Seattle Sounders FC has announced its inaugural season Team Award recipients. Kasey Keller was named the team's Most Valuable Player and Tyrone Marshall was honored as Defender of the Year, both by a vote of their teammates. Taylor Graham was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year and Fredy Montero received the Golden Boot by virtue of leading the Sounders FC in scoring.
Most Valuable Player - Goalkeeper Kasey Keller:
In his first MLS season, Keller set a league record for consecutive scoreless minutes (457) to start a season, and became the only keeper to post three complete shutouts to start his MLS career. For the regular season, Keller was No. 2 among MLS keepers with a GAA of 0.92 and tied for 2nd in shutouts (10) and wins (12). He played the most minutes of any Seattle player this season (2,549). In five play-ins and Open Cup matches, Keller posted a three shutouts and a GAA of 0.56. He was a finalist for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and the Fair Play Award. Keller was also in the starting XI for the MLS All-Stars.
Defender of the Year - Central Defender Tyrone Marshall:
Marshall started 27 of 29 appearances this season, anchored a defense which tied for 1st in goals allowed per game (0.97) and 2nd in shutouts (10). He also contributed two goals and two assists. Marshall will enter the 2010 season 15th in MLS all-time regular season games played (274), 9th amongst active players. He is 21st in minutes played (21,930), 12th amongst active players. Marshall was twice named Defender of the Year by the L.A. Galaxy (2004, 2005), and he was a finalist for MLS Defender of the Year in 2005.
Humanitarian of the Year - Central Defender Taylor Graham:
Graham was among the most visible players for Sounders FC through his community involvement and willingness to serve the club in a variety of capacities. Sidelined with various foot injuries throughout the season, he turned those setbacks into an opportunity for further community outreach. His involvement with local schools, youth organizations and the club's philanthropic initiatives exemplified the ideals and virtues of the Sounders FC organization and MLS W.O.R.K.S., the league's community outreach initiative. He dedicated significant amounts of time to America SCORES Seattle, which empowers students in urban communities using soccer, writing, creative expression and service learning. Graham also worked closely with Seattle Children's Hospital. Fluent in Spanish, he often served as an interpreter for international players on the team. In addition, Graham connected with Sounders FC fans through his blog, tweeting about different charitable causes and contributing interviews and content to Sounders Weekly television program as well as his regular blog for SoundersFC.com.
Budweiser Golden Boot - Forward Fredy Montero:
Montero, the 2009 MLS Newcomer of the Year, finished tied for third in the league for goals (12) and game-winning goals (4), and he led MLS in shots (86) and was seventh in attempts on goal (32). He also scored the first goal in Sounders FC's 2-1 victory over D.C. United for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Scoring two goals and adding an assist in his debut match, Montero's start was the strongest since Brian McBride in the inaugural MLS season of 1996. He was named March Player of the Month. From June 13 to June 28, Montero scored in four consecutive games as Seattle went 2-0-2. He was also in the starting XI for the MLS All-Star game.