The Angle

FiftyFive.One Best of 2016: MNUFC Nominees

by on 21 December 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, FiftyFive.One is honoring the best Minnesota soccer players. This week, we’ll release the shortlist of nominees across six categories. Readers can vote for their favorites with the winners announced next week.

Minnesota came into the 2016 NASL season as heavy favorites to make some noise. A flurry of injuries and suspensions kept the club from getting a lot of momentum, ultimately missing the playoffs in the league’s final week. Still, Carl Craig’s men found some success, finishing fifth in the final table. Meanwhile, two Loons were honored in the league’s Best XI, and there were other notable individual performances along the way.

Photo by Jeremy Olson - digitalgopher.com

Justin Davis

The Loons’ all-time minutes leader continued to add to that tally in 2016. Davis had a goal and an assist, starting 31 games for United. Davis worked with a rotating cast in front of him on the wing, a shuffle that limited his offensive output. In return, Davis had possibly his strongest defensive season to date, and was an NASL Best XI honoree. He was also on the shortlist for Golden Ball.

Brent Kallman, Dom Dwire, MNUFC, SPKC

Brent Kallman

The Woodbury native had a breakout year for United. At 26, Kallman made 31 straight appearances for the Loons after missing the season opener with a toe injury. He was one of the most consistent defenders in the NASL, with strong positioning and a tireless motor. On a backline ravaged by injuries and inconsistent play, Kallman was a standout.

Christian Ramirez celebrates his hat trick against the Carolina Railhawks

Christian Ramirez

Ramirez closed out his three-year NASL stay with another dominating offensive performance. He claimed his second NASL Golden Boot by scoring 18 goals. He also added 4 assists. Ramirez earned his third NASL Best XI nod in the process, as well as making the shortlist for the NASL Golden Ball.

Honorable mentions: Danny Cruz; Ibson; Jamie Watson

Cruz was a staple of the United lineup, working with full backs Kevin Venegas and Jeb Brovsky to lock down the right side of the park. Ibson lit the park on fire when he was in the lineup, using his motor to carve opposing defenses. Watson, meanwhile, came back from an ACL injury to score 2 goals and add an assist for United in the fall.


Who should add to their honors? Vote for your pick!

2016 Minnesota United FC Player of the Year

 

See all of FiftyFive.One Best of 2016 Player of the Year categories and vote!

Gopher Soccer

Young Female U-23

Male

Mpls. City SC

Young Male U-23

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  • BJ

    I was looking up Brent’s numbers on the NASL site. Compared to the 2 CBs that won best eleven he was hands down better. Only one or two CB’s in NASL had better years. Looking at even his worst performances he did well, with at most 2-3 moments in those bad performances.

    Someone said, on reddit, he didn’t position himself well and didn’t know what to do but that wasn’t my observation over the season.

    He got my vote.

  • Tres Gatos

    I would have picked Ibson if he were an option. But with the three listed, I went with Kallman.

  • Steve Lilly

    Had to be Brent, a solid year despite of all that was going on around him. With so many defensive line changes he remained solid at the back. How many times was he played into trouble by his teammates and still managed to get rid of the ball safely.