CARSON, Calif. (Friday, June 24, 2011) – LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan was today named a finalist for the Best MLS Player at the 2011 ESPYS, which will be held in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 13. Donovan, who won the Best MLS Player ESPY at the 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 ESPYS as well as the 2002 ESPY for the Best Male Soccer Player, had seven goals and a career-best 16 assists for the Galaxy in 2010, helping the club win the Supporters’ Shield for the first time since 2002. This season, he is tied for the MLS lead with eight goals, despite missing seven of the club’s 18 games because of injury or national team duties.
In addition to his play with the Galaxy, Donovan played a major role in the U.S. National Team reaching the Round of 16 at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, scoring three goals in four games at the tournament. His goal against Algeria in the final game of Group C won two ESPYS last year, taking home the Best Moment and Castrol Edge Performance Under Pressure Award. He also won an ESPY for Best Upset in 2009, helping the U.S. defeat Spain in the semifinal of the FIFA Confederations Cup.
Joining Donovan as one of the four nominees is former Galaxy forward Edson Buddle. The Galaxy MVP in 2010, Buddle led the team with 17 goals in the regular season before adding two more in the postseason. An MLS All-Star for the third time in his career, Buddle scored nine of the Galaxy’s first 10 goals of the season en route to the best season of his career. His fast start to the season caught the attention of U.S. National Team head coach Bob Bradley who included Buddle on his roster for last summer’s World Cup. Following the conclusion of the MLS season, he signed with FC Ingolstadt of the German 2. Bundesliga, scoring three times in 14 games while helping the club avoid relegation.
Donovan and Buddle are joined by FC Dallas midfielder David Ferreira and San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski as the four nominees for the Best MLS Player. Since the award was first created in 2006, a Galaxy player has won it every year, with Donovan winning it in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 and David Beckham doing so in 2008.
The 2011 ESPYS will be held at the Nokia Theater at L.A. Live on Wednesday, July 13. They will be broadcast live on ESPN starting at 6 p.m. (PT). Voting for the Best MLS Player is underway now at www.espn.com/espy. Fans can also vote at www.facebook.com/espn with voting closing on Saturday, July 9 at 8:59 p.m. (PT)
For more information about the Galaxy, or to purchase tickets for any of the club’s upcoming home games, please contact the Galaxy by calling 1-877-3GALAXY (342-5299) or by visiting www.lagalaxy.com.