Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez named finalists for 2013 MLS awards

Keane named as one of three finalists for MLS MVP; Gonzalez up for Defender of the Year

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USA Today Sports

CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, November 20, 2013) – LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez and forward Robbie Keane have each been named finalists for end of season MLS awards. Gonzalez is one of three finalists for the league’s Defender of the Year award while Keane has been named as one of three finalists for the Volkswagen Most Valuable Player award. Additionally, the Galaxy are one of three clubs up for the annual Xbox Team Fair Play award. The Xbox Team Fair Play award will be announced on Monday, November 25 while the MLS Defender of the Year award will be unveiled a day later on Tuesday, November 26. The winner of Volkswagen Most Valuable Player award will be announced two days prior to MLS Cup on Thursday, December 5.

Keane finished the 2013 MLS season with 16 goals and 11 assists in just 23 games, leading the Galaxy in each category. One of two players in MLS with 10 or more goals and assists, Keane’s 16 goals were the fourth most in MLS while his 11 assists were the third most in the league. The Galaxy were 9-1-3 in the regular season games when Keane tallied either a goal or an assist and he either scored or assisted on more than half (27) of the Galaxy’s 53 goals during the 2013 campaign.

Named the Galaxy captain before the start of the season, Keane will look to join Carlos Ruiz in 2002 and Landon Donovan in 2009 as the only Galaxy players to be selected as the MLS MVP. He is the first Galaxy player to be named a finalist for the award since Edson Buddle was in 2010 while Cobi Jones (1998) and Donovan (2008) were also finalists for the award.

The MLS Defender of the Year in 2011 and a finalist for the award in 2010, Gonzalez is looking to become the fourth player in MLS history to win the award twice. He appeared in and started 27 games for the Galaxy this season, helping the club keep 10 clean sheets and collect a 13-7-7 record in those matches, compared to a 2-4-1 record in the seven games that he missed. Playing his first full season since suffering a serious knee injury in January 2012, Gonzalez scored once and added two assists while only committing 17 fouls and being booked just twice during the regular season.

In addition to Gonzalez winning the award in 2011, the only other Galaxy player to be selected as the MLS Defender of the Year was Robin Fraser, who won the award in 1999. Fraser was also named a finalist for the award in 1996, 1998 and 2000 while Alexi Lalas (2002) and Tyrone Marshall (2005) were also finalists for the honor while playing with the Galaxy, as was Gonzalez in 2010.

Rounding out the Galaxy awards finalists, the club is up for the Xbox Fair Play award, which is selected by MLS based on objective criteria such as fewest fouls committed and cards received and on the subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior. LA’s 386 fouls committed in the 2013 regular season were the third fewest in MLS while the club’s 36 yellow cards were the fewest in the league. The Galaxy were also shown just one red card during the season after being shown six in the previous two years combined. In addition to the Galaxy, the Houston Dynamo and Vancouver Whitecaps FC have also been selected as finalists for the award.

Season tickets for the 2014 MLS season are on sale now, starting at just $250 or as low as $400 in the lower bowl of StubHub Center. Becoming a Galaxy Season Ticket Member gives fans the opportunity to see every Galaxy home game as well as number of additional benefits such as access to Town Hall meetings with Galaxy leaders, discounts on additional single game tickets, entrance into the club’s new Season Ticket Member loyalty program and much more as well as discounts at all TEAM LA locations and on select camps at the Galaxy Soccer Center in Torrance. For more information about becoming a Galaxy Season Ticket Member, please call 877-3GALAXY (342-5299) or visit www.lagalaxy.com/tickets.