But the competition now stretches off the field as the NASL has released its nominees for several performance-based awards this season.
First, the most prestigious award, the Golden Ball for the league MVP. Ten players across the league have been nominated, selected by the league’s coaches. This year’s nominees include two players from the green and white: Venezuelan Juan Arango, currently third in the league in goals, and Spaniard Ayoze.
The Cosmos are one of three teams with two nominees for the award alongside FC Edmonton’s Matt Van Oekel and Matt Watson and Minnesota United’s Christian Ramirez and Justin Davis. The remaining nominees are Nazmi Albadawi (Carolina RailHawks), Eamon Zayed (Indy Eleven), Michel (Rayo OKC) and Joe Cole (Tampa Bay Rowdies).
Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese is nominated for the Coach of the Year Award. He’ll have some weight after taking the Cosmos to their second straight Combined Season title and first Fall season title since 2013
He is nominated alongside the other eleven head coaches in the league.
The Cosmos’ lone nominee for the Young Player of the Year Award is 23-year-old David Diosa, who has seen his role increase dramatically this season. After making just 16 appearances and scoring a single goal in the previous three seasons, he’s made 21 appearances and scored three in 2016.
He’ll be up against a trio from Puerto Rico FC, Jackie Marrero, Kyle Culbertson, and Sidney Rivera, and another from Edmonton, Papé Diakité, Shamit Shome, and Ben Fisk. Also up for the award are Brian Sylvestre (RailHawks), Luis Felipe Fernandes (Ft. Lauderdale Strikers), Duke Lacroix (Indy), Charles Eloundou (Jacksonville Armada), Damion Lowe (United), Mauro Eustaquio (Ottawa Fury) and PC (split season between the Strikers and the Rowdies).
Fans will have one more award to vote for starting on October 31st as the voting will open for Goal of the Year.
Stay tuned and don’t forget to vote!