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Mark McKenzie lone finalist for MLS year-end awards

McKenzie was named a finalist for Rookie of the Year on Wednesday

Morgan Tencza

For the third straight year, the Philadelphia Union have a finalist for Rookie of the Year.

Defender Mark McKenzie was announced as one of three finalists for the award on Wednesday. Real Salt Lake forward Corey Baird and Orlando City forward Chris Mueller are the other finalists.

Jack Elliott was a finalist in 2017 and Keegan Rosenberry a finalist in 2016. Elliott lost out to Atlanta United midfielder Julian Gressel and Rosenberry to Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris.

McKenzie, 19, was the lone Union player on the list of finalists for year-end awards released by the league. Seven Union players were nominated for awards along with head coach Jim Curtin for coach of the year. Borek Dockal and Alejandro Bedoya were among the nominees for MVP. Andre Blake, Auston Trusty, Cory Burke and Ray Gaddis were the others.

The Philadelphia Union Academy grad from Bear, Delaware split time with Elliott at center back this season along with Trusty, who despite making his MLS debut the first game of the season has been a professional since 2016. He made 19 appearances and 18 starts this season after signing a first team contract following a season at Wake Forest.

Baird, who helped lead Stanford to a third straight College Cup title at Talen Energy Stadium in December, had eight goals and five assists for RSL in 31 matches and Mueller, a standout at Wisconsin, had three goals and seven assists in 32 appearances for Orlando City.

Fifty-seven players were eligible for the Rookie of the Year award as first-year professionals, according to this list (Emrah Klimenta is listed by mistake). Of those players, 22 didn’t play at all.

McKenzie, the lone Union player eligible, finished third in minutes behind Mueller and Baird for all eligible rookies. He was one of just seven rookies to log 1,000 minutes.

2018 Major League Soccer Awards Finalists

Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists

  • Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United)
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy)
  • Josef Martinez (Atlanta United)
  • Wayne Rooney (D.C. United)
  • Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Defender of the Year Finalists

  • Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls)
  • Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders)
  • Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United)

Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists

  • Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders)
  • Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
  • Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC)

Newcomer of the Year Finalists

For this award, “newcomer” is defined as a player with previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2018

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy)
  • Wayne Rooney (D.C. United)
  • Carlos Vela (LAFC)

AT&T Rookie of the Year Finalists

For this award, “rookie” is defined as a player without previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2018

  • Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake)
  • Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union)
  • Chris Mueller (Orlando City SC)

Coach of the Year Finalists

  • Bob Bradley (LAFC)
  • Gerardo “Tata” Martino (Atlanta United)
  • Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City)

Comeback Player of the Year Finalists

Honors an MLS player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the 2018 regular season

  • Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC)
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy)
  • Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC)

MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year presented by AdvoCare - Finalists

  • Matt Lampson (Minnesota United FC)
  • Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
  • Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)

Referee of the Year Finalists

  • Alan Kelly
  • Nima Saghafi
  • Robert Sibiga

Assistant Referee of the Year

  • Joe Fletcher
  • CJ Morgante
  • Corey Rockwell