Heber is a finalist for MLS newcomer of the year. (Photo courtesy of NYCFC)
New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson and forward Heber and head coach Dome Torrent are among finalists for various end-of-the-year Major League Soccer awards, it was announced Monday.
Johnson is vying for goalkeeper of the year, Heber as newcomer of the year and Torrent as Sigi Schmid MLS coach of the year.
City finished atop the Eastern Conference with an 18-6-10 record as the second-best mark and points (64) in the 24-team league.
Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles is a finalist for MLS WORKS humanitarian of the year.
This year’s race for the 2019 Landon Donovan MLS MVP Award features the strongest attacking trio of the MLS season. LA Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimović, Atlanta United forward Josef Martínez and Los Angeles Football Club striker Carlos Vela are again vying for the honor after all three were named finalists last season. Not only do they represent the top three finishers for the 2019 Golden Boot presented by Audi, but also this group features three of the top four single-season goalscoring performances in MLS history: Vela with an MLS-record 34 goals (with 15 assists), Ibrahimović with 30 goals (and 7 assists), and Martínez – the 2018 Landon Donovan MLS MVP – with 27 goals (and 4 assists).
The Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year candidates include Torrent and the Philadelphia Union’s Jim Curtin from the Eastern Conference, and LAFC head coach Bob Bradley from the Western Conference. Torrent led NYCFC to the club’s first top-place finish in the conference and a club-record 14-game unbeaten streak. Curtin helped the Union set a club record with 16 regular season wins and a third-place finish in the East (tying the organization’s top conference rank achieved in 2011). Bradley led LAFC to an MLS-record 72 points, the Supporters’ Shield, and home-field advantage throughout the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs in just the team’s second season. Bradley is looking to become the first MLS head coach to earn the honor for three different organizations (Chicago Fire, 1998; Chivas USA, 2006) and join Bruce Arena as a three-time winner.
Among other honors, the Newcomer of the Year finalists all hail from the Eastern Conference and feature players integral toward their respective clubs advancing to the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs: New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil (team-leading 10 goals and 14 assists), NYCFC forward Héber (team-leading 15 goals, 4 assists) and Toronto FC midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo (team-leading 12 goals and 12 assists).
Minnesota United FC’s Ike Opara, the 2017 MLS Defender of the Year, will attempt to earn his second honor as he goes up against U.S. Men’s National Team defenders Miles Robinson, 22, of Atlanta United and Walker Zimmerman, 26, of LAFC. D.C. United’s Bill Hamid, the 2014 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, also is in the hunt for a second league honor, a finalist this year along with NYCFC’s Sean Johnson and Minnesota United FC’s Vito Mannone.
The finalists earned the most votes in polling of three voting groups:
Current MLS players
MLS clubs (Coaches, Technical Directors/General Managers)
Select media members representing local and national outlets who consistently covered the MLS regular season
2019 Major League Soccer Awards Finalists
(Listed in alphabetical order by last name within each award category)
*Announcement dates subject to change
Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists
(to be announced the week of 2019 MLS Cup)
Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy)
Josef Martínez (Atlanta United)
Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club)
MLS Defender of the Year Finalists
(to be announced Oct. 17)
Ike Opara (Minnesota United FC)
Miles Robinson (Atlanta United)
Walker Zimmerman (Los Angeles Football Club)
Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists
(to be announced Oct. 24)
Bill Hamid (D.C. United)
Sean Johnson (New York City FC)
Vito Mannone (Minnesota United FC)
MLS Newcomer of the Year Finalists
(to be announced Oct. 15)
For this award, “newcomer” is defined as a player with previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2019
Carles Gil (New England Revolution)
Héber (New York City FC)
Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto FC)
AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year Finalists
(to be announced Oct. 14)
For this award, “rookie” is defined as a player without previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2019
Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union)
Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United FC)
Andre Shinyashiki (Colorado Rapids)
Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year Finalists
(to be announced Oct. 23)
Bob Bradley (Los Angeles Football Club)
Jim Curtin (Philadelphia Union)
Domènec Torrent (New York City FC)
MLS Comeback Player of the Year Finalists
Honors an MLS player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the 2019 regular season
(to be announced Oct. 22)
Mark-Anthony Kaye (Los Angeles Football Club)
Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)
Kacper Przybyłko (Philadelphia Union)
MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year
(TBD announcement date)
Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
Matt Lampson (LA Galaxy)
Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
MLS Referee of the Year Finalists
(to be announced Oct. 15)
MLS Assistant Referee of the Year Finalists
(to be announced Oct. 15)