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Three Sounders named as finalists for end-of-year awards

Brian Schmetzer, Yeimar Gomez Andrade and João Paulo all make the short list.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Brian Schmetzer (Coach of the Year), Yeimar Gomez Andrade (Defender of the Year) and João Paulo (MVP) were all named among the finalists for MLS end-of-year awards on Monday. Chad Marshall is the only Sounders player to have actually won any of these awards, which are generally considered the three most prestigious in MLS.

Despite having the best winning percentage of any coach in MLS history with at least 80 matches (.617), this is the first time that Schmetzer has even been named as a finalist for the Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year award. Schmetzer led the Sounders to their third-highest points total despite dealing with a litany of injuries to key players. Bruce Arena and Robin Fraser are the other finalists.

João Paulo being named a MVP finalist marks the second straight year the Sounders are represented on the short list after Nicolás Lodeiro and Jordan Morris made it last year. Like Schmetzer, João Paulo is probably a long shot in a group that also includes four players who racked up tons of goals and/or assists.

Of the Sounders’ finalists, Gomez Andrade may have the best chance of breaking through. The Sounders had the league’s best defense and Gomez Andrade was among the league leaders in tackles and interceptions.

Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists

Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists

  • Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
  • Matt Turner (New England Revolution)
  • Joe Willis (Nashville SC)

Defender of the Year Finalists

  • Yeimar Gómez (Seattle Sounders FC)
  • Miles Robinson (Atlanta United)
  • Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)

Newcomer of the Year Finalists

For this award, “newcomer” is defined as a player who made his MLS debut in 2021.

Young Player of the Year Finalists

For this award, “young player” is defined as a player age 22 or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1999).

  • Julián Araujo (LA Galaxy)
  • Tajon Buchanan (New England Revolution)
  • Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas)

Comeback Player of the Year Finalists

This award honors an MLS player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the 2021 regular season.

  • Carles Gil (New England Revolution)
  • Javier “Chicharito” Hernández (LA Galaxy)
  • Dániel Sallói (Sporting Kansas City)

MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year Finalists

  • Julián Araujo (LA Galaxy)
  • Justin Morrow (Toronto FC)
  • Brad Stuver (Austin FC)

Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year Finalists

  • Bruce Arena (New England Revolution)
  • Robin Fraser (Colorado Rapids)
  • Brian Schmetzer (Seattle Sounders FC)

Referee of the Year Finalists

  • Jair Marrufo
  • Robert Sibiga
  • Armando Villarreal

Assistant Referee of the Year Finalists

  • Frank Anderson
  • Ian Anderson
  • Cory Richardson

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