There were several players who enjoyed outstanding 2012 seasons that took them from role player or reserve to key starter, but it is tough to argue that San Jose Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon didn’t make the most impressive leap.
Gordon went from bench player and occasional late-game finisher to true impact player and even U.S. National Team forward. He finished the season with 13 goals and seven assists, totals that were more than his previous three seasons combined. He was a key figure behind San Jose’s dramatic turnaround and Supporters Shield triumph.
Gordon was rewarded for his outstanding play by earning his first U.S. national team call-up at the age of 31.
Gordon beat out a strong field of candidates for SBI MLS Most Improved Player of the Year. Here are the other candidates:
The New York Red Bulls midfielder stepped up his game in 2012, putting together a season that was arguably good enough to make him New York’s Most Valuable Player.
After scoring five goals in his rookie campaign, Bruin upped his production to 12 goals and he became Houston’s leading striker.
Took over as Columbus’ starting goalkeeper and put together one of the best seasons in the league. Finished the year leading the league in saves, and might have had a chance for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year if he were on a better team.
Another key factor in San Jose’s amazing turnaround, Baca quietly became a driving force in the Earthquakes midfield, helping the team run smoothly whether when attacking or defending.
What do you think of our selection? Which MLS player do you think was the most improved in 2012? Who were you happy to see make our list of leading candidates?
Share your thoughts below.