The Los Angeles Galaxy's Landon Donovan
, winner of six Honda Player of the Year Awards as the top U.S. national team
player, picked up his first top MLS honor in nine years in the league when he was named 2009 Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player.
The 27-year old Donovan received the most votes
in polling of MLS players, general managers, coaches and members of the media. FC Dallas forward Jeff Cunningham
and New England Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph
were the two other finalists for the award.
Donovan led Galaxy with 12 goals and six assists in 25 games, despite missing a month
of the season while at the FIFA Confederations Cup with the USA. His inspired play this year helped lead the Galaxy to the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
After a recent
playoff victory, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena
said of his captain, "He's grown on the field as a player. He's a more mature consistent player, but his role off the
field with this team has been perhaps even better, remarkable. The things he did to help build this team to have the right kind of team chemistry, to be a leader ... Landon was consistently here
every day and taking the responsibility of a captain. He's been doing a fantastic job."
Donovan is the all-time leading scorer in the MLS Cup Playoffs with 17 goals, the most recent
coming in the Western Conference final win over Houston. Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Players:
Landon Donovan - LA Galaxy
2008: Guillermo Barros Schelotto - Columbus Crew
2007: Luciano Emilio - D.C. United
Christian Gomez - D.C. United
2005: Taylor Twellman - New England Revolution
2004: Amado Guevara - MetroStars
2003: Preki -
Kansas City Wizards
2002: Carlos Ruiz - Los Angeles Galaxy
2001: Alex Pineda Chacon - Miami Fusion
2000: Tony Meola - Kansas
1999: Jason Kreis - Dallas Burn
1998: Marco Etcheverry - D.C. United
1997: Preki - Kansas City Wizards
1996: Carlos Valderrama - Tampa Bay Mutiny