CARSON, CA - Major League Soccer today announced the finalists for its year-end awards. Among them are two members of the Los Angeles Galaxy - forward Herculez Gomez for Comeback Player of the Year and Tyrone Marshall for Defender of the Year.
The other finalists for the awards are: Comeback Player of the Year: Ronald Cerritos - San Jose Earthquakes, Chris Klein - Kansas City Wizards; Defender of the Year: Danny Califf - San Jose Earthquakes, Jimmy Conrad - Kansas City Wizards.
"We are extremely proud of both Herculez and Tyrone," said Galaxy President and General Manager Doug Hamilton. "Tyrone has been an important part of our club since his arrival and has assumed an important leadership role for us this season. Herculez, meanwhile continues to demonstrate his importance to the club and has proven capable of being a special player in our league."
Gomez, 23, had a breakout offensive season with the Galaxy in 2005. After having played just five minutes in his MLS career prior to this season (in October of 2003), and spending 2004 with the San Diego Gauchos (D-3), he worked his way up from the Galaxy reserves at the start of the season to a permanent role in Steve Sampson's attack. He finished the regular season with 11 goals in 22 games (16 starts), second-best on the club to Landon Donovan (12).
"I don't think anyone is MLS deserves the Comeback Player of the Year Award more than Herculez," said Galaxy Head Coach Steve Sampson. "Especially given where he was in 2002 and all he has contributed to this team, especially in the second half of the season. He is a pure goal scorer and one that is deserving of the award."
Marshall, 31, is a fixture on the backline for both the Galaxy and the Jamaican national team. He is physical central defender who is often called upon to impose his will on opponents. In 2005, he played in 25 games - all of them starts - and registered one goal and two assists.
"Tyrone is certainly one of the most well-respected in the League," said Sampson. "He has the ability not only defend, but also come forward into the attack or help us in dead ball situations. He is a tenacious defender who is difficult to beat and is great with the ball at his feet."
The winners of both the MLS Comeback Player of the Year and the Defender of the Year awards will be announced on Tuesday, October 25.