Sounders Insider

MLS awards: Sounders finalists only for Humanitarian & Fair Play

MLS Humanitarian of the Year finalist Brad Evans of the Seattle Sounders stands during the national anthem before MLS play-in win over the Los Angeles Galaxy.
MLS Humanitarian of the Year finalist Brad Evans of the Seattle Sounders stands during the national anthem before MLS play-in win over the Los Angeles Galaxy. Associated Press

MLS announced the finalists for its postseason awards Tuesday. Sounders were represented in two categories: Brad Evans for humanitarian of the year and the club for the fair play award. 

"I think we’ve had a lot of guys have good seasons," general manager Garth Lagerwey said. "We’ve had a lot of guys have interrupted seasons, whether through injury or call-up or being signed in the middle of the season and things like that. I do think that we have a good team. I do think that we have a good group in the sense that you have guys stepping up, and we’ve seen that especially in the playoffs with guys volunteering to play positions with more running, and sacrificing for the team, and even just laying the ball on in specific circumstances – which I think is a really good thing. If we wind up having the best team without any individual awards, I think not only can I live with that, but I think (the team) can live with that too – which is cool. To be clear: Do I think we have guys who have had really good years? Yeah, of course I do. But I think you can get bent out of shape about these things every year, or you can use them as motivation. I know from my own personal standpoint, if you feel like you should have won one of these things, the best personal answer is win the title. You win the title and everybody will talk about you for quite a while longer than people remember who won newcomer of the year in 2000-whatever." 

Here’s the news from the league:

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 Leone 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

Here’s the Sounders’ news on Evans:

Major League Soccer today announced the finalists for its 2015 MLS regular season awards, with Sounders FC captain Brad Evans earning a spot amongst the final three nominees for 2015 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, presented by Advocare. This is Evans' first such honor for his work in the community. 

Evans is nominated alongside Kei Kamara of Columbus Crew SC and Jeb Brovsky of New York City FC for the award, presented by Advocare. The winner is being announced on Thursday, November 5 ahead of the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals. 

As an ambassador for the club off the pitch, Evans has championed community efforts both personally and through relationships with club partners. For the third-straight year, he participated in the Men in Kilts campaign, helping to raise over $83,000 for the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle to provide services for families of seriously ill children being treated at Seattle Children's Hospital. 

Evans also contributed to September's 30 in 30 initiative, to raise awareness about cancer and research for a cure. He welcomed young leukemia patient Isiah Waiters as an Austen Everett Foundation Honorary Team Captain, worked with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to promote the Base2Space program and took part in the club's Breast Cancer Awareness calendar, benefitting Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Seattle. 

He's also helped in the team's United in Green efforts to positively impact local children throughout the season, and he continues to support programs he is personally passionate about, including the Seattle Humane Society. Through his relationship with Chipotle, he has hosted a fundraiser for the Seattle Humane Society to help benefit the organization's programs throughout the city. 

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

Sounders FC is also up for the Fair Play award alongside the Philadelphia Union and LA Galaxy. The award is selected by MLS based on fewest fouls committed, cards received and subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior. 

Following a 2-1 win over FC Dallas on Sunday, Seattle hits the road for the return leg of the Western Conference Semifinals this Sunday, November 8 at Toyota Stadium (4:30 p.m. PT / FS1, FOX Deportes, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM). With a win, draw or a one-goal loss with multiple away goals scored on Sunday, the Rave Green can advance to the Western Conference Championship of the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, while a 2-1 loss would send the two sides to an overtime of two 15-minute periods followed by penalty kicks if needed.

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