Sounders Insider

Timbers sweep MLS goalkeeper, newcomer awards

LogoMLSThe Portland Timbers went two-for-two in today's MLS postseason awards, with Donovan Ricketts being honored as MLS goalkeeper of the year and Diego Valeri being named newcomer of the year.

Here's the news from the league:

Donovan Ricketts put together one of the most complete seasons in his five-year MLS career. In 2013, the Jamaican international goalkeeper set MLS career highs in shutouts (14), saves (92) and minutes played (2,880) in 32 matches with the Portland Timbers.

Ricketts served as the last line of defense for a Timbers club that lost just five matches, tying the MLS record for fewest losses in a 34-game regular season. Ricketts also ranked among league leaders in wins (13), goals-against average (0.97) and saves percentage (73%) while logging three of the league’s top 10 longest streaks without conceding a goal during the regular season. Ricketts previously won the Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2010 and was selected to the MLS Best XI in 2010 and 2013.

The award was voted on by media, MLS players and MLS club management based on regular season performance. The other two finalists were Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando and Sporting Kansas City’s Jimmy Nielsen. 2013 Newcomer of the Year: Diego Valeri – Portland TimbersValeri joined the Portland Timbers from Argentine club Atlético Lanús as a Designated Player and led the league in assists (13), while setting the Timbers MLS club single-season records in both goals (10) and assists.

Valeri appeared in 31 matches while compiling a stretch of four consecutive games with an assist – tied for the longest streak in MLS this season from July 27-August 21. Valeri was a crucial component to the team’s 15-game unbeaten streak that helped the Timbers finish first in the Western Conference. Valeri also was selected to this year’s MLS Best XI.

The Newcomer of the Year honors the player who is in his first season in Major League Soccer, but has prior professional experience, making him ineligible for Rookie of the Year honors.

The award was voted on by media, MLS players and MLS club management based on regular season performance. The other two finalists were New England Revolution defender Jose Goncalves and Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker.

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