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MLS Announces 2015 Awards Finalists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: MLS Communications
 
 MLS Announces 2015 Awards Finalists
Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco, Columbus Crew SC’s Kei Kamara, and Sporting Kansas City’s Benny Feilhaber are finalists for MLS Most Valuable Player
 
NEW YORK (Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015) – Major League Soccer today announced the finalists for its 2015 awards, which recognizes the top players, coaches and officials during the 2015 MLS Regular Season. The finalists for each award are listed in alphabetical order below, as well as the announcement schedule for the winners of each honor.
 
The finalists earned the most votes in polling of three voting groups:
  • Current MLS players
  • MLS Clubs (Coaches, Technical Directors, Chief Business Officers and PR Directors)
  • Media members who consistently covered the 2015 MLS Regular Season
Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco, Columbus Crew SC forward Kei Kamara and Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber are the three finalists for the Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player honor, which is named for the recently retired former MLS and U.S. National Team star.
 
An Italian international, the 28-year old Giovinco took the League by storm when he arrived from Juventus of the Serie A prior to the season. He won the Audi Golden Boot after tying for the league-lead with 22 goals and leading MLS with 16 assists – becoming the first MLS player to reach 20+ goals and 10+ assists in a single season. He is also a finalist for the MLS Newcomer of the Year.
 
Kamara, a Sierra Leon international, returned to MLS after two years in England and tied Giovinco for the league-lead with 22 goals while adding eight assists of his own. Kamara set a new Crew SC record with seven game-winning goals, as Columbus posted a 10-1-5 record in matches where Kamara scored. Kamara is also a finalist for MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, presented by Advocare.
 
Feilhaber had his best season in MLS in 2015, setting career-highs with 10 goals and finishing second in MLS with 15 assists – becoming one of only four players to register double-digits in both goals and assists. A member of the USA’s 2010 FIFA World Cup squad, Feilhaber was named April’s MLS Player of the Month and earned his first MLS All-Star nod this year.
 
All eight teams competing in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs Conference Semifinals have at least one finalist. The head coaches of the top three teams in the overall standings – Jesse Marsch (New York Red Bulls), Oscar Pareja (FC Dallas) and Carl Robinson (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), respectively – are finalists for the MLS Coach of the Year award.
 
The AT&T Goal of the Year and MLS Save of the Year will be decided by voting at MLSsoccer.com from now through December 2.  
 
2015 Major League Soccer Awards Finalists
(Listed in alphabetical order by last name within each award category)
 
Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists
Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City)
Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)
Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew SC)
 
AT&T Rookie of the Year Finalists*
Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes)
Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC)
Matt Polster (Chicago Fire)
 
*Best player without previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2015.
 
Defender of the Year Finalists
Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact)
Matt Hedges (FC Dallas)
Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
 
Coach of the Year Finalists
Jesse Marsch (New York Red Bulls)
Oscar Pareja (FC Dallas)
Carl Robinson (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
 
Comeback Player of the Year Finalists
Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City)
Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
 
*Honors a player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the 2015 regular season.
 
Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists
Bill Hamid (D.C. United)
David Ousted (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
 
Newcomer of the Year Finalists*
Didier Drogba (Montreal Impact)
Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)
Mike Grella (New York Red Bulls)
 
*Best player with previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2015.
 
MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, presented by Advocare, Finalists
Jeb Brovsky (New York City FC)
Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC)
Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew SC)
 
MLS Fair Play Finalists – Individuals*
Nat Borchers (Portland Timbers)
Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers)
Marvell Wynne (San Jose Earthquakes)
 
*Selected by MLS based on objective criteria such as fouls committed, cards received, games & minutes played, as well as subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior.
 
MLS Fair Play Finalists - Teams*
LA Galaxy
Philadelphia Union
Seattle Sounders FC
 
*Selected by MLS based on objective criteria such as fewest fouls committed, cards received, and on subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior.
 
Referee of the Year Finalists
Alan Kelly
Jair Marrufo
Baldomero Toledo
 
Assistant Referee of the Year Finalists
George Gansner
Peter Manikowski
Corey Parker
 
Awards Announcements Schedule:
Schedule subject to change
 
November 5: MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, presented by Advocare
November 6: MLS Referee / Assistant Referee of the Year, Fair Play Award – Individual and Team.
November 10: AT&T Rookie of the Year
November 11: MLS Defender of the Year
November 18: MLS Comeback Player of the Year
November 19: Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year
November 23: Newcomer of the Year
November 24: MLS Coach of the Year
November 29: MLS Best XI
December 2: Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player
December 3: AT&T Goal of the Year, MLS Save of the Year