[MLS AWARDS]Kevin Alston, who helped New England secure a berth in the MLS playoffs for the first time since 2009 after returning from a layoff to seek medical attention for a rare but treatable form of leukemia, was named the winner of the 2013 Comeback Player of the Year award.
The Indiana University product had started every game for which he was available in the first four years of his MLS career with the Revs, but he stepped away from soccer in early April after being diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).
While there is no cure for CML, Alston endured four-and-a-half months of treatment before returning to the field on July 27. Alston played in five of the Revolution’s last 14 regular season matches – including the final three games.
The award was voted on by media, MLS players and MLS club management based on regular season performance.
Alston finished with a weighted total of 99.81 to outdistance Philadelphia forward Conor Casey (65.62), Seattle forward Lamar Neagle (35.47) and Portland goalie Donovan Ricketts (34.98), though he finished third behind Neagle and Ricketts in the player vote.
MLS Comeback Player of the Year Winners:
2013: Kevin Alston – New England Revolution
2012: Eddie Johnson – Seattle Sounders FC
2011: David Beckham – Los Angeles Galaxy
2010: Bobby Convey – San Jose Earthquakes
2009: Zach Thornton – Chivas USA
2008: Kenny Cooper – FC Dallas
2007: Eddie Johnson – Kansas City Wizards
2006: Richard Mulrooney – FC Dallas
2005: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
2004: Brian Ching – San Jose Earthquakes
2003: Chris Armas – Chicago Fire
2002: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
2001: Troy Dayak – San Jose Earthquakes
2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards