Top 5 Candidates For 2013 MLS MVP
5 Top Candidates for 2013 MLS MVP
The MLS postseason is in full swing, and now is the time to start thinking about the awards for this past season. This list will showcase my top five candidates for the MLS Most Valuable Player award for the 2013 season.
This list is not exclusively based on who was the best goalscorer or who had the most minutes played; it’s purely a subjective list of who I think is most valuable to their team -- a player whose absence would leave the team in much worse shape.
There were some very deserving players who were considered but were left off of this list for various reasons. Camilo Sanvezzo of the Vancouver Whitecaps won the Golden Boot award this year with 22 goals, but was left off of the list due to Vancouver not making the postseason. Camilo was considered all the way to the end and was neck-and-neck with no. 5 on the list, but he lost out on the playoff participation tie-breaker.
Another player who made it to the final cut was Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes. Wondolowski did not have the season that he had hoped for after winning the Golden Boot and Supporters’ Shield last year; even though he struggled this year, he did have eight game-winning goals this season for San Jose.
The last player to make it to the final cut was Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls. If Henry plays for any of 14 other teams throughout the league, then he would have made the top 5. But, he was left off because he wasn’t most valuable player to his own team this year.
Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts whether you agree or disagree, as all feedback is welcome.
5. Marco Di Vaio
33 Games Played, Played 83.21 minutes per match
20 Goals, 2 Assists
5 Game-Winning Goals
37-year-old Marco Di Vaio of the Montreal Impact only missed one match this year back in July while accounting for 40 percent of the goals scored by the Impact this season. Di Vaio had four multi-goal games, including a hat trick during the classic 5-3 win over Philadelphia Union on May 25.
4. Donovan Ricketts
32 Games Played
13 Wins, 14 Draws, 5 Losses
0.97 Goals Against Average
It was a magnificent season for 36-year old Donovan Ricketts between the pipes. Ricketts led the league with 14 shutouts and finished second behind Sporting Kansas City’s Jimmy Nielsen with a 0.97 goals against average. Ricketts had a stretch from May 2 to July 20 where he played in 11 matches and only gave up five goals. He seems to be a goalkeeper who only gets better with age.
3. Tim Cahill
27 Games Played, 83.07 Minutes per Match
11 Goals, 5 Assists
5 Game-Winning Goals
Cahill was a very important part of the Red Bulls attack this season, filling in whatever roles that were asked of him by manager Mike Petke. Cahill had a knack for scoring the big goal at the big moments; four of his goals were scored after the 80th minute, including a critical goal in the 97th minute on October 5 that rescued a point from New England Revolution. That point would be the point that won them the Supporters’ Shield over Sporting Kansas City.
2. Robbie Keane
23 Games Played, 86.08 Minutes per Match
16 Goals, 11 Assists
3 Game-Winning Goals
Robbie Keane only appeared in 23 games this season, but was lethal when he was on the field. Keane had five multi-goal games with two hat tricks on the year. One was in May versus Seattle Sounders FC and the second was in August versus Real Salt Lake. In any other year, these kinds of numbers would make Keane the front-runner for the MVP award, but this year was not any other year.
1. Mike Magee
32 Games Played, 87.28 Minutes per Match
21 Goals, 4 Assists
6 Game-Winning Goals
Stats include games with both Los Angeles Galaxy and Chicago Fire
Mike Magee started out the season as an attacking option off of the Los Angeles Galaxy bench for manager Bruce Arena. On May 25, he was traded to Chicago Fire for the rights to midfielder Robbie Rogers. Magee was a hit in Chicago, scoring in eight of his first 10 matches with the Eastern Conference side. Magee played in 32 matches this season for two clubs and scored in 18 different matches. He was a game-changer off the bench for L.A. and a difference-maker in the starting XI for Chicago, and that is why he is my pick for the 2013 MLS MVP Award.