RENTON, WASH.- Seattle Sounders FC has announced its 2010 Team Award recipients. Osvaldo Alonso was named the team's Most Valuable Player and James Riley was honored as Defender of the Year, both by a vote of their teammates. Riley was also awarded the Humanitarian of the Year and Fredy Montero received the Golden Boot by virtue of leading the Sounders FC in scoring.
Most Valuable Player - Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso: Alonso played an instrumental role in helping Sounders FC post the league's best record in the second half of the season. He started 21 of 23 appearances and matched his 2009 totals with one goal and three assists, scoring the eventual game-winner against Chivas USA in the final regular-season home game. After missing seven games due to an injury suffered on May 8, Alonso returned on July 11 and brought stability back to the defense. Sounders FC went 9-2-2 in the second half of the season with the relentless ballwinner in the starting XI. In regular season play, Seattle was 11-3-5 in matches where Alonso played at least 45 minutes. The team allowed just 12 goals (0.80 GAA) in its final 15 matches while it allowed 23 goals (1.53 GAA) in the first 15. Nine of Kasey Keller's 11 shutouts came when Alonso was on the field. Alonso also appeared in two U.S. Open Cup and five CONCACAF Champions League games, recording one assist in Champions League play.
Defender of the Year - Defender James Riley: Riley led all Sounders FC outfield players with 2,418 minutes played (3,273 in all competitions). The right back started all 27 league appearances and played in 37 matches overall. He scored one goal, his first since his rookie season in 2005, in the final regular-season match in Houston. His three assists were the most of any Seattle defender and he added a fourth in Champions League play. He matched his career high with a total of five points. Riley has seven assists in his two years with Sounders FC, ranking him fifth all-time.
Budweiser Golden Boot - Forward Fredy Montero: One of only two players to finish in the top 10 in goals and assists this season, Montero received the team's Golden Boot for the second consecutive year. He tied Steve Zakuani with 10 goals but edged the winger with a team-high 10 assists. Montero became the first Sounders FC player to score in international play when he beat Metapán's goalkeeper from 40 yards in a Champions League preliminary round game. The Colombian striker had four game-winning goals, six in all competitions, and four game-winning assists. Montero scored (9) or assisted (7) on 16 of 19 MLS goals scored between April 22 and August 28, and earned at least one point in nine consecutive matches--the longest such stretch in MLS this season. He was voted Major League Soccer's Player of the Month for July when he contributed two goals and three assists in five games.
Humanitarian of the Year - Defender James Riley: Honored as Major League Soccer's Humanitarian of the Month for October, Riley has embraced his role as community ambassador with purpose and enthusiasm. Since January 2010, he has made nearly 40 community appearances, including work with the Ronald McDonald House, the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Nothing But Nets campaign to fight malaria in Africa and the Sounders FC Bone Marrow Registry Drive. Riley, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor, is also active with Komen for the Cure and Gilda's Club, raising awareness and encouraging fans to get involved in early screening through his public service announcements. Riley was an honorary coach for the Washington Special Olympics soccer team that finished fourth at the National Games. He is also a regular visitor to the Renton/Skyway Boys & Girls Club where he has fostered personal relationships with the kids and provides mentorship with his participation in the MicroSociety Program. Riley will be a celebrity bell ringer for The Salvation Army next Tuesday, December 7, between noon and 1 p.m. by the Nordstrom store in downtown Seattle.