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Who Should be MVP?

Who is Major League Soccer's most valuable player? Early candidates, like Chivas USA's Ante Razov, faded as the season went on (injury had a lot to do with it in Razov's case), while RSL's Jeff Cunningham, who won the Golden Boot with 15 goals and 11 assists, couldn't steer his team into the playoffs when it really mattered. Same thing in the case of Landon Donovan, whose late surge brought him 12 goals in 24 matches, but was unable to lift the defending MLS champion into the postseason. For the LA Daily News, that leaves a trio of contenders: forward/midfielder Kenny Cooper of FC Dallas, D.C. United's Argentine midfielder Christian Gomez, and Houston's Dwayne De Rosario. Six of Cooper's 11 goals were game-winners, and his team went 10-0-1 when he found the net, overshadowing the influence of Carlos Ruiz, a former winner of the Honda MVP award. D.C.'s Christian Gomez scored 14 goals and had 11 assists, an astonishing record for a midfielder, although United's poor form at the end of the season (one win in six) "tarnishes his appeal" says Daily News writer Scott French. It should be noted that D.C. had practically sewn up the Eastern Conference title in July. De Rosario makes the short list partly because he should have won the award last year. He was nearly as good this year, scoring 11 times, and most of those could be classified as "golazos." That said, the Daily News picks 21-year old Cooper to top the list. For the other awards, the paper chose Chivas USA's Bob Bradley (no surprise) as coach of the year, Jonathan Bornstein as Rookie of the Year, Jose Burciaga Jr. as Defender of the Year, and Matt Reis as Goalkeeper of the Year.

Read the whole story at L.A. Daily News »

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