Sounders Insider

Schmid runner-up for MLS coach of year; Frei third for comeback player

MLScoach14The Sounders went 0-for-2 today in MLS awards with Sigi Schmid finishing second for coach of the year behind D.C. United's Ben Olsen and goalkeeper Stefan Frei finishing third in comeback player voting behind Portland's Rodney Wallace and New England's Charlie Davies.

Last week, Seattle central defender Chad Marshall was voted defender of the year. The final award in which a Sounder is a finalist -- Obafemi Martins for MVP -- will be announced at 2 p.m. PT Wednesday.

Here's the word from the league:

Two stories of overcoming both individual and collective struggle have been recognized today, as Major League Soccer announced the winners of the 2014 Coach of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year awards. After guiding his club from a record low three-win season last year to a first-place finish in the Eastern Conference in 2014, D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen has been named MLS Coach of the Year. On the other side of the country, Portland Timbers midfielder Rodney Wallace earned Comeback Player of the Year after returning from a serious knee injury halfway through the season to help booster Portland’s final push of 2014.

2014 Coach of the Year: Ben Olsen – D.C. United

In his fourth full season as D.C. United head coach, Ben Olsen led the club to the biggest single-season turnaround in MLS history. After finishing last in the 2013 standings with just three wins and 16 points, D.C. completed a worst-to-first campaign in 2014, ending the regular season atop the Eastern Conference with a 17-9-8 record and a club-record total of 59 points. Despite injuries and a number of new faces, D.C. United registered a MLS record 52-goal turnaround in goal differential from 2013-14.

Olsen's tactics and timely substitutions made D.C. unbeatable when the team either scored first or led at halftime. The club boasted a league best 16-0-1 record when scoring first and another equally impressive 14-0-1 record when leading at the half. D.C. also finished the season with the fewest goals allowed at home (12) and tied for the league lead in goals against average (1.09).

This marks the first time a D.C. United head coach has won the award since Bruce Arena in 1997.

The award was voted on by media, MLS players and MLS club management based on regular season performance. The other two finalists were Seattle Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid and Columbus Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter. 2014 Comeback Player of the Year: Rodney Wallace – Portland Timbers

Portland Timbers midfielder Rodney Wallace accomplished a significant comeback this year after missing the first 16 regular season matches of 2014 while recovering from offseason knee surgery. Wallace went on to record five goals and one assist in 17 appearances, 12 of which were starts, for the Timbers, including three goals in back-to-back victories over the San Jose Earthquakes in October. The Costa Rican made his return to the pitch on June 27 against Sporting Kansas City after sustaining a knee injury in last year’s Western Conference Championship series against Real Salt Lake on Nov. 24, 2013.

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 forward Charlie Davies and Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

MLS Coach of the Year Winners:

2014: Ben Olsen – D.C. United

2013: Caleb Porter – Portland Timbers

2012: Frank Yallop – San Jose Earthquakes

2011: Bruce Arena – LA Galaxy

2010: Schellas Hyndman – FC Dallas

2009: Bruce Arena – Los Angeles Galaxy

2008: Sigi Schmid – Columbus Crew

2007: Preki – Chivas USA

2006: Bob Bradley – Chivas USA

2005: Dominic Kinnear – San Jose Earthquakes

2004: Greg Andrulis – Columbus Crew

2003: Dave Sarachan – Chicago Fire

2002: Steve Nicol – New England Revolution

2001: Frank Yallop – San Jose Earthquakes

2000: Bob Gansler – Kansas City Wizards

1999: Sigi Schmid – Los Angeles Galaxy

1998: Bob Bradley – Chicago Fire

1997: Bruce Arena – D.C. United

1996: Thomas Rongen – Tampa Bay Mutiny

MLS Comeback Player of the Year Winners:

2014: Rodney Wallace – Portland Timbers

2013: Kevin Alston – New England Revolution

2012: Eddie Johnson – Seattle Sounders FC

2011: David Beckham – Los Angeles Galaxy

2010: Bobby Convey – San Jose Earthquakes

2009: Zach Thornton – Chivas USA

2008: Kenny Cooper – FC Dallas

2007: Eddie Johnson – Kansas City Wizards

2006: Richard Mulrooney – FC Dallas

2005: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards

2004: Brian Ching – San Jose Earthquakes

2003: Chris Armas – Chicago Fire

2002: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards

2001: Troy Dayak – San Jose Earthquakes

2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards