Pozuelo bidding to join Giovinco as only TFC player to earn MVP honours

Toronto  FC  playmaker  Alejandro  Pozuelo  is  one  of  five  finalists  for  the  Landon  Donovan  MVP  Award,  while  Toronto’s  Greg  Vanney  is  up  for  Major  League  Soccer  coach  of  the  year. 

TFC fullback Justin Morrow is a finalist for the MLs Humanitarian of the year, along with Canadian midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye of Los Angeles FC.

Pozuelo is up against Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake, Seattle midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro and forward Jordan Morris, and Los Angeles FC forward Diego Rossi fdor MVP honours.

The four outfield MVP finalists were the top four in the league in combined goals and assists in 2020. Pozuelo led the league with 19 combined goals and assists, followed by Morris and Rossi (18) and Lodeiro (17). Pozuelo, who was tied for the league lead in assists with 10, is bidding to join Sebastian Giovinco as the only Toronto player to earn the MVP award.

Giovinco won in 2015. Canadian Dwayne De Rosario, then with D.C. United, captured the MVP award in 2011.

Blake backstopped the league’s top defence, allowing 18 goals in the regular season for a 0.88 goals-allowed average and a 77.8 save percentage, both league-bests for goalkeepers with 20 or more appearances this season.

Rossi is also up for the AT&T Young Player of the Year award, which replaces the previous Rookie of the Year award.

And Blake is a finalist for the Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year award along with Columbus’ Eloy Room and New England’s Matt Turner.

Vanney, who was named coach of the year in 2017, faces tough opposition in Philadelphia’s Jim Curtin and Orlando City’s Oscar Pareja for the Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year award.

Curtin led the Union to Supporters’ Shield, edging Toronto for the best regular-season record and Philadephia’s first-ever trophy.

Pareja, the 2016 coach of the year with FC Dallas, turned Orlando around in his first year at the helm, leading the club to its first-ever playoff berth. But neither had to face having to play away from home almost the entire season, with Toronto shifting operations to East Hartford because of pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Morrow, executive director of Black Players for Change, and Kaye are up against Portland’s Jeremy Ebobisse for the MLS Humanitarian award. The finalists in all the categories earned the most votes in polling among three voting groups: current MLS players, MLS clubs technical staffs (coaches, technical directors/GMs) and selected media members. The league did not announce release time for the award winners.



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