Full 90 Player of the Month: Aurelien Collin
On April 15, 2011, Sporting Kansas City finally were able to pull the strings on an important acquisition: The French-via-Portugal defender Aurelien Collin.
Collin was almost immediately inserted into the lineup, earning a reputation (rather fairly) as physical and yellow-card-attracting defender. But his physicality and fiery play ignited the team. It didn't happen immediately, but KC steadily became a better team with him beside Matt Besler and the pair helped lead KC to the Eastern Conference finals.
And, while his performance in 2011 was all well and good -- 23 games, 3 goals, 10 yellow cards, one of the team's most popular players -- he's been even better to start this season.
His April numbers: 5 games, 2 goals (he was an inch away from another against Vancouver), 2 yellow cards and an anchor for a defense that's allowed just three goals.
If that's not impressive enough, look at the big-name attackers he's been asked to mark just this month: Portland's Kris Boyd against Portland, Vancouver's Sebastien Le Toux, Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio and Los Angeles' Robbie Keane.
He shut out the three designated players (Boyd, Saborio and Keane) and allowed just the one cheap rebound goal by Le Toux.
That's an impressive month.