Those were my no-brainer picks for the three finalists, too, in the annual award given to the best national team player of the year.
Here’s how Ftbol de Primera, which organizes the award, described the three finalists:
*Jozy Altidore (Hull City, on loan from Villarreal) – A first-time finalist at age 19. At just 18, he became the youngest player to score for the United States during a 2-2 draw against Mexico in 2008. On April 1 2009, he also became the youngest U.S. player to record a hat trick when the U.S. won 3-0 in the World Cup qualifying match against Trinidad & Tobago. Altidore has scored 8 goals in 19 games since his debut with the National Team in 2007.
*Landon Donovan (Galaxy) – The 27-year-old five-time winner of the Honda Player of the Year Award, is the only player to be a finalist seven times. Donovan is the all-time goalscorer for the U.S. National Team scoring a total of 41 goals during his 118 games.
*Tim Howard (Everton) – The 30-year-old goalkeeper is a finalist for the Honda Player of the Year Award for the third year in a row. Named best goalkeeper at the Confederations Cup last summer, he has 46 U.S. caps since his debut in 2002
The winner will be named Oct. 20 at The Biltmore Hotel in downtown L.A.
Who do you think should win?
Updated: Note the question is who should win, not who will win.
If you disagree with the choice of finalists feel free to comment.
My rationale for choosing the trio: Donovan is simply the best and most influential U.S. player, Howard keeps the U.S. in games against top-class opponents almost single handedly at times and Altidore is the best pure U.S. attacker.
Among other candidates Clint Dempsey is error-prone and had some poor games this year, Oguchi Onyewu needs to be more dominating and Michael Bradley more consistent (and learn to control his temper).
What say you?