Arena, Gonzalez, Donovan, Thornton, Ricketts Among MLS Award Finalists

Here’s the full list as released today by MLS:

Goalkeeper of the Year
Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC
Donovan Ricketts – Los Angeles Galaxy
Zach Thornton – Chivas USA

Fair Play Finalists – Individual
Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC
Pat Onstad – Houston Dynamo
Steve Ralston – New England Revolution

Comeback Player of the Year
Brian McBride – Chicago Fire
Ben Olsen – D.C. United
Zach Thornton – Chivas USA

Visa Defender of the Year
Geoff Cameron – Houston Dynamo
Jhon Kennedy Hurtado – Seattle Sounders FC
Chad Marshall – Columbus Crew

adidas Referee of the Year
Alex Prus
Ricardo Salazar
Kevin Stott

Rookie of the Year
Stefan Frei – Toronto FC
Omar Gonzalez – Los Angeles Galaxy
Chris Pontius – D.C. United

Coach of the Year
Bruce Arena – Los Angeles Galaxy
Sigi Schmid – Seattle Sounders FC
Robert Warzycha – Columbus Crew

Newcomer of the Year
Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC
Freddie Ljungberg – Seattle Sounders FC
Fredy Montero – Seattle Sounders FC

Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player
Jeff Cunningham – FC Dallas
Landon Donovan – Los Angeles Galaxy
Shalrie Joseph – New England Revolution

MLS begins handing out awards Wednesday when the Goalkeeper of the Year and Fair Play Award (Individual & Team) are named.

Not much to quibble about there. Any notable omissions? Surprise contenders? But if Dallas had made the playoffs, Cunningham would have had a strong case for MVP. And did Olsen really “come back?”

The first one is a toughie and has an obvious local angle.

Who is your pick for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year?
Kasey Keller
Donovan Ricketts
Zach Thorton
Free polls from

(With apologies to Mr. Thornton for misspelling his surname in the poll).

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!
  • Kingsnake

    Ricketts, because without him the Galaxy would be what they were last year with the otherwise same roster of players.

    Btw, when is AEG going to use some of that $100 million Jocko earning to pay LA back for event security at his memorial?

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    When is AEG going to use some of that $100 million Jocko earning to pay LA back for event security at his memorial?

    When David Beckham gets loaned to Brighton and Hove Albion. 😉

    Seriously, though, some of these nominations are a joke. Preki doesn’t get nominated for coach of the year despite contending with a reconstructed roster because of injuries? Two goalkeepers are nominated for the Fair Play Award when goalkeepers routinely do not get cards (except for Keller getting a red early in the season)? Todd Dunivant gets no love as a comeback player of the year (behind Thornton, who deserves it)? Darrius Miles and Steve Zakuani get shut out in rookie of the year voting (Gonzalez is over-rated)?

  • KingSnake

    Btw, I just noticed “Referee of the Year” … Alex Prus.

    Alex Prus.

    Good Lord.

    That’s like nominating Osama bin Laden for the Nobel Peace Prize …

  • JBT

    Referee of the year? 9 Awards total? What a joke…The AYSO mentality that dominates the MLS makes the whole league seem amateur…

  • Studs Up

    What’s wrong with tooting your own horn JBT? We’ve got a long way to go to match the entertainment industry and their weekly awards show.

    However a complimentary “worst” awards by bloggers wouldn’t be a bad idea.