LOS ANGELES (Monday, Nov. 15, 2021) LA Galaxy defender Julian Araujo was named a finalist for the AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year and the MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, while forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez was named a finalist for the Comeback Player of the Year as Major League Soccer announced the finalists for the 2021 MLS Year-End Awards.

Chicharito, New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil and Sporting Kansas City forward Dániel Sallói were named as finalists for the Comeback Player of the Year. In his second season with the Galaxy, Hernandez led the club with 17 goals scored and added three assists in 21 games played (20 starts). Hernandez, who was named a 2021 MLS All-Star, notched 10 goals in 10 games played at Dignity Health Sports Park during the regular season.

Araujo, New England Revolution midfielder Tajon Buchanan and FC Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi were named as finalists for the AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year. Araujo, 20, registered career highs in games played (32), games started (32) and assists (7) for the Galaxy during the 2021 campaign. Notably, Araujo finished tied for fourth in the league in tackles won (54) and ranked 11th in the league in interceptions (56), as he was named an MLS All-Star for the first time in his career.

In addition to his career season on the field, Araujo was named a finalist for the MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year alongside Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow and Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver. Araujo, with support from the LA Galaxy Foundation, distributed $26,000 worth of gift cards and backpacks filled with food and cloth face masks to farmworkers and others in his home city of Lompoc, Calif., in the parking lot of Lompoc High School. Additionally, Araujo donated $1,700 dollars to the United Farm Workers Foundation to kick off a fundraising campaign, using his Twitter account to raise more.

The finalists (in alphabetical order), which follow below, earned the most votes in polling among three voting groups:

  • Current MLS Players
  • MLS club technical staffs (coaches, technical directors/GMs)
  • Select group of media members

2021 Major League Soccer Award Finalists

Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists

  • Valentín Castellanos (New York City FC)
  • Carles Gil (New England Revolution)
  • Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC)
  • João Paulo (Seattle Sounders FC)
  • Dániel Sallói (Sporting Kansas City)

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.

  • Cristian ‘Chicho’ Arango (Los Angeles Football Club)
  • Ryan Gauld (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
  • Eduardo ‘Chofis’ López (San Jose Earthquakes)

AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year Finalists

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

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

Comeback Player of the Year Finalists

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

  • Julian 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