MLS Postseason Awards: Dwayne De Rosario Wins MVP In Landslide

Sounders, Galaxy have so far dominated the MLS postseason awards

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11 Total Updates since November 8, 2011
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Major League Soccer MVP: Dwayne De Rosario Wins Handily

For much of the voting period for Major League Soccer's MVP, we were told how hard this year's choice was going to be. No fewer than five players, at least, could lay legitimate claim to being the running. Turns out, voters coalesced around one candidate pretty significantly: DC United's Dwayne De Rosario.

Despite being traded twice this year and playing for a team that missed the playoffs, De Rosario garnered a weighted total of nearly 73 percent of the vote. The midfielder won all three voting blocs, with the players voting for him by a nearly 20 percent margin. The media and club voting were significantly closer, with De Rosario winning those blocs by about 5 percent.

Clearly, voters were willing to overlook De Rosario's shortcomings in order to focus on his impressive statistics. De Rosario won MLS's Golden Boot after tying for the league lead in goals (16) and finishing fourth in assists (12). Most of that production came with United, where he scored 13 goals and had seven assists in just 18 matches.

Those numbers were mainly responsible for De Rosario becoming the first player in major North American sports to win the MVP in a year in which he was traded twice and the first MLS MVP to win the award despite his team missing the playoffs. De Rosario also becomes the first MLS player to win MVP twice.

Here's the complete vote breakdown:

Players

Club Vote

Media Vote

Player Vote

Total

Dwayne De Rosario (DC)

20.43

25.91

26.38

72.72

Brad Davis (HOU)

15.05

21.24

7.36

43.66

Brek Shea (DAL)

9.68

9.33

8.59

27.59

Landon Donovan (LA)

13.98

5.18

7.36

26.52

Mauro Rosales (SEA)

3.23

9.33

6.75

19.30

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MLS Postseason Awards, 2011: Mauro Rosales Named Newcomer Of The Year

Mauro Rosales did not come to Major League Soccer with much fanfare. In fact, he came to the league with so little attention that the Seattle Sounders were able to sign him for $42,000 a year. Their meager investment paid off handsomely, though, and Rosales has now been named the 2011 MLS Newcomer of the Year.

"This is an award I share with my teammates because without them we could not be so successful," Rosales said in a team release. "It's been a great season and I am honored by this vote of the media, as well as players and executives of other clubs. I would like thank everyone in the Sounders family-my fellow players, the coaches, staff and, of course, the fans."

Despite having his appearances limited to 26 games by a variety of injuries, Rosales still managed to score five goals and set a Sounders record with 13 assists. Those numbers were impressive enough for him to easily beat out the likes of Luke Rodgers and Eric Hassli, both of whom were among the league leaders in goals. Rosales won all three MLS voting blocs by at least 8 percent. He won the media vote by nearly 26 percent. 

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MLS Postseason Awards 2011: Kasey Keller Wins Goalkeeper Of The Year

Kasey Keller may not have received the perfect storybook ending to his professional soccer career, but he's coming pretty darn close. After being named to Major League Soccer's Best XI last week, Keller was named the league's Goalkeeper of the Year on Tuesday.

Keller's final season was also arguably his best. The 41-year-old led all starting goalkeepers by saving 76 percent of the shots he faced and posted a 1.09 goals against average. More importantly, he led the league with 18 wins for a Sounders team that finished with the second most points.

Voters were certainly impressed. Keller finished atop all three voting blocs, and it was really only close among the players. He received nearly 30 percent of the club vote, 27 percent of the media vote and about 17 percent of the players vote. Faryd Mondragon finished second in among all three blocs, pulling in about 15 percent of the player vote. Rounding out the Top 5 were Kevin Hartman, Nick Rimando and Dan Kennedy, respectively.

This was Keller's first Goalkeeper of the Year award during his three-year MLS career. 

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MLS Postseason Awards, 2011: Bruce Arena Named Coach Of The Year

Some may argue that the deck was always stacked in Bruce Arena's favor. Apparently, Major League Soccer's postseason awards voters were willing to look past that, as they named Arena the 2011 Coach of the Year.

It's hard not to see the logic. Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy team may have come into the season as the Supporters' Shield favorite, but Arena deserves credit for never letting expectations overtake his players. The Galaxy were the league's best team almost wire-to-wire and compiled 67 points, one of the highest total in MLS history. They managed to do that while losing numerous players to international duty, something the New York Red Bulls claimed destroyed their season, and despite playing in CONCACAF Champions League, which seemed to decimate the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas.

The vote was reasonably close, but Arena beat Sounders coach Sigi Schmid and Sporting Kansas City's Peter Vermes by a pretty wide margin, all things considered. Arena won all three voting blocs, with only the media vote (31.9-27.5) being particularly close.

This was Arena's third Coach of the Year award (1997, 2009), putting him one ahead of Schmid on the all-time list.

