To anyone who paid attention to MLS this season, there was only one clear choice for Newcomer of the Year: Alvaro Saborio.
Saborio, who joined the Lakers in March, made an almost immediate impact. In his third match, the Costa Rican import opened his MLS scoring account with a stoppage-time equalizer against the Seattle Sounders. He went on to score 12 goals to lead all newcomers, including two in a game three times. He also had four assists in 26 MLS appearances, good for a Points Per 90 of 1.27.
The third of those braces came in RSL's final game, as Saborio scored a pair of goals after the 90th minute to salvage a tie with the Colorado Rapids.
Although his performance in CONCACAF Champions League was not considered as part of his candidacy, he also scored six goals in six group stage matches as RSL became the first MLS team to win its group. Cruz Azul's Javier Orozco was the only player to score more goals in CCL group stage.
Also announced on Wednesday was Bobby Convey being named the Comeback Player of the Year. The San Jose Earthquakes midfielder rebounded from a knee injury two seasons ago and a first season in San Jose that was considered a disaster.
Convey had 10 assists and helped lead the Quakes to the postseason for the first time since the team was reformed in 2008. He beat out Red Bulls defender Chris Albright and FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea.