Osvaldo Alonso just wins Open Cups and team MVPs. It's good that he'll be here a long time.
Seattle Sounders players vote to recognize their vision of the MVP and Defender of the Year. This differs slightly from recognition given by Sounder at Heart in that here there are awards for Offensive, Defensive and Young Players of a given season. Still there is a certain overlap.
Osvaldo Alonso's performance in 2011 earned him recognition from both his teammates and readers here. From the players he is the repeat MVP, while you voted him the Defensive Player of 2011. The vote was not close as Alonso earned 55% of the vote with Kasey Keller in second and Parke in third.
Jeff Parke was recognized by his teammates as being the best defender in 2011. He didn't just take in the most minutes of any defender, but was clearly the best player on the backline in all competitions. Never really an offensive threat (except for that wonderful winner against Sporting Kansas City) Parke led both vocally and by shutting down all varieties of forwards.
The team does not vote on the best offensive player, instead recognizing the Golden Boot winner. Fredy Montero nabbed that rather easily, especially considering that he scored the most goals by any MLS player through the 2011 calendar year's various competitions. This site though chose to recognize Mauro Rosales (who will be here for at least two more years) as the squad's best Offensive Player. This ends Montero's two year streak. Rosales took 58% of the vote.
At the beginning of 2011 the Young Player of the Year was expected by most to be Steve Zakuani. When his injury opened up playing time for Alvaro Fernandez and Lamar Neagle it also meant that a mainly Reserve player would win the YPY.Servando Carrasco took 67% of the vote and Zakuani finished second.
Alonso's goal that iced the US Open Cup won the vote for Moment of 2011. If there's one thing readers here can't get enough of it's winning that Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Second and third give an indication of our other favorite things - Kasey Keller and the rivalry with the Portland Timbers.
Team Release on their awards follows. It also contains James Riley earning Humanitarian of the Year which was previously announced.
Sounders FC Announces Team Award Recipients
Alonso, Parke, Montero and Riley Honored
RENTON, WASH.- Seattle Sounders FC has announced the 2011 Team Award recipients. Osvaldo Alonso was named the team's Most Valuable Player and Jeff Parke was honored as Defender of the Year, both by a vote of their teammates. Fredy Montero received the Golden Boot by virtue of leading Sounders FC in scoring and James Riley was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year.
Most Valuable Player - Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso: Voted MVP by his teammates for the second consecutive season, Alonso has continued to play an instrumental role in the midfield for Sounders FC, helping lead the club to the league's second-best record. Alonso tallied career-highs in nearly every statistical category this season, including games played (33), goals (3), assists (3), shots (54), shots on goal (11), fouls committed (50) and fouls suffered (39). He appeared in 44 of 47 matches in all competitions this season, logging a team-high 3,820 minutes, and led all field players with 2,891 minutes in MLS play, going the full 90 in 32 of 33 appearances. The tenacious midfielder anchored one of the league's top defenses, allowing 37 goals for a goals against average of 1.09 (fourth in MLS), and also became the first Sounders FC player to score at home in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Alonso played every minute in the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup where he scored and was named Player of the Round in the final against Chicago. He also scored a brace at Guatemala's CSD Comunicaciones in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage to earn a draw, 2-2, and clinch advancement to the quarterfinals for the first time in club history.
Defender of the Year - Defender Jeff Parke: A stalwart on Seattle's backline, Parke started a career-high 28 games this season. He continued to shore up the defense in his second year with Sounders FC, which finished the season as one of the league's top five defenses. Parke started 19 straight MLS games from May 21 to September 24 in which Seattle went 12-3-4 and he played the full 90 minutes in 25 of his 28 starts. Parke was named MLS Player of the Week for his game-winning header in stoppage time against Sporting Kansas City on May 21 and was named to the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week for weeks 1 and 10. Parke appeared in all four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup games, recording one assist, and made 38 appearances in all competitions, logging 3,226 minutes (fifth-most on Sounders FC).
Budweiser Golden Boot - Forward Fredy Montero: Winner of the club's Golden Boot in the first two seasons, Montero again led the Seattle offense in season three, helping the Rave Green become the league's most potent attack. Montero matched his career-high with 12 goals (tied-fifth in MLS) and added nine assists (tied-fifth), and he shared the MLS lead with five game-winning goals. Altogether he totaled 18 goals and 11 assists in 41 games played across all competitions. He was named the U.S. Open Cup Player of the Tournament for his three game-winners in Seattle's third straight title run and added another three tallies in Champions League play. The crafty young Colombian finished the regular season with a league-high eight consecutive games contributing either a goal or assist and in his final 12 games across all competitions he scored 11 goals, six of them game-winners. Montero set a club record for MLS total points (33) in a single season.
Humanitarian of the Year - Defender James Riley: For the second consecutive year Riley has been named the club's Humanitarian of the Year. Since joining Sounders FC in 2009, he has integrated himself into the community through work with the Renton/Skyway Boys & Girls Club, Special Olympics, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, America SCORES Seattle and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, along with other organizations that he holds close to his heart. In 2011, the James Riley 7-A-Side youth tournament raised over $15,000 for the Boys & Girls Club, where he is a board member, in just its second year. The money will go to fund a hands-on project at the club's Renton/Skyway location, where Riley has been a regular visitor to involve himself in the community that he has become a vital part of while sharing the tale of his rise from a single-parent family to success as a professional soccer player.