The MLS released its finalists for the MLS seasonal awards for the 2010 season. This season was my first being able to vote as a member of the media, so after providing the MLS award finalists I'll show who I voted for (spoiler: I'm not great at picking finalists, apparently).
MLS Award Finalists:
Volkswagen Most Valuable Player Finalists: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), David Ferreira (FC Dallas), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthqakes)
Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists: Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas), Donovan Ricketts (LA Galaxy), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Rookie of the Year Finalists: Danny Mwanga (Philadelphia Union), Andy Najar (D.C. United), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls)
Coach of the Year Finalists: Hans Backe (New York Red Bulls), Schellas Hyndman (FC Dallas), Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake)
Newcomer of the Year Finalists: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Joel Lindpere (New York Red Bulls), Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)
Comeback Player of the Year Finalists: Chris Albright (New York Red Bulls), Bobby Convey (San Jose Earthquakes), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
Visa Defender of the Year Finalists: Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake)
Fair Play Finalists - Individual: C.J. Brown (Chicago Fire), Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
adidas Referee of the Year Finalists: Mark Geiger, Kevin Stott, Baldomero Toledo
The most annoying part of post-season awards is that those voting for them typically go with the big name. That can be seen most in the voting for "New Comer of the Year." Thierry Henry was the biggest name amongst those that came to the MLS this season but his impact on the Red Bulls is negligible. If anything Rafael Marquez was the more important designated player signing from Barcelona and surely there is not a single person that could argue against saying that Lindpere has been vitally important to the success of the Red Bulls this season.
Ignoring the fact that Sebastien Le Toux is not a finalist for MVP, why is Buddle a finalist over his Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan? Donovan accounted for around 50% of the team's goals (through his own goals and assists) and provided Buddle with the feed necessary to put up the ridiculous stats that he put up this season (17 goals, 2 assists).
After the jump, take a look at my finalists ballot and let us know in the comments section what you think about the MLS finalists and my ballot.
MVP - Sebastien Le Toux, Chris Wondoloski, Landon Donovan
GK - Jon Busch, Bouna Coundoul, Kasey Keller
Rookie - Andy Najar, Danny Mwanga, Sean Johnson
Coach - Sigi Schmid, Peter Nowak, Gary Smith
Newcomer - Juninho, Blaise Nkufo, Roger Torres
Comeback - Bobby Convey, Brek Shea, Richard Mulrooney
Defender - Omar Gonzalez, Nat Borchers, William Conde
MLS W.O.R.K.S Humanitarian of the Year: Sebastien Le Toux, Brian Ching, Stefan Frei
Fairplay - Sebastien Le Toux, Drew Moor, Stephen King
Goalkeeper (1): Jon Busch
Defenders (3): Omar Gonzalez, Nat Borchers, William Conde
Midfielders (5): Sebastien Le Toux, Bobby Convey, Steve Zakuani, David Ferreira, Andy Najar
Strikers (2): Fredy Montero, Chris Wondoloski
Who would you vote for? Fill out your own finalist ballot below!