Atlanta United dominates MLS awards finalists

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Atlanta United dominates MLS awards finalists

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HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
September 16, 2017 Atlanta - Orlando City SC defender Jonathan Spector (2) challenges Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almiron (10) in the second half of an MLS soccer match at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, September 16, 2017. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Atlanta United placed five finalists, more than any other team,  for the MLS end-of-season awards, according to a list released by the league on Tuesday.

The five finalists are:

Coach of the year: Manager Gerardo Martino, who guided the Five Stripes to a 15-9-10 record and the playoffs. They were the first MLS expansion team since Seattle in 2009 to make the playoffs in their first year. The winner will be announced Nov. 27.

Most Valuable Player: Miguel Almiron, who scored nine goals and had 14 assists. The winner will be announced Dec. 4.

Rookie of the Year: Julian Gressel, who scored five goals and had nine assists in 32 appearances. The winner will be announced Nov. 8. 

Newcomer of the Year: Almiron and Josef Martinez, who scored 19 goals in 20 games. The winner will be announced Nov. 20.

The ballots were voted on by players, members of each team’s technical staff and select media.

Here is the complete lists:

Most Valuable Player

Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United)

Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)

Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago Fire)

Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

David Villa (New York City FC)

 Newcomer of the Year

Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United)

Josef Martínez (Atlanta United)

Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago Fire)

Rookie of the Year

Abu Danladi (Minnesota United FC)

Jack Elliott (Philadelphia Union)

Julian Gressel (Atlanta United)

Coach of the Year

Gerardo "Tata" Martino (Atlanta United)

Veljko Paunovic (Chicago Fire)

Greg Vanney (Toronto FC)

 Defender of the Year

Justin Morrow (Toronto FC)

Ike Opara (Sporting Kansas City)

Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)

Goalkeeper of the Year

Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)

Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC)

Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City)

 Comeback Player of the Year

Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC)

Federico Higuaín (Columbus Crew SC)

Erick Torres (Houston Dynamo)

Humanitarian of the Year

Ryan Hollingshead (FC Dallas)

Matt Lampson (Chicago Fire)

Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)

MLS Fair Play - Individual

Selected by MLS based on objective criteria such as fouls committed, cards received, games and minutes played, as well as subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior.

DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo)

Jahmir Hyka (San Jose Earthquakes)

Dave Romney (LA Galaxy)

Referee of the Year

Allen Chapman

Ismail Elfath

Mark Geiger

 Assistant Referee of the Year

Jeremy Hanson

Corey Parker

Adam Wienckowski

 Awards Announcement Schedule:

Schedule subject to change

November 2: Humanitarian of the Year

November 7: Referee and Assistant Referee of the Year; Fair Play Award – Individual and Team

November 8: Rookie of the Year

November 9: Defender of the Year

November 14: Goal of the Year and Save of the Year

November 15: Comeback Player of the Year

November 16: Goalkeeper of the Year

November 20: Newcomer of the Year

November 27: MLS Coach of the Year

November 28: MLS Best XI

December 4:  Most Valuable Player

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