Announcing 2014 team award winners

FC Buffalo’s players and staff were polled for the fourth-consecutive year to find out who would win four postseason awards, while a supporters’ poll was conducted for a fifth award.

Thirteen players received votes, many in multiple categories. Two awards, our best defensive player and unsung hero honors, were very tightly contested.

So who won?

Best Offensive Player: Russell Cicerone

Photo: Dan Hickling
Photo: Dan Hickling

2013 winner: Ian Mort
2012 winner: Mike Reidy
2011 winner: Mike Reidy
2010 winner: Richie Wilson

It would’ve been hard to forecast anyone win the award, given Cicerone shattered single season club records in goals (8) and assists (6), but Marcus Hanson and Ian Mort also received votes for the honor.


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Credit: Dan Hickling

Best Defensive Player: Jake Rinow

2013 winner: Bobby Ross
2012 winner: Josh Hall
2011 winner: Corey Phillips
2010 winner: Mbwana Johnson

Rinow edged out returning winner Ross, Tyler Allen and Chris Walter for this award. With his crushing tackles and willingness to go up for any headball, it’s a wonder Rinow (nor Walter) didn’t claim this award in one of his other three seasons with the club.


Unsung Hero: Marcus Hanson

2013 winner: (tie) Brian Knapp and Bobby Ross
2012 winner: Patrick Zelko
2011 winners: (tie) Andrew Larracuente and Joshua Faga
2010 winner: John Grabowski

A number of players received multiple votes here, including Walter, Knapp, Jeff Thomas and Luke Elston, but Hanson wound up with one more vote than his teammates. His two-goal performance against Detroit City was a beaut, with one of the goals earning a nomination for NPSL goal of the year.


Supporters Choice Award: Russell Cicerone

2013 winner: Ian Mort
2012 winner: Matt Stedman
2011 winner: Joshua Faga
2010 winner: (tie) Daniel Stevens and Eric Steinmetz

There were a few names voted for many times — Mort, Walter, Rinow and Knapp among them — but perhaps Cicerone earned this one with his leap into The Situation Room to celebrate a goal, or maybe it was his badge-kissing run to the crowd in Erie in the road opener. In any event, Cicerone joins distinguished company here.


Most Valuable Player: Russell Cicerone

2013 winner: Ian Mort
2012 winners: (tie) Mike Reidy and Andy Tiedt
2011 winner: Joshua Faga
2010 winner: Daniel Stevens

In the end, Cicerone became the second player to win three awards in a season, in addition to his 2014 NPSL national player of the week award in May and honor as NPSL First Team All-Star. Congrats, Russ, and good luck at UB this sophomore season!

Hoping to see everybody back next summer.

For our city.