Clint Dempsey and Stefan Frei have both been named among the finalists for MLS end-of-season awards. The Seattle Sounders have also been named a finalist for “Fair Play”, but that is an equation based on disciplinary points that they’re already assured of winning.
Dempsey is one of three finalists for Comeback Player of the Year, along with Federico Higuain and Erick Torres. Higuain had nine goals and 14 assists this year after missing 14 games last year, mostly due to a groin injury. Torres had 14 goals and three assists after being limited to just 22 appearances over the past two years due mostly to ineffectiveness. Dempsey’s comeback was probably the most dramatic, as there was speculation his career could end after last season was cut short due to heart issues. He rebounded to score 12 goals and register five assists in 29 appearances.
Joining Frei among the Goalkeeper of the Year finalists are Tim Melia and last year’s winner Andre Blake. Melia has to be considered the favorite, as he leads the league in goals allowed (24), goals against average (.78) and save percentage (78.4) among players who made at least 17 appearances. Frei’s most notable stat is his league-leading 13 shutouts, three more than any other player. His 1.09 GAA is third among all goalkeepers.