DeLeon, Olsen, Pontius named MLS award finalists

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Penalty Kicks,Sports,Craig Stouffer

Can it really be that the actual end of the MLS season is still more than two weeks away? Maybe I’m just having trouble getting used to D.C. United being in the postseason again.

If there’s any sign that the finale is approaching, even if it is in December, Major League Soccer announced the finalists for its season-ending awards this morning.

D.C. United picked up three nominees: Nick DeLeon for rookie of the year, Ben Olsen for coach of the year and Chris Pontius for comeback player of the year. An argument can be made that Bill Hamid should’ve been among the group up for goalkeeper of the year – he finished the year with the league’s best save percentage (78.6) and was third in goals against average (1.03). Seattle’s Michael Gspurning was more effective when he played (0.73 GAA, 74.6 save pct.) but did play 21 games to 24 for Hamid.

In any case, here are the top three vote-getters in each category. Clubs, players and media each count for one third of vote total.

My votes are indicated with an asterisk.

2012 Major League Soccer Awards Finalists

Rookie of the Year Finalists

Austin Berry (Chicago Fire)

*Nick DeLeon (D.C. United)

Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)

Defender of the Year Finalists

Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes)

*Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)

Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City)

Coach of the Year Finalists

Ben Olsen (D.C. United)

Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City)

*Frank Yallop (San Jose Earthquakes)

Comeback Player of the Year Finalists

Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes)

Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)

*Chris Pontius (D.C. United)

Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists

Michael Gspurning (Seattle Sounders FC)

Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA)

*Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)

Newcomer of the Year Finalists

*Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes)

Michael Gspurning (Seattle Sounders FC)

Federico Higuain (Columbus Crew)

Volkswagen Most Valuable Player Finalists

Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)

*Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Awards Announcements Schedule (Schedule subject to change)

November 19: MLS Rookie of the Year, Xbox Fair Play Individual & Team of the Year

November 20: MLS Defender of the Year, MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year, and Referee/Assistant Referee of the Year

November 26: 2012 MLS Best XI

November 27: MLS Coach of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year

November 28: Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year and Newcomer of the Year

November 29: AT&T Goal of the Year, MLS Save of the Year and Volkswagen MLS MVP

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