Sounders FC announced its team awards for the 2011 season on Wednesday. Here are the results and I’ve included some highlights of the bios in the news release after the jump:
Most Valuable Player — Osvaldo Alonso
Defender of the Year — Jeff Parke
Golden Boot — Fredy Montero
Humanitarian of the Year — James Riley
* * *
What do you think of the winners? MVP I thought could’ve gone to any of four guys (Alonso, Rosales, Montero, Keller).
Alonso, affectionately nicknamed “The Honey Badger” by the fans, has been voted team MVP the last two seasons. He was an MLS All-Star, albeit an inactive one, in 2011 and I’m guessing it’s safe to say he’s no longer unheralded. Alonso established new career-highs in games played (33), goals (three), assists (three), shots (54), shots on goal (11), fouls committed (50) and fouls suffered (39). He appeared in 44 of the team’s 47 matches in all competitions this season and played a team-high 3,820 minutes. He played every minute of the U.S. Open Cup three-peat run and was named Player of the Round for the final — where he scored the final goal to seal the win. Alonso also scored twice against Comunicaciones in Guatemala to clinch the Sounders’ quarterfinal berth in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Parke, who I thought would win the award, started a career-high 28 games in his second season in Seattle. He started 19 straight MLS games from mid May to mid September when the team went 12-3-4. The 29-year-old was named MLS Player of the Week in Week 10, in part for his game-winning goal in stoppage time against Sporting Kansas City on May 21. Parke played in all four Open Cup games and his 3,226 minutes were fifth-most on the team.
Montero, 24, has won the team’s Golden Boot all three seasons as it’s leading scorer. The DP forward helped lead the league’s top offense with 12 goals (tying a career high and ranking fifth in MLS) and nine assists (also tied for fifth in MLS). He shared the league lead with five game-winning goals and had 18 goals and 11 assists in all competitions. Montero was named the U.S. Open Cup Player of the Tournament after recording three game-winners (quarterfinal, semifinal and final) en route to a third-straight championship. He had a goal or assist in the last eight games of the regular season and his 33 points in 2011 were a new team record.
Riley, who the Sounders lost in the expansion draft and eventually landed at Chivas USA, earned Humantarian of the Year for the second-straight season. He has worked closely with the Renton/Skyway Boys & Girls Club, Special Olympics, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, America SCORES Seattle and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, along with other organizations, since joining the team in 2009. Riley’s seven-a-side youth tournament raised more than $15,000 for the Boys & Girls Club.