On Monday, Major League Soccer announced their 2011 season award finalists and the Sounders FC was well-represented after their record-breaking season.
Sigi Schmid was named a finalist for MLS Coach of the Year after leading the Sounders to an 18-7-9 record and second place in the MLS regular season. He was joined on the finalists lists by Goalkeeper of the Year candidate Kasey Keller and potential Newcomer of the Year Mauro Rosales.
Schmid, in his third year at the helm for the Sounders FC, is looking for his third MLS Coach of the Year honor after winning the award with the LA Galaxy in 1999 and the Columbus Crew in 2008. In 1999, he led the Galaxy to a second place finish in the regular season and they fell in the MLS Cup final to DC United. In 2008, his Crew side achieved the rare double, winning both the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup.
Keller put the finishing touches on a masterful 20-year career with perhaps his best season as a Sounder, finishing among league-leaders in nearly every goalkeeping category. His 18 wins were more than any other goalkeeper in the league and he backed that up with nine shutouts and a 1.09 GAA, both among the top in the league. He was also a finalist for the award in 2009, losing out to Zach Thornton of Chivas USA.
Rosales came to the Sounders in the preseason and took the league by storm. He finished with five goals and 13 assists in his first MLS season after playing in Argentina with Newell’s Old Boys and River Plate and Holland with Ajax previously. The Argentina international had his season cut short in the final month with a right knee sprain suffered September 17 against DC United and he was limited to just 36 minutes over the final five matches.
In 2009, Fredy Montero won the Newcomer of the Year after posting 12 goals and seven assists in his first MLS season, beating out teammates Keller and Freddie Ljungberg.
The finalists earned the most votes in polling of three voting groups - current MLS players, the technical staff and public relations of each of the MLS clubs and media members who covered MLS regularly in 2011.
2011 Major League Soccer Awards Finalists
Rookie of the Year Finalists - Winner to be announced Nov. 8
Michael Farfan (Philadelphia Union)
Perry Kitchen (D.C. United)
C.J. Sapong (Sporting Kansas City)
XBox 360 Individual Fair Play Finalists* - Winner to be announced Nov. 8
Darrius Barnes (New England Revolution)
Kosuke Kimura (Colorado Rapids)
Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union)
XBox 360 Team Fair Play Finalists* - Winner to be announced Nov. 8
Visa Defender of the Year Finalists - Winner to be announced Nov. 9
Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake)
Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake)
MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year Finalists - Winner to be announced Nov. 9
Zak Boggs (New England Revolution)
Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Referee of the Year Finalists - Winner to be announced Nov. 9
Assistant Referee of the Year Finalists - Winner to be announced Nov. 9
Coach of the Year Finalists - Winner to be announced Nov. 14
Bruce Arena (LA Galaxy)
Sigi Schmid (Seattle Sounders FC)
Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City)
Comeback Player of the Year Finalists - Winner to be announced Nov. 14
David Beckham (LA Galaxy)
Charlie Davies (D.C. United)
Dominic Oduro (Chicago Fire)
Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists - Winner to be announced Nov. 15
Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas)
Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders FC)
Faryd Mondragon (Philadelphia Union)
Newcomer of the Year Finalists - Winner to be announced Nov. 15
Eric Hassli (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Luke Rodgers (New York Red Bulls)
Mauro Rosales (Seattle Sounders FC)
Volkswagen Most Valuable Player Finalists - Winner to be announced Nov. 18
Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)
Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)
Brek Shea (FC Dallas)