Major League Soccer's playoff races tightened over the past month as teams jostled for position ahead of the fall stretch run, and that brought out the best in several key performers around the league.
That makes the race for the Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month award for August an intriguing contest in and of itself. And in this showdown, you get to decide who wins.
At the end of each month, the MLSsoccer.com editorial staff selects the five final nominees. You then vote to determine the winner. Voting for August POTM will be open until 11:59 pm PT, Wednesday, Sept. 2.
David Bingham, San Jose Earthquakes — The locally-grown goalkeeper backstopped the Quakes' stunning August resurgence with a goals-against average of just 0.33, racking up a 4-1-1 record for the month as San Jose vaulted back into the playoff race with vigor.
Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC — July's POTM winner showed no signs of cooling down, racking up four goals and three assists to spearhead TFC's playoff push, solidify himself as an MLS MVP frontrunner and earn a call-up to the Italian national team.
Kei Kamara, Columbus Crew SC — Try as he might, Giovinco hasn't (yet) been able to overtake Kamara in the Golden Boot race. The Sierra Leone international ran his season haul to 18 in August, striking for three goals and two assists to help Crew SC compile a 3-1-1 mark on the month.
Sacha Kljestan, New York Red Bulls — RBNY's midfield maestro scored twice in August, but it's not all about goals, of course. He dished out a whopping five assists and created a league-leading 21 chances during a blazing-hot month in which his team went 4-1-1 and asserted their MLS Cup (and Supporters' Shield) credentials.
Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy — Just in case MLS' swell of summer signings had anyone forgetting about him, the reigning league MVP led LA on a blistering 4-1 romp through August highlighted by his six goals and three assists. Though Steven Gerrard and Giovani Dos Santos are the shiny newcomers, the Irishman clearly is clearly still the straw that stirs the Galaxy attack.