Awards - 2019 - generic primary image

MLS 2019 year-end awards finalists revealed; Ibrahimovic, Vela, Martinez up for MVP

The finalists were revealed Monday for Major League Soccer's year-end awards, narrowing down each of the categories to a final three. The awards honor the best performers from the 2019 season, including the honor for most valuable player.

The short list of finalists for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award features star attacking trio Carlos Vela, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and 2018 winner Josef Martinez. Elsewhere, Minnesota United center-back Ike Opara is vying for his second Defender of the Year honor after winning the award in 2017. The winners for all categories will be announced in the coming weeks. 

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

2019 Major League Soccer Awards Finalists

Full list of nominees

Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy)
  • Josef Martinez (Atlanta United)
  • Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Defender of the Year Finalists

  • Ike Opara (Minnesota United)
  • Miles Robinson (Atlanta United)
  • Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)

Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists

  • Bill Hamid (D.C. United)
  • Sean Johnson (New York City FC)
  • Vito Mannone (Minnesota United FC)

Newcomer of the Year Finalists

For this award, “newcomer” is defined as a player with previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2019.

  • Carles Gil (New England Revolution)
  • Heber (New York City FC)
  • Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto FC)

AT&T Rookie of the Year Finalists

For this award, “rookie” is defined as a player without previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2019.

  • Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union)
  • Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United)
  • Andre Shinyashiki (Colorado Rapids) - WINNER (announced Oct. 15)

Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year Finalists

  • Bob Bradley (LAFC)
  • Jim Curtin (Philadelphia Union)
  • Domènec Torrent (New York City FC)

Comeback Player of the Year Finalists ()

Honors an MLS player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the 2019 regular season.

  • Mark-Anthony Kaye (LAFC)
  • Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)
  • Kacper Przybylko (Philadelphia Union)

MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year - Finalists

  • Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
  • Matt Lampson (LA Galaxy)
  • Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)

Referee of the Year Finalists

  • Allen Chapman
  • Jair Marrufo
  • Rubiel Vazquez

Assistant Referee of the Year

  • Logan Brown
  • Brian Dunn
  • Brian Poeschel

MLS Unites to VOTE

Join Major League Soccer, Black Players for Change, and the MLS Players Association in participating in the November 3 general election. In-person early voting has started in over 25 states. Make a plan to vote.