digit assists for the second time in as many seasons.
Staff Votes: 4
Key Stat: Played 4 different positions this season
After picking up a red card on March 20 against Philadelphia, many supporters wondered if Watson—who was originally viewed as nothing more than a depth piece—would fall out of the fold. Now 21 matches into the 2016 season, Watson has flipped the script. The versatile defender has played four different positions (CB, RB, LB, CDM), appeared in 18 matches (15 starts) and used his strength to bully opposing attackers. Add in questions along the back line, a long-term injury to Xavier Kouassi and a recent run of attacking success (two goals in the past two Revolution matches), and Watson appears locked in to the mix for the foreseeable future.
Staff Votes: 4
Key Stat: Only Revolution player to appear in all 21 matches this season (20 starts)
Jay Heaps slotted Farrell, the Revs' lone all-star, into the center back spot to start the 2016 season. But after Farrell struggled to build on his promising 2015 campaign, Heaps pulled the plug and pushed Farrell to his natural right back position. The move has paid dividends, giving Farrell the freedom to use his speed, strength, athleticism and skill over the ball to escape his early-season rut. Since making the move, Farrell has been the most consistent defender on Heaps' roster.
Staff Votes: 0
Key Stat: 3 goals in past 5 matches
Though Kamara hasn't scored at the clip Revolution supporters expected—just once every 300 minutes, compared to once every 150 minutes for his former club, Crew SC—his presence has transformed the Revolution attack. He's scored timely goals, made daunting runs at goal, offered strong hold-up play and constantly demanded attention from defenders. In 10 games since his arrival, the Revs have won five matches; in 11 without, the club won twice.
Who's your pick for mid-season MVP? Vote below.