Major League Soccer

Should non-MLS competitions factor into MLS awards?

FredyMonteroPOW (Getty)

Whether you're talking heroics like those shown by Fredy Montero and Osvaldo Alonso in Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup, or CONCACAF Champions League performances by the likes of David Beckham and Landon Donovan, some of the best players in MLS are performing well on multiple fronts, and not just in MLS matches.

While that is the case, MLS has long made it a policy to only include accomplishments in MLS play when considering candidates for awards. Be they Player of the Week awards or even year-long honors like MLS MVP. Our simple question to SBI readers is this. Do you agree with that policy?

The argument against including competitions like the CONCACAF Champions League is that not every team gets to play in the event so it's an unfair advantage to players who compete in them. The other argument is that the added wear-and-tear of competing on multiple fronts is a burden that should be acknowledged when considering candidates for awards.

What do you think? Should MLS regular season games be the only games that factor into determining winners of MLS awards and honors?

Cast your vote after the jump:

There are clearly arguments for both approaches. On one hand it's not completely fair for players who don't have a chance to compete in CONCACAF Champions League to be measured against players who have the benefit of playing in those additional games, but on the other hand players who are competing on multiple fronts have a much tougher work load and therefore have a case for deserving more consideration.

It's definitely not an easy one, which is why I decided to pose the question, to see what SBI readers think.

What do you think? How did you vote, and why? Who would be your MLS MVP if all three competitions were factored in? Would it be different from your MVP in only MLS matches?

Share your thoughts below.

  • k

    Not as simple as Yes or No; while agree that an award such as MVP should consider play in other competitions because it adds to the players MVP status for his team, I don’t think a player should be given the Golden Boot because he scored 5 goals in Open Cup games against USL teams.

    (SBI-I think it’s common sense that things like Golden Boot and Supporters Shield can’t be considered because those are awards specifically for production IN MLS. The grey area is in season-long awards that are judged by performance rather than something cumulative like goals scored or points attained. Don’t think ANYBODY is suggesting things like Golden Boot and Supporters Shield factor in non-MLS competition. That’s just silly.)


  • nic d the "tx 2 stepper"

    If the player is making a difference for his MLS team in continental, intercontinental and/or domestic competition he should be recognized for his efforts. He is in the MLS jersey right?


  • WeatherManNX01

    Honestly, I have absolutely no idea at all. I see the merits and detractions of both sides. It’d be easier to judge if other tournaments gave awards like that. If the U.S. Open Cup had its own MVP, I’d be okay with limiting MLS awards to MLS play. But at this point, I’m happy with the status quo. If that ever changes to the other way, I’ll be just as happy.


  • nic d the "tx 2 stepper"

    Quick ?

    Is the MVP defined as:

    1. Valuable to the Team?


    2. Valuable to the league?

    Thanks. Each has a slightly different angle if you know what I mean.


  • DemonJuice

    No. Simply put, MLS awards are for Major League soccer. Should we open up the goal of the week and save of the week to other competitions as well? What would your opinion be if MLS teams were the undisputed powerhouses of CONCACAF? Would we then give rewards for playing against inferior competition? If your answer is ‘no’ then they shouldn’t be considered now, either.

    Honestly, I don’t even know why this is a question. The MLS Cup playoffs aren’t even over by the time MVP finalists are announced which means many of those games aren’t counted so why should U.S. Open Cup performances versus reserve sides count?

    Ridiculous question, IMO. Each competition should have it’s own rewards. The perfoamces aren’t transferable.


  • Second City

    “non-MLS competitions”?

    I was under the impression MLS Cup was our leagues only competition. Heard rumors about something called “supporter shield”, not really sure what that is, though.



  • t

    I think to a certain extent, we already consider what occurs in other competitions as a measure of quality of players, and more so depth of teams. As stated above, it would be silly to count goals towards ccl or usoc results in regular season golden boot race. I think the same should go for MVP (so we d have regular season mvp, postseason mvp, usoc mvp, etc.), then taking all that into account you could always have a national (or continental) best player award a la those things in europe messi always wins. Minor awards like team of the week, player of the week and player of the month should include all competitions. Feel free to disagree, but it seems to make the most sense to award players for everything they accomplish and it might give more legitimacy to competitions like the Open Cup and less to friendlies (which should NOT be taken into account for any award).


