Conor Casey - Pick Em
USA Today Sports

Awards Pick 'Em: Is there a front-runner for Comeback Player of the Year?

It's been the most unpredictable, up-and-down MLS season in recent memory, and maybe of all-time. With one week left, any of the top five Western Conference teams could win the conference, while there are five Eastern Conference teams that could end up on 49 points – with three making the postseason, and two missing out.

But we're brave, so with what will probably be the wildest final week in league history remaining, we're dishing out our awards picks. Foolish? Maybe. But as the Romans said, audentes fortuna iuvat!

See the full awards schedule here!

Editor Score Comments

Greg Lalas

Portland Timbers

When Portland traded away Troy Perkins last year, most observers thought the Impact got the better of the deal. No one thinks that today. As much as Caleb Porter deserves praise for raising the Timbers to unexpected heights, Ricketts deserves respect for turning in perhaps his finest goalkeeping season ever.

Jonah Freedman
Managing Editor

Philadelphia Union

I'll be honest, I had written the burly former US national teamer off. I figured he was finished after a torn tendon nearly ended his career two years ago, and being dropped by his hometown team seemingly made it worse. But Casey – along with Sébastien Le Toux – have made the Union go this season. Open mouth, insert foot.

Kristel Valencia

LA Galaxy

Donovan demonstrated that he still owns the crown of being the best player in MLS history after a notoriously rocky beginning of the year. LD not only brought the defending champs back on track with a pair of hat tricks, he's about to break the all-time scoring record and also led the USMNT to both the 2013 Gold Cup title and into the 2014 World Cup.

Matt Doyle
Armchair Analyst

Philadelphia Union

I always lean in the direction of a guy who returns from injury rather than a guy who bounces back from a down year. That means Casey gets the nod – and it's not just for his goalscoring. His ability to play midfielders into space is so, so underrated. Just click that link below...

Andrew Wiebe

Philadelphia Union

He needed a change of scenery after five-and-a-half years in Colorado, and it seems Philly has suited the bruising forward just fine. A year after starting just 13 games and scoring two goals because of injury, Casey's banged in 10 goals and added five assists as the Union's most consistent strike option.

Jason Saghini
Director of Video

Philadelphia Union

Casey has been a huge cog for the Philadelphia Union this season, helping to keep them in the playoff hunt. After struggling to recover from an Achilles injury last year in Colorado, he was let go by the Rapids and he's made the most of this second opportunity.

Simon Borg
Senior Editor

New England Revolution

Few players have dealt with anything more devastating in 2013 than a leukemia diagnosis. The Revs' Alston battled through the news, the treatment and he came back to help his club on the field. All in a matter of just a few months.

Nick Rosano

Philadelphia Union

When the Union picked up the injury-plagued, 31-year-old Casey in the Re-Entry Draft, it was considered a risky move given his salary and an Achilles injury in 2011 that he never appeared fully recovered from. He turned around and proved the doubters wrong with one of his most consistent seasons to date, starting and appearing in over 20 games for the first time since 2010 and adding another scoring threat to the Philadelphia attack