2013 Forward of the Year: Alvaro Saborio near-unanimous despite limited time

USA TODAY Sports

The end of the regular season brings with it an opportunity to reflect on what we've seen over 34 games spanning March to October. RSL Soapbox contributors bring you our picks for the best players this season. Up now, the year's best forward.

Charles Barnard: Alvaro Saborio. Sabo's 12 goals was a team high. The incredible part was that he did that in only 16 games played. He also led the team in shots and shots on goal in his limited time playing.

Chad Loveland: Alvaro Saborio. Is there anyone that could be picked other than Sabo? I guess if you hold against him only played in 16 games but still he scored 12 goals with 2 assists. I would say that is incredible scoring rate. He had 4 more goals than the second closest player (Morales) and double the next closest forward (Findley 6). Out of Forwards who played in more than 70% of the games, I would pick Joao by a hair over Findley (though for the record I prefer the pairing of Sabo and Robbie over Sabo/Joao).

Matt Montgomery: Alvaro Saborio. I so want to hand this award wholesale to Alvaro Saborio, and it's surely tempting. In 16 games in the regular season, he scored 12 goals and had two assists. That's a brilliant return. The problems were both his own (injuries) and not (international call-ups). But I have to deal first with the concern that he simply didn't play many games, as that's why Chris Schuler wasn't my defender of the year pick. But at the same time? 12 goals. In approximately half as many matches as last season, Saborio scored 70 percent of last year's return. Forward of the year material there. A special word, though, to Joao Plata, who would be in line for the award had he better finishing - eight assists is nothing to cry about.

Randal Serr: Alvaro Saborio. There is not even a question in my mind that Saborio is one of the best forwards in MLS. He scores at a rate of nearly a goal per game. Take a look around the best forwards in the world and you will notice that that statistic is very significant.

Jake Simons: Joao Plata. Small, fast, deadly. At the beginning of the year I had no idea that Plata possessed those attributes and skills. He has come on strong this year, and in my mind has shown that he is the best option for a consistent pairing with Sabo up top. When those two are on the field at the same time RSL score more goals. Period.

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