Despite spending a lot of the year out with a knee injury, Román Torres beat out a strong field to win FutbolMLS.com’s Latino of the Year. Two Sounders have previously won the award — Fredy Montero in 2010 and Marco Pappa in 2014 — and it’s no surprise 2016’s trophy went to a Sounder, though many probably expected either Osvaldo Alonso or Nicolas Lodeiro to win. That is not to say that Torres is undeserving. Despite a year away from the field, the Panamanian was instantly one of the best defenders in MLS when he returned. It also helps that he saved his best performance for MLS Cup where he made Jozy Altidore look pedestrian and scored the match winning PK.
Latino del Año is an award voted on by the fans (53% supported Torres) so his immense likability probably won him some votes as well. I mean, who doesn’t want to give this man an award.
The non-Sounders to win FutbolMLS.com’s award are Darwin Ceren, Alvaro Saborio, Oscar Boniek Garcia, and Omar Bravo. It was created in 2010. Montero is the only South American to win. No nation has two winners.