Well, the 2011 MLS Cup final is set. It will be the Houston Dynamo against a team from Los Angeles...what's their name again? Oh well, it will come to me at some point, I'm sure. Since the final is at the Home Depot Center, is anybody planning on going to the main event on November 20? I'll be there.
On the Chivas USA front, not much news of late, but there's one (semi-) major story to bring to your attention. The finalists for the MLS awards were announced today, and the Goats did not get much recognition. But, there's one award to pull for! Chivas are finalists for the "Xbox 360 Team Fair Play" award. The other finalists are the Portland Timbers and Philadelphia Union. The criteria is as follows: "Objective criteria such as fewest fouls committed, cards received, and on subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior." I have a good feeling about this - I remember Michael Umana bowing to an opponent in deference after being beaten to a ball. In all seriousness, the winner is scheduled to be announced tomorrow. If Chivas win, expect a celebratory post. After all, if Chivas win the team fair play award then certain teams' fans will need to shut up about them being a "dirty" team - if Chivas are dirty, then what does that make the rest of the league?
Sorry, jumping off my high horse. See the full list of MLS award finalists after the jump.Rookie of the Year Finalists: Michael Farfan (Philadelphia Union), Perry Kitchen (DC United), CJ Sapong (Sporting KC)
My pick: Sapong
My pick: I think Kimura is very underrated, so I would pick him, but in reality, I don't really have a preference.
My pick: Gonzalez, although you can't go wrong with any of these three.
MLS W.O.R.K.S Humanitarian of the Year Finalists: Zak Boggs (New England Revolution), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
My pick: It's all good...picking a "best humanitarian" is kind of cruel, frankly
Referee of the Year Finalists: Mark Geiger, Ricardo Salazar, Kevin Stott
My pick: Yeah, I don't pay very close attention to individual referees, to be honest, so no pick here.
Assistant Referee of the Year Finalists: Sean Hurd, Corey Rockwell, Adam Wienckowski
My pick: See above
My pick: Schmid, although I think Arena and Vermes did well too.
Comeback Player of the Year Finalists: David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Charlie Davies (DC United), Dominic Oduro (Chicago Fire)
My pick: Davies, although somebody did mention that Davies' eligibility is strange since this was his first-ever year in MLS. Still, I think his return from a near-fatal car accident is considerably more reasonable than coming back from not really wanting to play in MLS (Beckham) and coming back from playing badly (Oduro).
Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists: Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas), Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders), Faryd Mondragon (Philadelphia Union)
My pick: DAN KENNEDY!!! Sorry, I get to be irrational about one of these. For what it's worth, following the announcement of the finalists this afternoon, I saw a number of people surprised to see Kennedy missing from the list, including Brian Straus of the Sporting News, and GolTV's Phil Schoen. So it's not just me (or my fellow Chivas' fans) on the Kennedy bandwagon.
My pick: Rosales, although I wouldn't be disappointed to see any of them win. I think what gives Rosales the edge is that he is not prone to moments of blinding rage like the other two, which is hilarious but not always the best in actual soccer terms.
Most Valuable Player Nominees: Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Dwayne De Rosario (DC United), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
My pick: Davis. I've already made my case for him here. I think he actually has a good shot based on the nominees too. I also think Shea had a great season - watching him in person this season demonstrated that he was a cut above the rest of the players on the field. The drawback with him is that he limped across the finish line to end the season. Finally, if De Rosario wins, forget it. I'm going to start a preemptive conspiracy theory: the MVP award is sponsored by Volkswagen, which also happens to sponsor which team? You got it, DC United. If DeRo undeservedly wins, we can all spread this conspiracy theory widely.
Finally, Chivas had a better return on the shortlists with a single mention than a couple of other teams. Unfortunately, the Columbus Crew and Toronto FC had no mentions. Bummer for them, but as they say, there's always next year.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!