Let’s face it, this season has been utterly horrible for the Roujiblancos. Yet despite all the negatives that have occurred, when you are only 2 points behind 7th with a goal
difference of -19 (7th GD is -4) one needs to question how we even have a fighting
chance to not finish last. Zach Verhoven and Malcolm Shaw have both been
nominated as finalists for the Golden Scarf Award, and there is no doubt that
their play has been a bright light on this very cloudy season for Ottawa.
However, so far in the two articles, most of the talk has been focused on the
attacking play, and well… when you’ve given up 45 goals, and 12 penalties with 3
games left in the season, it’s pretty hard to try and bring a defensive player to
the spotlight. With that said, this is precisely what I am going to do.
Introducing your 3rd finalist for Capital City SG Golden Scarf Award: Dylon Powley.
The Neuers, Edersons, Alisson’s of the world all get their deserved praise as being fantastic goalkeepers, however the obvious similarities between these keepers is the fact they play on incredible teams, even if they do let in a few goals, no one will be upset as those goals usually don’t have a severe impact on the game.
However, for teams that are struggling, goalkeepers are expected to be able to singlehandedly keep their team in the game, and even if they save 99 out of 100 shots, if that one shot they didn’t save ends up losing the game; it’s the keeper that will receive most of the blame. This is the unfortunate story of Atletico Ottawa this season.
As mentioned, Ottawa has given up 45 goals this season. You look at that and obviously question how on Earth a goalkeeper is nominated as one of the Finalists for player of the year. However, once you take the time to break down the statistics, it is quite remarkable what Dylon Powley has done.
Powley leads the league in minutes with 2070 (104 minutes more than 2nd). With that
many minutes logged, Powley is facing an outrageous number of more shots than
any other goalkeeper in the league. At the time of this article, Powley has faced 119 shots compared to Connor James’ 98 shots (2nd highest).
On top of that, Ottawa leads the league with 4 red cards, which totalled 159
minutes of being shorthanded. Speaking of indiscipline, Dylon Powley has had to
face 11 penalties this season. With all of this said, now once you see Dylon
Powley’s league-leading 78 saves, one can see how he is almost singlehandedly
keeping this team’s hopes of not finishing last alive.
Dylon Powley was thrown into the lion’s den early on. There was no gradually getting into the season. Ottawa was struggling to score and needed Powley to keep his team in the game, which he did, but when you are giving up grade-A scoring chances over and over or giving up penalties over and over, you are bound to let in a goal or two, and that is what many people focused on early on. However, as the season progressed and Ottawa started playing in front of fans.
People slowly realized that Powley was playing out of his mind to even give the team opportunities to draw or grab all three points.
Moving on from the Saves, Powley’s passion cannot be matched by anyone on the team. Powley brings energy to the club, which can be seen in that one famous picture of him jumping into the Dub. Powley brings high energy to this team, and it is essential when working through a tough season like this one. During poor stretches, it’s easy to drop your heads and play through the motions; however, Powley made sure none of his teammates did that, and it was clear to see them feeding off his energy.
To sum this all up, it’s easy to look at the numbers and put the blame on Powley; however, its quite literally the opposite as in if it wasn’t for Dylon Powley, we’d be setting records (not the good kind) that probably would never be broken again. Despite everything that has been thrown at him, Dylon Powley has won the fans over and maybe the brightest light in this challenging season. This is why he is a finalist for CCSG Golden Scarf Award.
As they sing in the dub,