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October 29, 2012 at 11:49 PM

My MLS postseason awards

The deadline to submit ballots for MLS postseason awards is Tuesday afternoon, so you’ll probably see a lot of these posts from writers around the league.

First off, I must admit that I focus a lot of my attention on the Sounders, which makes it hard at times to keep up with the rest of MLS, at least as much as I’d prefer — especially when it comes to voting situations.

But here we go…

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My choice: Chris Wondolowski, San Jose. My runner-up: Graham Zusi, Kansas City.

Note: This was really a race for second place in my mind, and had been for quite some time. Zusi, who had eight combined assists his first three seasons, finished with a league-high 15 this year.

Coach of the Year

My choice: Frank Yallop, San Jose. My runner-up: Ben Olsen, D.C. United.

Note: I don’t think anyone expected the Earthquakes to do what they did this year, and certainly such success deserves attention. I was one that thought Yallop might be at risk of losing his job not long ago, so credit to the franchise for sticking with him.

Defender of the Year

My choice: Matt Besler, Kansas City. My runner-up: Lee Young-Pyo, Vancouver.

Note: Probably the most wide-open race of all of them. KC’s defender allowed 27 goals all season, which was six fewer than the nearest team (Seattle). Besler was steady all year and even worked his way to the fringe of USMNT consideration.

Comeback Player of the Year

My choice: David Ferreira, FC Dallas. My runner-up: Chris Pontius, D.C. United.

Note: Personally, I’m not a fan of comeback candidates that aren’t coming back from injury. For me, that’s the spirit of that award, and Ferreira was one of the triumvirate of stars taken out in 2011. He came back and nearly got Dallas into the playoffs.

Goalkeeper of the Year

My choice: Jimmy Nielsen, Kansas City. My runner-up: Michael Gspurning, Sounders FC.

Note: You won’t find a guy that appreciates what Gspurning does more than me, but to settle this one I felt him missing 13 games (almost 40 percent) of the season was too much to overlook. Nielsen played every minute and threatened the league’s shutout record.

Newcomer of the Year

My choice: Lee Young-Pyo, Vancouver. My runner-up: Patrice Bernier, Montreal.

Note: Another difficult pick, but how many first-year right backs do you see come into a new team and be voted Player of the Year by the fans? He played every minute of 33 games this season and brought a touch of class to help lead the Whitecaps to their first playoff berth.

Rookie of the Year

My choice: Austin Berry, Chicago. My runner-up: Darren Mattocks, Vancouver.

Note: I’ll admit, I leaned heavily on literature around the league to help me come to this opinion. I haven’t seen much of Berry (he didn’t play against the Sounders this year), but he played every minute of the final 28 games of the year and even sneaked a couple goals in.

Humanitarian of the Year

My choice: Chris Seitz, FC Dallas. My runner-up: Mike Lahoud, Philadelphia.

Note: If you haven’t read the story, do so now.


GK Jimmy Nielsen, Kansas City; D Lee Young-Pyo, Vancouver; D Victor Bernardez, San Jose; D Matt Besler, Kansas City; M Osvaldo Alonso, Sounders FC; M Kyle Beckerman, Real Salt Lake; M Dax McCarty, New York; M Graham Zusi, Kansas City; F Chris Wondolowski, San Jose; F Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy; F Thierry Henry, New York.

Note: These are never easy, and I leaned a bit heavily toward some defensive midfielders. It probably wouldn’t have been tough to select eight or so others that I could make an argument for.

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Where did I get it right? Where did I get it wrong?


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