Miguel Almiron (left) and Josef Martinez are both finalists for the MLS MVP award.
Photo: Isaiah J. Downing
Photo: Isaiah J. Downing

Atlanta United has two finalists for MLS MVP

Four Atlanta United players are finalists for MLS end of year awards, including two MVP candidates, the league announced on Wednesday.

Each category includes between three and five finalists. The winners will be announced in coming weeks

Josef Martinez, who set the league’s single-season scoring record with 31 goals, and Miguel Almiron, with 12 goals and 14 assists, are two of the five finalists for MVP. They helped lead Atlanta United to a tie for the second-most points (69) in MLS history, as well as being the league’s highest-scoring team with 70 goals.

The remaining finalists are L.A. Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, D.C. United’s Wayne Rooney and LAFC’s Carlos Vela. 

Michael Parkhurst is among three finalists for Defender of the Year. He was named to the All-Star team for the second consecutive season and was among the most accurate passers at his position. Seattle’s Chad Marshall and New York Red Bulls’ Aaron Long are the other finalists. 

Gerardo Martino is one of three finalists for Manager of the Year.  Martino led Atlanta United to a CONCACAF Champions League finish by accumulating the most points over the past two regular seasons. The other finalists are LAFC’s Bob Bradley and Sporting KC’s Peter Vermes. Martino recently announced that he will not be back with Atlanta United next season, ending his two-year run.

Voting groups are current MLS players, MLS Clubs (Coaches, Technical Directors/General Managers, and media members who consistently covered the 2018 MLS regular season. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a policy that prohibits voting on awards.

2018 Major League Soccer awards finalists

(Listed in alphabetical order by last name within each award category)

 Most Valuable Player finalists

Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy)

Josef Martinez (Atlanta United)

Wayne Rooney (D.C. United)

Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club)

Defender of the Year finalists

Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls)

Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC)

Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United)

* Atlanta United’s Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was among the candidates

Goalkeeper of the Year finalists

Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC)

Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)

Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC)

* Atlanta United’s Brad Guzan was among the candidates

Newcomer of the Year Finalists

For this award, newcomer is defined as a player with previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2018

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy)

Wayne Rooney (D.C. United)

Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club)

* Atlanta United’s Ezequiel Barco was among the candidates

Rookie of the Year finalists

For this award, rookie is defined as a player without previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2018

Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake)

Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union)

Chris Mueller (Orlando City SC)

Coach of the Year finalists

Bob Bradley (Los Angeles Football Club)

Gerardo “Tata” Martino (Atlanta United)

Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City)

Comeback Player of the Year finalists

Honors an MLS player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the 2018 regular season

Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy)

Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC)

MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year

Matt Lampson (Minnesota United FC)

Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)

Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)

Referee of the Year finalists

Alan Kelly

Nima Saghafi

Robert Sibiga

Assistant Referee of the Year finalists

Joe Fletcher

CJ Morgante

Corey Rockwell

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