Valentín “Taty” Castellanos, Carles Gil, Hany Mukhtar, João Paulo, and Dániel Sallói

vying for Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player

MLS Year-End Awards feature 15 MLS teams represented among the finalists

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NEW YORK(November 15, 2021) Major League Soccer today announced finalists for the 2021 MLS Year-End Awards, honoring the top performers on and off the field during the regular season. With the spread of finalists recognizing players from 15 MLS clubs, the wealth of talent features more teams with finalists than in any of the last four years.

Among the contenders for the coveted Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Award are five players who have led their sides to a top-four finish in the conference, including MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi winner Valentín “Taty” Castellanos (New York City FC), the league leader in assists Carles Gil (New England Revolution), Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC), João Paulo (Seattle Sounders FC) and Dániel Sallói (Sporting Kansas City).

As MLS continues to showcase young dynamic players on the rise, the LA Galaxy’s Julián Araujo is alongside New England Revolution star Tajon Buchanan of the Canadian National Team and FC Dallas Academy product Ricardo Pepi of the U.S. Men’s National Team in the chase for the Young Player of the Year Award – which recognizes the best player under age 22.

The finalists (in alphabetical order) which follow below earned the most votes in polling among three voting groups:

  • Current MLS players
  • MLS club technical staffs (coaches, technical directors/GMs)
  • Select group of media members

2021 Major League Soccer Award Finalists

Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists

  • Valentín Castellanos (New York City FC)
  • Carles Gil (New England Revolution)
  • Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC)
  • João Paulo (Seattle Sounders FC)
  • Dániel Sallói (Sporting Kansas City)

Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists

  • Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
  • Matt Turner (New England Revolution)
  • Joe Willis (Nashville SC)

Defender of the Year Finalists

  • Yeimar Gómez (Seattle Sounders FC)
  • Miles Robinson (Atlanta United)
  • Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)

Newcomer of the Year Finalists

For this award, “newcomer” is defined as a player who made his MLS debut in 2021.

  • Cristian ‘Chicho’ Arango (Los Angeles Football Club)
  • Ryan Gauld (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
  • Eduardo ‘Chofis’ López (San Jose Earthquakes)

MLS Young Player of the Year Finalists

For this award, “young player” is defined as a player age 22 (born on or after Jan. 1, 1999).

  • Julián Araujo (LA Galaxy)
  • Tajon Buchanan (New England Revolution)
  • Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas)

Comeback Player of the Year Finalists

Honors an MLS player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the 2021 regular season.

  • Carles Gil (New England Revolution)
  • Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández (LA Galaxy)
  • Dániel Sallói (Sporting Kansas City)

MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year Finalists

Julián Araujo (LA Galaxy)

Justin Morrow (Toronto FC)

Brad Stuver (Austin FC)

Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year Finalists

  • Bruce Arena (New England Revolution)
  • Robin Fraser (Colorado Rapids)
  • Brian Schmetzer (Seattle Sounders FC)

Referee of the Year Finalists

  • Jair Marrufo
  • Robert Sibiga
  • Armando Villarreal

Assistant Referee of the Year Finalists

  • Frank Anderson
  • Ian Anderson
  • Cory Richardson