WASHINGTON, D.C. - D.C. United forward Jaime Moreno was named Monday as one of three finalists in voting for two year-end awards - 2004 MLS Honda Most Valuable Player and 2004 MLS Comeback Player of the Year - in an announcement released by Major League Soccer. The winner of the Honda MVP award will be announced on Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. ET live from the ESPNZone in Anaheim, Calif., with the remaining award winners to be named at the MLS Awards Gala prior to MLS Cup 2004.
"Jaime is very deserving of both the MVP and Comeback Player of the Year awards," said United technical director Dave Kasper. "His comeback from where he was one year ago, having undergone career-threatening back surgery, to being the class player in MLS this year is astounding."
Prior to the season, Moreno risked his career to have surgery to correct a pair of herniated discs in his back after managing to score only two goals during the 2003 campaign while with the MetroStars. The 30-year worked tirelessly in the off-season to rehabilitate and earned a spot on D.C. United's final roster on the day before the start of the regular season, and muscled his way back into the starting lineup.
Moreno had his best year since 2000 with seven goals and 14 assists for 28 points. The league leader in assists, who returned to his vintage form after an injury-plagued year with the MetroStars, had back-to-back three-assist games for United in the month of September, having a hand in six consecutive D.C. United goals. His consistent and unselfish play has put opponents on their heels all season, making him a vital part of the United attack and one of the main reasons for United's success in 2004.