A release from the league recently popped into the inbox announcing the top three finalists for each individual MLS award. Interestingly enough, no one from Sounders FC was listed — not even James Riley for Humanitarian of the Year, which I find shocking.
Here are the people I voted for (including short explanations):
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MVP: Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes
The league’s Golden Boot winner with 18 goals elevated a mediocre side to a playoff team. Has scored San Jose’s last 10 goals, which is a number I find remarkable.
Newcomer of the Year: Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake
What a pick up for the defending champs. He’s scored a lot of goals. He’s scored timely goals. Edges out New York midfielder Joel Lindpere in my estimation.
Coach of the Year: Schellas Hyndman, FC Dallas
So many quality candidates throughout the league in this category — typified by Arena and Schmid not making the final three. I think Hyndman did the most with the least.
Rookie of the Year: Andy Najar, D.C. United
Another loaded field, but this young kid was phenomenal. Absolutely electrifying for a dreadful team. Just imagine if he had talent around him and pieces to combine with.
Defender of the Year: Jamison Olave, Real Salt Lake
An RSL player has to win this award after the record-breaking performance this season. I rate Olave just slightly over Borchers from what I’ve seen. Has a couple goals too.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake
Ricketts fell off at the end of the season for me. Hartman, while a phenomenal story, didn’t play enough in my opinion. Rimando was extremely consistent and reliable.
Comeback Player of the Year: Bobby Convey, San Jose Earthquakes
Granted, I don’t know much about all these candidates back stories, but Convey had an excellent year and was one of the better playmakers around of the league.
Referee of the Year: Baldomero Toledo
Officials are best judged when they’re anonymous. Of the three finalists, I’ve heard the least amount of complaints for Toledo.
Humanitarian of the Year: James Riley, Sounders FC
The Seattle defender didn’t make the final three, but he got my vote and I think he’s extremely deserving. Here’s a link to a story that details some of the work he’s done.
Fair Play Award: Sebastian Le Toux, Philadelphia Union
Not only did the ex-Sounder have a phenomenal year, but he’s always played the game the right way — both in terms of effort and fair play.
Let me know what you think. Here’s the release with the finalists:
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2010 MLS Awards Finalists & Announcement Schedule
NEW YORK (Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010) – Major League Soccer today announced the finalists for its 2010 year-end awards. Winners for each award will be announced in the coming weeks.
The finalists, listed in alphabetical order below for each award, earned the most votes in polling of MLS players, general managers, coaches, referees and members of the media.
This season’s most outstanding individual plays will be honored on Wednesday, Nov. 17 when the AT&T Goal of the Year and the NAPA Auto Parts Save of the Year are announced. Voting for the Goal and Save of the Year is conducted on the League’s official web site MLSsoccer.com.
The 2010 awards announcements, listed below the finalists, culminate on Friday, Nov. 19 with the unveiling of the 2010 MLS Volkswagen MVP and 2010 Commissioner’s Award.
2010 Major League Soccer Awards Finalists
Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists
Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas)
Donovan Ricketts (LA Galaxy)
Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Fair Play Finalists – Individual
C.J. Brown (Chicago Fire)
Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union)
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Comeback Player of the Year Finalists
Chris Albright (New York Red Bulls)
Bobby Convey (San Jose Earthquakes)
Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
Visa Defender of the Year Finalists
Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake)
Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake)
MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year Finalists
Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo)
Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards)
Seth Stammler (New York Red Bulls)
adidas Referee of the Year Finalists
Rookie of the Year Finalists
Danny Mwanga (Philadelphia Union)
Andy Najar (D.C. United)
Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls)
Coach of the Year Finalists
Hans Backe (New York Red Bulls)
Schellas Hyndman (FC Dallas)
Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake)
Newcomer of the Year Finalists
Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)
Joel Lindpere (New York Red Bulls)
Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)
Volkswagen Most Valuable Player Finalists
Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy)
David Ferreira (FC Dallas)
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Awards Announcements Schedule:
Schedule subject to change
November 3: Rookie of the Year, Fair Play Individual & Team of the Year, and Goalkeeper of the Year
November 5: Visa Defender and adidas Referee/Assistant Referee of the Year
November 8: MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year
November 10: Newcomer and Comeback Player of the Year
November 11: MLS Coach of the Year
November 15: 2010 MLS Best XI
November 17: AT&T Goal of the Year and NAPA Auto Parts Save of the Year
November 19: Volkswagen MVP & Commissioner’s Award