Ricketts named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year again, Valeri awarded Newcomer of the Year

Ricketts named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year again, Valeri awarded Newcomer of the Year

MLS- Portland Timbers

Ricketts named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year again, Valeri awarded Newcomer of the Year

DonovanRickettsTimbers (GettyImages)

By CAITLIN MURRAY

Donovan Ricketts resumes his reign as top goalkeeper in Major League Soccer.

With the edge in club votes and player votes, respect from his colleagues has earned Ricketts his second MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award, the league announced Wednesday.

The Jamaican international guided a still-developing Portland Timbers back line under first-year coach Caleb Porter with poise, displaying the leadership of a veteran and making big saves along the way.

Posting career highs in shutouts (14) and saves (92), the 2013 season was something of a comeback for Ricketts. He won the top goalkeeper award in 2010 with the Los Angeles Galaxy but was later replaced after injury cost him the starting spot.

Ricketts’ only real competition for the honor came from Nick Rimando, who helped elevate what was expected by many to be a rebuilding year for Real Salt Lake. Arguably Rimando’s veteran leadership, distribution and game-saving blocks just may be the reason Salt Lake City has landed in Saturday’s MLS Cup.

Vote breakdown after the jump:

PLAYER % Club Votes % Media Votes % Player Votes WEIGHTED TOTAL
1. Donovan Ricketts (POR) 30.61 58.44 28.24 101.34
2. Nick Rimando (RSL) 22.45 40.26 21.96 84.67
3. Jimmy Nielsen (SKC) 6.12 14.29 3.52 23.93
4. Luis Robles (NY) 4.08 9.09 8.82 21.99

2013 Newcomer of the Year

With Diego Valeri in the running, it wasn’t even close.

Valeri made an impressive impact in 2013 that few newcomers can and easily led all voting categories to snag the award that goes to a first-year MLS player.

Coming off a stint with Argentine club Atlético Lanús, Valeri joined the Portland Timbers as a Designated Player and led the league with 13 assists and set single-season records in both goals (10) and assists for the Timbers.

Valeri turned out to be the missing play-maker in the midfield that the Timbers so badly needed and a key piece of the Timbers’ impressive turnaround this year.

Here’s the vote breakdown:

PLAYER % Club Votes % Media Votes % Player Votes WEIGHTED TOTAL
1. Diego Valeri (POR) 72.34 79.22 36.38 187.94
2. José Gonçalves (NE) 6.38 2.60 13.21 22.19
3. Nigel Reo-Coker (VAN) 6.38 1.30 8.54 16.22
4. Clint Irwin (COL) 2.13 3.90 5.89 11.92

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What do you think of these awards? Did you have Ricketts and Valeri as your top picks of the year? Did you think Rimando deserved the win?

Share your thoughts below.

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