24 Under 24: Fan voting bodes well for one surprise name
This year is turning into the breakout season for Montreal Impact forward Sanna Nyassi.
The fans are recognizing Nyassi's contributions to the expansion Impact this year — last week's AT&T Goal of the Week triumph surely didn't hurt — and are including him among their selections in voting for the third annual 24 Under 24, which ranks the best young players in MLS. With nearly three days of voting remaining, he currently ranks eighth overall
This year fan ballots will represent 10 percent of the overall final rankings. They will be combined with the votes of a select media panel to determine the ultimate list of the top 24 players under the age of 24 through the end of the regular season.
Voting for fans opened on Monday and is set to close on Friday, Aug. 24, at 5 pm ET. The countdown to the No. 1 player will begin on Monday, Sept. 10, when the first installment of names are revealed.
It's also worth noting that the humiliating elimination by the US Olympic squad earlier this year did nothing to hurt the standing of the MLS players involved in the bid to qualify for London 2012. The most high profile figures, including goalkeepers Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson, are among the early favorites in the fan voting.
Among the bigger names currently on the outside looking in of the fans' Top 24 who could use a late push: Rafael Baca (San Jose Earthquakes), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC), Danny Mwanga (Portland Timbers), Andy Rose (Seattle Sounders), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution) and Luis Silva (Toronto FC).
NYASSI'S GOAL OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE (vs. Revolution, Aug. 12, 2012)