Hey Major League Soccer -- you blew it.
That's how each and every Orlando City fan should feel after being told that Chris Pontius of all people was named the league's Comeback Player of the Year. Go ahead and click that article. Read the reasoning behind his selection. They bring up injuries and performances reaching back five years. The award was voted on by MLS club management, media, and current MLS players. Perhaps they need an introduction to Orlando City's No. 18, because Molino didn't even finish second in the voting. He was third, behind both Pontius and Frank Lampard.
Last season, Pontius appeared in 23 games, scoring three goals and adding one assist. This year, he appeared in 33 games, scoring 12 goals and adding six assists. Notable increases, no doubt.
Last season, Kevin Molino appeared in seven games before blowing his knee out. This season, The Original appeared in 30 games, scoring 11 goals and adding eight assists for good measure.
You don't need an advanced degree in statistics to see one set of data features a larger jump than the other set of data. In case you missed it, though -- Molino combined directly had a hand in 19 goals in 30 games, compared to Pontius' 18 in 33 matches.
At least Lampard had better statistics, but he still missed a ton of time with injuries in 2016 the way he did in 2015 -- just not quite as much. Lampard barely played more than half the season in 2016, which was an improvement from his 10 games in 2015, but playing a tick over half a season isn't much of a "comeback" when you consider Lampard officially joined NYCFC in the 2015 summer transfer window, is it?
#Molinomania swept the whole planet this year. The hashtag we started right here on The Mane Land saw coverage worldwide this season. Not because it's clever -- well, maybe a little bit -- but because the man came out of nowhere to show the world just who he was. Some blog you may have read before even named Molino Orlando City's player of the year even though the Lions still have that Brazilian guy who wears the captain's armband.
So, to Major League Soccer award voters from the fan base of Orlando -- you blew it. And a hat tip to Goal.com for getting it right.