Major League Soccer announced on Thursday the ballots for the 2019 MLS end-of-season awards. In all, seven Los Angeles Football Club players, plus head coach Bob Bradley, are nominated across seven categories.
Two LAFC players, forward Carlos Vela and midfielder Eduard Atuesta, are nominated for the Most Valuable Player award. Vela is the frontrunner for that honor, although the likes of Josef Martinez (who has scored in 15 consecutive games) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic could make it interesting in the dying weeks.
Defender of the Year
Two players, Walker Zimmerman and Eddie Segura, are LAFC’s representatives nominated for this honor. Zimmerman seems to have a good chance at winning this, but the field is kind of wide open and the likes of Ike Opara and Miles Robinson could find a groundswell of support.
Newcomer of the Year
One LAFC guy, Segura, is nominated for this award. He is clearly the Best Newcomer in black-and-gold hearts, but this award is typically won by a big-name attacker, so it’ll probably be Nani, Heber or Carles Gil.
Goalkeeper of the Year
Each team has one nominee and Tyler Miller gets the nomination. Based on the first half of the season, he’d have a good shot, but second half...um, probably not. The field is wide open for this one at present, however.
Humanitarian of the Year
Miller gets a second nomination for top humanitarian, and he likely has a good chance of winning this, although this award is considerably different than the on-field awards.
Comeback Player of the Year
Midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye represents LAFC for this award. This one is usually regarded as a mish-mash between “player who overcomes a major injury or life setback” and “player who was bad and has improved a lot.” Most years, a player in the first category wins, and Kaye has a pretty good shot of winning this.
Coach of the Year
Bradley is nominated, and is likely the favorite, although Matias Almeyda, Dome Torrent and Adrian Heath could offer some real competition for the honor.
We’ll have to see how the races for these awards unfold in the coming weeks. Players, media and technical staff will vote for these awards, and given LAFC’s position as the most dominant team in the league this year, they’re likely to win something in this, but we’ll see what happens.
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