Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
Seattle two most likely players to wind up on the season long awards list both find themselves in a position to take home individual glory.
Michael Gspurning finds his name listed among the final three for both the Goalkeeper of the Year and for Newcomer of the Year. Eddie Johnson is listed as a potential winner for Comeback Player of the Year. The Best XI does not have a short list and will be the first time a Seattle Sounders player could find their name listed as one of 2012's best.
Alongside Gspurning as finalists for Keeper of the Year are Jimmy Nielsen (SBN's KoY) and Dan Kennedy. Yes, Dan Kennedy who gave up more goals than any other keeper. Not that they were all his fault, but OK voters. This was always going to be a two way contest, so Kennedy's inclusion does not miss that the decision point comes down to whether or not Gspurning played enough games.
The Austrian is also on the short list for Newcomer of the Year. SBN winner Victor Bernardez and Crew attacker Federico Higuain are the other two finalists. Gspurning's chances are tight. Bernardez was a rock defensively and Higuain nearly changed the fortunes for the Crew. If there were just a few voters that didn't put Gspurning down as the Keeper because they were going to vote for him here he could win.
Eddie Johnson's comeback tale finds him on the list with two players returning from injury. Though neither Chris Pontius nor Alan Gordon had the highs that Johnson did prior to his return, they also haven't won the award in a previous year. There are reasons to think that Johnson should win, but all three had amazing seasons and are deserving of recognition.
Also any of those men would trade their individual honors to advance past LA.