Major League Soccer released the official ballots for its year-end awards, and there are plenty of names up for recognition.
There are 41 players up for the 2018 MVP Award, highlighted by Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez, who has a league record 31 goals with two games still remaining in the season.
Other notable names up for MVP include Carlos Vela, Bradley Wright-Phillips, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Ibrahimovic is up for two other awards, as well. His name is on the ballot for MVP, Newcomer of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year. He has 21 goals in 24 appearances for the LA Galaxy.
Joining Zlatan on the Newcomer of the Year ballot is D.C. United’s Wayne Rooney, who’s taken the league by storm since arriving in July. The former Manchester United and Everton forward has nine goals in 17 games for his new side.
The Rookie of the Year Ballot is headlined by Real Salt Lake’s Corey Baird. The Stanford University product has seven goals in 20 starts to lead all rookies in scoring. He’s joined by other notables Joao Moutinho of LAFC, Brandon Bye of the New England Revolution, and Ben Mines of the New York Red Bulls.
The Coach of the Year ballot features 17 of the 23 coaches in the league. Leading candidates include Atlanta United’s Gerardo “Tata” Martino, the New York Red Bulls’ Chris Armas, and Bob Bradley of LAFC.
There are 33 players up for Defender of the Year. Strong candidates include Graham Zusi of Sporting Kansas City, Kemar Lawrence of the New York Red Bulls, and Walker Zimmerman of LAFC.
Then there is Goalkeeper of the Year, with 21 of 23 teams posting nominees. Andre Blake, Tyler Miller, and Luis Robles are the top candidates.
Nominees were also released for Humanitarian of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, Referee of the Year, and Assistant Referee of the Year.
Voting began on Monday and the finalists for each award will be announced on October 31.