CONCACAF Year-End Awards: Nominees and Projected Winners

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Jun 17, 2014; Fortaleza, Ceara, BRAZIL; Mexico manager Miguel Herrera looks for a call against Brazil during the second half of their 0-0 tie in a 2014 World Cup game at Estadio Castelao. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Coaches of CONCACAF teams are known for colorful personalities, unrivaled drives to succeed, and for getting results.  Three of CONCACAF’s four representatives at the 2014 FIFA World Cup made it to the group stage, and one made the final eight.  Bruce Arena has created an MLS dynasty, winning yet another MLS Cup for LA Galaxy and sending Landon Donovan off a champion.  For the women, Jill Ellis has kept the USWNT at the top of the female footballing world while Gabaret Avedissian has molded Las Ticas (I hope that’s what they’re called) into the region’s 2nd best side and has closed the gap between the US and the rest of CONCACAF considerably.

The Nominees:

Bruce Arena, LA Galaxy

Gabaret Avedissian, Costa Rica WNT, U21s

Jill Ellis, United States Women’s National Team

Jorge Dely Valdes, Tauro FC

Jorge Luis Pinto, Costa Rica Men’s National Team

Jurgen Klinsmann, United States Men’s National Team

Luis Fernando Suarez, Honduras Men’s National Team

Miguel Herrera, Mexico Men’s National Team

Oscar Ramirez, Alajuelense

Stephen Hart, Trinidad & Tobago Men’s National Team

Pick To Win:

Miguel Herrera, Mexico.

Much like the rest of this list, the American, Mexican and Costa Rican National Team nominees are frontrunners due to their performance on the World’s Biggest Stage.  However, the American and Costa Rican MNT’s both had pretty solid squads heading into this tournament, as well as some decent momentum.

While it could be argued the American and Costa Rican groups were harder (both were labeled Group of Death by its supporters), Miguel Herrera brought a team that barely qualified for the World Cup and had to rely on the United States and a playoff vs. New Zealand to book its ticket.  And once there, they won impressively over Cameroon and Croatia, as well as holding the host nation Brazil to a thrilling stalemate.  Herrera’s tactical changes and choice to make a starting XI overwhelmingly composed of Liga MX players (and choosing to start Ochoa instead of Corona) was what got Mexico to the round of 16.

Next: Referee of the Year