Honda Player of the Year Finalists: Altidore, Donovan, Howard

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?

Who is the 2009 Honda Player of the Year?
Jozy Altidore
Landon Donovan
Tim Howard
Free polls from

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?

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  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    My only change would have been Charlie Davies for Howard. Not only has Davies grown as an international player but he has become a viable offensive option, thereby increasing depth in an area where the national team most needs it.

    Having said that, I think Donovan actually deserves the award this year (unlike past years, when this vote has basically become the Donovan Popularity Contest).


    Seeing Jozy shed that Spanish defender (Capdevila?) in S. Africa got him my vote. The key goal against Mexico and picking apart T&T locked it down.

    I give Howard a close second. He is the best player on the team and saves us an awful lot.

    LD is the backbone of the team and seems to create most of our offense, but he hasn’t produced as many big plays this year. Do something big in S.A. and win it next year.

  • Studs Up

    I’ll go with our most dependable defender Gooch instead of Jozy for the award as the MVP. I know he makes the whole soccer nation comfortable back there and I’m sure his mates owe a lot of dinners to him as well.

  • Nell

    Donovan is the clear, hands down winner. He is the driving force of the US National Team. Hasn’t produced big plays? UCLABZ, Are you kidding? Brazil in Confed Cup ring a bell? Not to mention creating for everyone else. There’s a reason he has created 14 of the 18 goals scored by the national team this year. Without Donovan, we’d be sunk.

    In fact, he’s been “in” every game for the nats this year, not like some of his teammates. So yeah, he absolutely deserves the award.

    Jozy should not be one of the finalists, though. Gooch should have been a finalist.

  • mare

    I think Jozy deserves the award – he is a young player and has done a lot in his short time and still is growing and proving that he deserves to be in the class with some of the greatest. He creates a lot of opportunities for his teams as well. He is a great asset and should win hands down!!!!!!!!!!!!