Major League Soccer has named its 2011 Award winners in the week leading up to the MLS Cup, featuring the LA Galaxy versus Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
The awards were voted on by players, coaches and general managers, and media.
2011 MLS Awards
Most Valuable Player: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)
De Rosario wins the MVP award after capturing the Golden Boot with 16 goals and 12 assists. He was also named MLS Best XI this year for a League-record sixth time.
De Rosario became the first player in MLS history to score for three different teams in one year and the first MVP in North American professional sports history to play for three different teams in one season. After starting the season with Toronto FC, De Rosario moved to the New York Red Bulls three games into the season. In late June, De Rosario was traded to D.C. United, where he hit his stride and amassed 13 goals and seven assists in 18 games.
Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)
Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
Newcomer of the Year: Mauro Rosales (Seattle Sounders)
Rosales, 30, from Villa Maria, Argentina, joined Seattle in 2011 from Argentina’s River Plate. Rosales emerged as one of the top playmakers in MLS and finished the regular season with five goals and 13 assists in 26 games, and helped Seattle mount the league’s most potent attack, with 56 goals this season (1.65 goals per game).
Luke Rodgers (New York Red Bulls)
Eric Hassli (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Rookie of the Year: C.J. Sapong (Sporting Kansas City)
Sapong appeared in all 34 of Sporting’s regular season games and helped the club to a first-place finish in the Eastern Conference. The 22-year old forward scored five goals and added five assists in his first professional season.
Perry Kitchen (D.C. United)
Michael Farfan (Philadelphia Union)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders)
Keller played in every minute of every game for Sounders FC in 2011 and led the team to the second-best record in MLS this season. The Olympia, Washington, native won a League-high 18 games this season and led all starting goalkeepers in MLS in saves percentage (76%) while posting a 1.09 goals against average, and recording nine shutouts. Keller also won the MLS 2011 Save of the Year.
Keller, 41, retired at the end of the season, ending his 20-year international professional career with his hometown club for a record crowd of 64,140.
Faryd Mondragon (Philadelphia Union)
Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas)
Defender of the Year: Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
In his third professional season, Gonzalez appeared in 29 games for the Galaxy, anchoring a defense that allowed just 28 goals in 2011, the fewest allowed by an MLS club this season. Gonzalez, 23, is the youngest player to win this award.
Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake)
Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake)
Comeback Player of the Year: David Beckham (LA Galaxy)
This year Beckham, 36, was a creative force for the Galaxy, who won their second consecutive Supporters Shield for the best regular season record. Beckham tallied 15 assists (second in MLS) in 26 games, scored twice, earned his second career All-Star selection and was named to the MLS Best XI.
Recovery from a torn Achilles tendon limited Beckham to seven MLS games in 2010 and the former England National Team captain went six months between competitive games while rehabilitating from the injury, which kept him from playing in 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Charlie Davies (D.C. United)
Dominic Oduro (Chicago Fire)
Coach of the Year: Bruce Arena (LA Galaxy)
Arena is the first coach to win the award three times, having also won it in 1997 and 2009. This season, Arena’s team won the Supporters Shield for the second consecutive year and achieved the second-best record (19-5-10, 67 points) in League history. Arena was hired as head coach and general manager of the Galaxy on Aug. 18, 2008.
Sigi Schmid (Seattle Sounders)
Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City)
Xbox 360 Team Fair Play: Portland Timbers
The Portland Timbers committed a League-low 347 fouls this season – 27 fewer than the next closest team, Colorado. The Timbers were one of just five teams to average under 1.5 yellow cards per game, and their total of three red card ejections tied (with Columbus and Philadelphia) for second fewest in MLS this season, behind Seattle’s total of two.
Xbox 360 Individual Fair Play: Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union)
Le Toux won the Fair Play award for the second consecutive year. Le Toux started all 34 games and played all 3,060 minutes for his club this season and committed just 20 fouls and received no yellow or red cards, nor any supplementary discipline. He finished tied for third in MLS in combined goals (11) and assists (9) and led his team in both categories this year.
Kosuke Kimura (Colorado Rapids)
Darrius Barnes (New England Revolution)
MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year Zak Boggs (NE Revolution)
Boggs won the award for his volunteer work with cancer research at Children’s Hospital Boston. Boggs worked in Dr. Marsha Moses’ laboratory every week, helping her staff research potential cancer diagnostics and prognostics, attempting to find proteins in the body that would identify someone who has cancer. Boggs has worked in Moses’ lab since 2010 and been a regular visitor to patients at Children’s Hospital.
Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Referee of the Year: Mark Geiger
Geiger has appeared in more than 90 regular-season matches since 2004 and in five playoff games, most recently refereeing Houston’s 2-0 victory against Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference Championship. Beginning in 2008, Geiger has represented the U.S. at the international level, refereeing this year’s CONCACAF U-20 tournament in Guatemala and the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.
Assistant Referee of the Year: Corey Rockwell
Rockwell has officiated 130 regular-season matches and 10 playoff matches during his seven years in the league. Rockwell has refereed international matches in the CONCACAF region, including World Cup qualifiers and CONCACAF Champions League games.
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