  • America

    There are other awards to win for non-MLS play. The MLS MVP is for the most valuable player in league play that season.


  • Colin

    I agree with the current MLS policy. MLS awards should be for MLS regular season (and postseason, IMO) play, not USOC, CCL, SuperLiga, Pan-Pacific, preseason, the Galaxy’s annual Oceania trip, etc.

    MLS awards = MLS play. If you want to award a North American POY like they do in Europe, then so be it.


  • marco

    MVP of a team should be all comps. MVP of a league should be all MLS sponsored/endorsed games.


  • Adam M.

    MLS should not give individual awards based on play in competitions that MLS does not run. The criteria for selection could never be the same for each candidate and MLS has no control over the play outside its league. For outside competitions, its more beneficial for the league to promote the team rather than an inidivual player. You could also end up with strange results. Maybe a mid-level goal scorer for a mid-pack MLS team has a string of really hot games late in the Cup of CONCACAF CL tournaments. Someone is going wonder how your sixth leading goal scorer on an 8th place finisher ended up being MVP.


  • marco

    Since not all players make the play-offs the performances in them would need be excluded also, which doesn’t make sense to devalue team success.


  • Ian

    More matches = more chances for “MVP moments.” The advantages for players who get extra games is too much. In other words, people remember great plays more than they recognize any sort of worn-down playing. So I say leave it for MLS games.


  • al17

    Supporters Shield originated with members of Supporter’s Clubs to right what was a wrong at the time, so I’m not sure why it was even mentioned earlier.

    Personally, I feel MLS Awards should apply only to MLS matches. Otherwise you open yourself up to National team matches and friendlies that have no bearing on the league.

    Awards for other events should be shopped to and covered by sponsors in a manner similar to what MLS does with the end of season awards.


  • Knuckles

    Perhaps there should be separate USSF Awards or some such thing to account for all that.


  • DemonJuice

    Of course it makes sense. MVP voting is done prior to the playoffs in almost every sport for the exact reason that the criteria must be the same for all players. Otherwise, nobody in a non-playoff team would ever be MVP.

    That’s why they have playoff MVPs and Finals MVPs.


  • cajun

    Since MLS teams are a direct representative of MLS as an entity itself while competing in these other competitions, I don’t think awards would be appropriate. Seattles Open Cup and whatever awards that are involved within the USOC tourny should take care of that. Same with CCL tourny.
    Where MLS falls flat on its face, is in the lack of recognition given to ALL the teams that qualify for other competitions. The fall-out? Teams, like the Red Bulls blatantly not caring to the point of playing reserve (or worse) teams to completely disrespect these said competitions, the competing MLS teams that take it seriously, and ultimately the entire MLS.


  • k

    Silly Ives? You didn’t specify which awards you were considering and which you were not so I made the distinction. How about Rookie of the year? Do we give the award to a rookie who scroes 6 goals in reserve games and 2 in Open Cup but never plays a senior MLS match? Make the distinction or we have to make assumptions and draw our own conclusions.


  • matfitz

    “Whether you’re talking heroics like those shown by Fredy Montero and Osvaldo Alonso…”

    heroics…be careful how freely you use that term.


  • Bri

    i wouldn’t consider poking a ball in after a rebound heroics.. Alonso’s goal was legit tho.


  • inkedAG

    I voted no, but it was tough because I understand both sides. I agree with the idea that the extra workload has merit for consideration over the long haul.

    I view the competitions to be more of a club vs. country. Some guys do better with one and not the other. Also I view them as extra for the team and it is the teams who take it the most seriously are the ones who are going to get positive results.

    I think the rule should stay as it is.


  • sammysounder74

    I’d like to see a version of the PFA Award. Let anyone who plays in MLS vote for anyone else who plays in MLS taking into account any football that player has played over the past year.


  • majora999

    I think Coach of the Year is the only possible exception to the awards only focusing on MLS league play.

    Really how masterfully Sigi Schmid has managed the roster over the course of the year to still be in every competition (or have won it) should be considered.


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