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The 2009 MLS Awards: SBI Reader Selections

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Now that the 2009 MLS regular season is over, it is time to start thinking about the end-of-year league awards.

Last week, SBI had readers vote on all the major awards, and while there weren't any shocking choices, there was some interesting voting breakdowns.

Here is a rundown of the SBI reader selections for 2009 MLS honors after more than 10,000 total votes were cast:

Most Valuable Player– Landon Donovan

Coach of the Year– Bruce Arena

Goalkeeper of the Year– Kasey Keller and Donovan Ricketts

Defender of the Year– Chad Marshall

Rookie of the Year– Omar Gonzalez

Newcomer of the Year– Fredy Montero

MLS Best XI– Zach Thornton, Chad Marshall, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Wilman Conde, Landon Donovan, Shalrie Joseph, Brad Davis, Stuart Holden, Dwayne DeRosario, Fredy Montero, Jeff Cunningham

If you are wondering, yes, Keller and Ricketts finished tied for Goalkeeper of the Year after more than 1,800 votes were cast, but Thornton beat them both out in Best XI voting.

I will be revealing the SBI selections for the MLS awards during the week, so stay tuned for those. For now, what do you think of these selections? Agree with them? Which pick was the most surprising? Who is missing from the list that you think should be included.

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Montero is the new Ruiz and I would have never selected Ruiz regardless of how many goals he scored. He is an embarrassment and his antics are a detriment to the popularity of the sport in our country. Ljungberg or Keller should be newcomer of the year. Montero should be piece of crap of the year. I still say he should be suspended for Thursday’s match by MLS.

  2. Yeah, damn DeRo for not being a sheep and trying to call out teammates who won’t work hard.


    AS for Omar Gonzalez, all I can say is that people’s standards are pretty low. One-third of an excellent season, one-third middling-to-poor and one-third awful shouldn’t equal rookie of the year.

    Short memories, people.

  3. I am a Rev fan and am on the fence about Nicol. He does seem to get as much as possible out of what he has but does not do enough to sign new players that can contribute. We don’t know if he is the problem or if it’s the front office being cheap? Limping into the playoffs with the team he has is an accomplishment. Failing to improve the team he has is a shortcoming. We have a bench full of players he won’t use. All this puts him in the middle of the road in my book

    Arena on the other hand has to deal with both Donovan and Beckham. Handling that pair is worthy of some kind of award

  4. I’m not a Revs fan or a Steve Nicol fan by any stretch, but Nicol deserves coach of the year. No Twellman, no Ralston, he took a USL-1 side to the playoffs. Arena — he had two of the best players in the league on his team and no significant injuries to deal with.

  5. Maybe DP’s don’t count, but if newcomer means new to the league then I would replace Montero with Ljungberg. Despite the missed games the guy has been dominant the last part of the year and has shown his EPL-sized chops nearly willing Seattle to victories on his own.

    If Beckham could have shown the same standard of play and commitment to team that Freddie has shown, the league would have benefited in many ways beyond financially.

  6. I see Davis as the amalgamation of everything that is good about Houston. Hard working, yet good technical ability. Very team-oriented, yet creative. He may play left midfield, but he provides an important link between the defense and the offense. Despite the accolades, I think he’s the most underrated player in MLS. But you’re probably at least half right, Ljunberg seems to be more deserving. Can’t say much about Schelotto because he does pull some nasty dives. They’re never Didier Drogba bad, but for me it tarnishes the reputation of an otherwise outstanding player.

  7. “Keller and Ricketts finished tied for Goalkeeper of the Year after more than 1,800 votes were cast, but Thornton beat them both out in Best XI voting.”

    How does this work? If he was voted as the best goalkeeper (best XI) how was he not voted for goalkeeper of the year? Aren’t they the same thing?

  8. I can’t see Davis beating out Schelotto or Ljungberg? How many friends and relatives does he have at SBI?

    Otherwise very smart football fans here at SBI.

  9. Donovan put in some hard work last year, but I don’t think “missed the playoffs” and “best season in his career” can go in the same sentence.

    I don’t think the award is going to any of your nacos (great piece of slang, btw, new to me), I think Donovan is practically a shoo-in with his only real competition coming from Joseph. I wish Shalrie could get the nod, but I’m a also a great big homer who’s pulling for Barnes as ROTY because he’s played every minute of every game this season (and done a damn good job given his lack of experience), which I don’t think any other rookie has ever done. But I expect that award to go to Gonzales or Pontius, because Gonzalez is in a stronger squad (halo effect) and Pontius is flashier.

  10. Montero had no business being in the running for anything – Diver of the Year perhaps, but certainly not a legitimate award.

    His antics shed an unfavorable light on the game and his team.

  11. Donovan had his best season in his entire MLS career and won the Golden Boot last year. He also was one of the three finalists chosen for last year’s MVP award. The Galaxy’s defense is the only thing that kept him from being named MVP in 2008. Donovan has also worked hard over the last seven years, and he has three MLS Cup rings to prove it. Joseph has, let’s see, none.

    But let’s face it. The MVP award will likely go to some token naco like it has six out of eight times since 2001 (Chacon, Ruiz, Guevara, Gomez, Emilio and Schelotto vs. Twellman and Preki). Based on previous results it will probably go to Montero.

  12. Wish Shalrie would get some recognition for league MVP, but it seems likely that Landon will take it. Both players deserve it, though I think you could make the case for Shalrie based on the past 7 years of hard work. Landon’s had a great year leading both LA and the US, but he wasn’t MVP quality last year; Shalrie was, but had the stronger Schelotto to contend with.

  13. damn I’m tired and missed that… haven’t had 2 consecutive nights at home in almost 2 weeks, and on another plane tonight (ugh!)

    Davis is pretty good too, but as you can tell from my comment, I think Evans was certainly worthy of it.

    Comment about GBS stands, and I can see I’m not the only one in that boat.

  14. Montero is a moron. I lost all respect for him after that awful dive on Saturday. It’s acts like that that turn people away from soccer. Watching him writhering on the ground was pathetic. There should be no room for that in soccer.

  15. DeRo should have been removed post-vote. He was awful Saturday, then took a huge dump on his teammates while claiming he had absolutely no part whatsoever in TFC not making the playoffs.

    Crapping on your hard-working teammates in the media after a tough hard-fought season which ended with you playing horrifically in the finale is a no-no. I lost all respect for him after that, and trust me I had huge respect for him up until that point.

  16. How can you be the most VALUABLE player or even be considered among the best performers over an entire season, when you miss half of the season and your team still wins the Supporters Shield?

    Schelotto was going nuts the first part of the season before he got injured. If he would have stayed healthy, the MVP award was his.

  17. Brad Evans in best XI is unexpected, but very cool. He’s been very good for 2 years and it’s nice to see him recognized above the other “names” out there.

    I love GBS as much as the next guy, but he missed 1/3 of the season with injuries and the guys filling in did pretty good – check out the undefeated run The Crew made in the middle of the season with Garey/Lenhart in for GBS/Moreno and you see what I mean.

    (SBI-It’s Brad Davis on Best XI, not Brad Evans.)


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