2013 MLS Season Awards

2013 MLS Season Awards

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 29, 2013
  • 2013 MLS Awards, 2013 MLS Season, Features
Former teammates lead my MVP ballot this season. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Former teammates lead my MVP ballot this season. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Each year I am able to vote on the end of season awards in Major League Soccer. Yesterday, I decided to sit down and make my vote count by participating in the media vote, which counts for 33% of the overall vote count.

I wanted to share with you all who I voted on and why. In the past this has ruffled some feathers but it always brings up a good debate. Since we vote for a number one and a number two in each category, I’ll present them that way as well. I will also be leaving off a few awards that were voted on because let’s be honest, no one cares about the Referee of the Year award.

Here we go:

Rookie of the Year

1. Dillon Powers (Colorado Rapids)

2. Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

Comment: For me, it was all about the season body of work. Zardes got a late start but he did quickly catch up towards the final stretch of the season when Powers was injured. I try not to base this vote on which rookie scored the most goals either. Powers’ teammate Deshorn Brown will have that honor but to me Powers was far more consistent with his play than Brown was this season. Brown is still a raw talent where Powers is more defined in his role with the club.

Defender of the Year

1. Jose Goncalves (New England)

2. Matt Besler (Sporting KC)

Comment: I honestly spent the most time on this award, going over notes from this year that I had on each player, as well as extra footage that I pulled up to watch each of their games. I really felt this was a 1a and 1b type of thing but in the end the edge went to Goncalves for what he did to turn around that New England defense. Besler was still amazing this year and he made by Best XI, but Goncalves was dominant more times than not, probably because he played more than Besler did this year (international duty for Besler).

Coach of the Year

1. Caleb Porter (Portland)

2. Mike Petke (New York)

Comment: This was another tough award to vote on but Porter kind of ran away with this award for me down the stretch. He got his team into a good position in the playoffs as the first seed in the West and let’s not forget about that turnaround from 2012 to 2013. Just ridiculous. Petke got my second vote because I love the story there, he was the coach no one wanted but ultimately lead the team to a Supporters’ Shield crown.

Goalkeeper of the Year

1. Jimmy Neilsen (Sporting KC)

2. Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Comment: I know Portland fans will hate seeing this but Neilsen was by far the better keeper this season. And Rimando was just a little better than Donovan Ricketts in my book. Hey, Ricketts is great but I do believe there is a big reason why he won as many Save of the Week awards as he did. He left himself in bad spots to make those diving stops. Time and time again I felt Neilsen was more consistent with his play and he lead the best defense to a very solid record this year.

Newcomer of the Year

1. Diego Valeri (Portland)

2. Jose Goncalves (New England)

Comment: I nearly had Valeri as my MVP this season. But a good consolation prize will be the Newcomer award.


1. Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)

2. Mike Magee (Chicago Fire)

Comment: This was another close award for me but in the end I felt Keane was just the more ‘valuable’ player to his team. Magee has been great, there is no doubt about that. But Keane lead the Galaxy this year when Landon Donovan wasn’t around. He lead them when the team was missing key defenders in the back like Omar Gonzalez. His numbers were impressive this year too, 16 goals and 11 assists. It was just too hard for me to look past those figures and what I saw out of him on the field this year.

Best XI

GK: Jimmy Neilsen

DF: Matt Besler

DF: Chris Klute

DF: Jose Goncalves

DF: Jamison Olave

MF: Mike Magee

MF: Graham Zusi

MF: Diego Valeri

MF: Tim Cahill

FW: Robbie Keane

FW: Camilo

  • Tim Sas

    Good work! Thanks. Although, I would’ve chosen a couple of other players for some of those spots, I like your choices and your comments gave a good explanation for your choices.