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MLS Post Season Awards: David Beckham Wins Comeback Player

David Beckham has been named Major League Soccer's Comeback Player of the Year for 2011. Beckham missed much of last season with a torn Achilles' to record 15 assists and score two goals in helping lead the Los Angeles Galaxy to the Supporters' Shield.

"I've never been out of the game for such a long time," Beckham said at the time. "It's been a quick recovery and I'm happy with that. I thought I was ready for 90 minutes four months ago but after 10 minutes on the field, I felt like I was dying."

The 36-year-old narrowly beat out DC United's Charlie Davies and the Chicago Fire's Dominic Oduro. Beckham actually only won one of the three voting blocs, garnering about 19 percent of the players' vote. Davies won the media vote (27 percent) and Oduro won the club vote (18 percent). Beckham actually finished third in club voting, as Geoff Cameron (17.21 percent) just edged him out there.

Davies' candidacy was hurt by a particularly bad showing in the club voting bloc. Davies finished in fourth there, with less than 14 percent of the vote.

Follow this StoryStream for the latest updates on the MLS postseason awards.

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Major League Soccer Best XI 2011: Four LA Galaxy Players Named To First Team

After compiling one of the best regular seasons in MLS history, the Los Angeles Galaxy were rewarded with a league best four players being named to the Best XI by a vote of media, players and clubs. Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Omar Gonzalez and Todd Dunivant formed the backbone of the midfield and defense, respectively, for a Galaxy team that posted 67 points and a goal-difference of +20.

The team included three defenders, five midfielders and two forwards. Also included on the team were Seattle Sounders goalkeeper of the year finalist Kasey Keller; MVP finalists Brad Davis, Dwayne De Rosario and Brek Shea; Defender of the Year runner-up Jamison Olave; and Golden Boot runner-up Chris Wondolowski. Thierry Henry also made the team for the first time.

Goalkeeper - Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders FC)

Defender - Todd Dunivant (LA Galaxy)

Defender - Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)

Defender - Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake)

Midfielder - David Beckham (LA Galaxy)

Midfielder - Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)

Midfielder - Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)

Midfielder - Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)

Midfielder - Brek Shea (FC Dallas)

Forward - Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)

Forward - Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

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MLS Defensive Player Of The Year: Omar Gonzalez The Clear Winner

Omar Gonzalez may be just 23, but he already has a reputation as one of the top defenders in MLS. Now, he has the hardware to prove it. The Los Angeles Galaxy center back was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday, easily beating out last year's winner Jamison Olave.

Like Rookie of the Year CJ Sapong, Gonzalez was the top choice of all three voting blocs. Gonzalez received nearly 40 percent of the media vote and about a third of the club vote. The only area in which he and Olave were particularly close was among the players, where Gonzalez beat out his Real Salt Lake counterpart 21-19.

As voters did a year ago with Olave, Gonzalez seems to have rewarded in no small part to his team's overall defensive performance. The Galaxy allowed just .82 goals per game, the third lowest mark in league history, and registered a record-tying 17 shutouts, despite using four different goalkeepers.

Rounding out the top five vote-getters were Nat Borchers (third), Carlos Valdes (fourth) and Todd Dunivant (fifth).

For the the latest updates on MLS postseason awards, follow this StoryStream. For more analysis and insight into Gonzalez, be sure to check out Galaxy blog LAG Confidential.

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Sporting Kansas City's CJ Sapong Named 2011 MLS Rookie Of The Year

Sporting Kansas City's CJ Sapong has been named the 2011 Rookie of the Year by Major League Soccer. The forward was the top vote-getter in all three voting blocs (clubs, media, players), garnering at least 30 percent of the vote in each.

Sapong was tied for the most goals among rookies (five) and added five assists, as well. Despite playing on a team that included the likes of Kei Kamara, Omar Bravo and Teal Bunbury at forward, Sapong still played in all 34 regular-season games, including 22 starts. In fact, he was the only Sporting KC players to appear in every game this year.

"Receiving this honor is very humbling, but it would never have been a possibility without the help of so many people," Sapong said in a team release. "Our goal at Sporting Kansas City is to do everything as a team, and I am so thankful for my teammates and the coaching staff."

Sapong easily beat out his competition for the award. DC United defender Perry Kitchen finished in second, but he garnered no more than 14 percent from any voting bloc and ended up with about a third of the support as Sapong. Rounding out the top five were the Philadelphia Union's Michael Farfan, the Portland Timbers' Darlington Nagbe and the Houston Dynamo's Will Bruin.

For all the MLS post-season award winners, be sure to follow this StoryStream.

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MLS Postseason Awards Finalists: Brek Shea, Brad Davis, Dwayne De Rosario Up For MVP

MLS will start announcing award winners on Nov. 8 with MVP being announced on Nov. 18.

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