Latino del Año 2013: Javier Morales, Blas Perez, Juninho, Jairo Arrieta round out Group E

FutbolMLS.com continues to unveil the 32 players nominated for Latino del Año 2013, where you, the fans, will select the Latin American player who had the best performance throughout the 2013 MLS regular season. Remember that you can start voting as of Monday, November 4.

Javier Morales leads a ferocious group in which he faces two world-class Central American forwards who are constantly called up for national team duties, and a Brazilian who, despite not getting as much ink as the others, has proven to be a guarantee in LA.

MLSsoccer.com and FutbolMLS.com editors selected 32 Latino players that made an impact throughout the 2013 MLS regular season, including winners of FutbolMLS.com’s weekly contest, Latino de la Jornada, and a draw was held to divide the players in eight groups of four players each.

Here are the nominees from Group E.

GROUP E

Player

 

Javier Morales
M, Real Salt Lake

The engine of Real Salt Lake is the top-seeded player in Group E. The Argentine understands the game, like very few, as a modern No. 10, and even though he wasn’t able to start the season due to an injury, he came back as strong as ever, scoring a personal high of eight goals and contributing with the second-highest production of assists in his career with 10.

Blas Pérez
F, FC Dallas

FC Dallas had a great beginning to the season but ended up falling from the top. However, their Panamanian striker was still one of the most consistent players in his position. "El Super Ratón" managed to score 11 goals during the season while splitting his time between his national team and the Texan club.

Juninho
M, LA Galaxy

The Brazilian, who is not in the spotlight as much as his glamorous teammates, did a spectacular job complementing David Beckham in the midfield while the Galaxy conquered back-to-back MLS Cup championships. Now that Becks is gone, Juninho still manages to do his job as effective as ever as the spine of Bruce Arena’s formation. The Brazilian only missed two games during the whole season, starting in all of his 32 appearances, and contributing offensively with one goal and four assists. 

Jairo Arrieta
F, Columbus

The Costa Rican striker proved tremendously valuable to the Crew, with outstanding grunt work: having to drop back, runs to the side to open space and pressing the rival defenders. His work can be easily overlooked, but it definitely wasn’t by his coaches and teammates, since he still played in 26 games, recorded three goals and four assists. But more importantly, he produced enough space for both Higuain and Oduro to shine. 

Created in 2010, Latino del Año is FutbolMLS.com's annual contest to select the best Latin American Player in MLS based on fan voting.

The contest is held at the end of each MLS regular season, consisting of three weeks of voting by fans who determine which players advance to each round until a winner is chosen.

2013 Latino del Año Schedule
October 28-31 – Latino del Año groups announced
November 4 – Online voting process opens for group stage
November 7 – Group stage winners announced & online voting opens for Round of 16
November 11 – Round of 16 winners announced & online voting opens for Quarterfinals
November 14 – Quarterfinal winners announced & online voting opens for the Final
November 18 – 2013 Latino del Año winner announced.