CARSON, Calif. (Monday, October 17, 2011) – Following Sunday night’s 1-0 victory over Chivas USA in their final home game of the 2011 MLS regular season, the LA Galaxy distributed their annual team awards before a capacity crowd at The Home Depot Center. Captain Landon Donovan took home a pair of awards, winning the club’s Golden Boot with a team-best 12 goals in the league as well as being voted the club’s Most Valuable Player by the local media. The media also voted Omar Gonzalez as the club’s Defender of the Year for the second straight season while Sean Franklin was selected as the club’s Humanitarian of the Year for his charitable work in the local community.
A closer look at the Galaxy’s team award winners follows:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER:
PHOTOS: Landon Donovan
For the fourth time since joining the Galaxy in 2005, Landon Donovan was named the Galaxy’s Most Valuable Player, edging out David Beckham for the award, which is voted on by the local media. The club’s captain and an unquestioned leader in the locker room, Donovan led the team with 12 goals on the season, while also adding three assists as the Galaxy won the Supporters’ Shield for the second straight season. The Galaxy are 16-2-5 in the 23 games that Donovan has played in this season, including a 7-1-2 mark when he has either a goal or an assist. Used in midfield much of the season, Donovan also played an important role in the Galaxy equaling an MLS record for shutouts in a season and allowing the fewest goals in the league. By winning the club’s MVP award this season, Donovan has now won award more times than any other player in Galaxy history, winning one more than Kevin Hartman who claimed the prize in 1999, 2003 and 2004.
In addition to winning the club’s MVP award, Landon Donovan also took home the club’s Golden Boot as the Galaxy’s top goal scorer. Heading into the final game of the regular season, Donovan has 12 goals, which are five more than his closest competition to give him his sixth Golden Boot in seven seasons with the Galaxy. The only Galaxy player with more than one multi-goal game on the season, Donovan scored twice in a game three times, which were tied for the third most in MLS. Despite missing 10 games so far this season, Donovan’s four game-winning goals are tied for the most on the club, which was 6-1-2 when he scored a goal with eight of his 12 goals coming at home.
DEFENDER OF THE YEAR:
PHOTOS: Omar Gonzalez
For the second straight season, Omar Gonzalez was named the club’s Defender of the Year, narrowly edging out Todd Dunivant for the award, which is voted on by the local media. Gonzalez has once again been a force in the center of LA’s defense, appearing in and starting 29 games for the club so far this season while helping the club concede a league-low 25 goals, which are 10 fewer than any other team in the league. Fifteen of the club’s MLS-record equaling 17 clean sheets have come with Gonzalez on the field and in the starting lineup. In addition to continuing to be a physical presence, Gonzalez has also been forced to be more of a leader and an organizer in the back as he has been forced to play next to a number of different players because of injuries. At the other end of the field, Gonzalez has chipped in with two goals and an assist in the league this year while also scoring once in the Open Cup and once in the Champions League. Gonzalez is one of three Galaxy players to have scored in all three official competitions that the Galaxy have played in this year, joining Adam Cristman and Mike Magee. Of his four goals, two were game-winning goals while they other two were game-tying goals.
HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR:
PHOTOS: Sean Franklin
Sean Franklin was selected as the club’s Humanitarian of the Year as a result of his tireless work off the field and in the community. The fourth different player to win the award in the last four years, Franklin has continuously supported both the team and the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation’s community and charitable endeavors all season long. He annually supports the Galaxy Drive Series with personal contributions and this year represented the club’s Equipment Drive. Sean has appeared at the Galaxy Foundation’s Easter Egg Hunt, Camps for Kids and Foundation’s Feast as well as fundraisers such as How Suite It Is! in order to assist in the foundation’s outreach and fundraising endeavors while also attending the team’s annual children’s hospital visits and taking the time to make a connection with the children and their families.
In addition to his work off the field, Franklin has starred on the field for LA this season, scoring four times and adding three assists in 27 games despite missing the last month with a right knee injury. Now in his fourth season with the Galaxy, Franklin had never scored in the league before this season, only to then score four goals in a six-game span this summer, culminating with two goals in the 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City on September 5.
The following are the Galaxy’s past team award winners:
|Year||Most Valuable Player||Defender of the Year||Golden Boot*||Humanitarian of the Year|
|1996||Eduardo Hurtado||Jorge Campos||Eduardo Hurtado||—|
|1997||Mauricio Cienfuegos||Robin Fraser||Welton||—|
|1998||Cobi Jones||Robin Fraser||Cobi Jones||—|
|1999||Kevin Hartman||Robin Fraser||Cobi Jones||—|
|2000||Simon Elliott||Danny Califf||Cobi Jones||Marvin Quijano|
|2001||Ezra Hendrickson||Greg Vanney||Cobi Jones||Mauricio Cienfuegos|
|2002||Carlos Ruiz||Alexi Lalas||Carlos Ruiz||Mauricio Cienfuegos|
|2003||Kevin Hartman||Danny Califf||Carlos Ruiz||Cobi Jones|
|2004||Kevin Hartman||Tyrone Marshall||Carlos Ruiz||Galaxy team|
|2005||Herculez Gomez||Tyrone Marshall||Landon Donovan||Kevin Hartman|
|2006||Landon Donovan||Chris Albright||Landon Donovan||Cobi Jones|
|2007||Chris Klein||Ty Harden||Landon Donovan||Landon Donovan|
|2008||Landon Donovan||Sean Franklin||Landon Donovan||Landon Donovan|
|2009||Landon Donovan||Donovan Ricketts||Landon Donovan||Todd Dunivant|
|2010||Edson Buddle||Omar Gonzalez||Edson Buddle||Edson Buddle|
|2011||Landon Donovan||Omar Gonzalez||Landon Donovan||Sean Franklin|
* = Previously known as the Scoring Champion 1996-2004.
For more information about the Galaxy and these awards, please visit the club’s official website at www.lagalaxy.com.
Tickets are on sale now, starting at $30, for the home leg of the Galaxy’s Western Conference Semifinal Series, which is scheduled to be played on either Wednesday, Nov. 2 or Thursday, Nov. 3. Fans can also purchase tickets now for a potential Western Conference Championship, which LA would host if they win their home-and-home, aggregate goal, Conference Semifinal Series. For more information about these games or to purchase tickets, please visit www.lagalaxy.com or call 1-877-3GALAXY (342-5299).