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Tracking MLS Most Valuable Player: Still a three-man race between Magee, Keane and Di Vaio

Sep 18, 2013, 4:25 PM EDT

Mike Magee-Chicago 3

1. Mike Magee:

Chicago took a big step toward the playoffs in Round 29 with a “six-pointer” win over New England, which, like the Fire, is scrapping away for one of those last playoff spots in the East.

That was No. 16 this year in league play for “Magic Mike,” still two off Marco Di Vaio’s league-leading pace.

But as we’ve said before, the critical element to consider as it relates to Magee MVP talk is this: The Fire has to make the playoffs for any real traction. Dwayne De Rosario is the only performer from a non-playoff MLS team to claim MVP, and it’s probably going to remain that way for a while.

In this case, there are two other wonderful choices, so Magee coming away with the big honor just won’t happen without a post-season appearance for the Toyota Park bunch.

2. Robbie Keane:

Truthfully, we should mark this list as 1, 1A and 1B in terms of their tracking for MVP. Because if Robbie Keane and Marco Di Vaio are not equals as potential choices, they are just a wee smidgen away from being so.

The Irishman is fourth in league goals (13) and third in assists (11), and no player can match his combined totals. His pace isn’t slowing one bit as the Galaxy jostles from playoff positioning: Keane had a goal and an assist in the team’s 2-2 weekend road draw at D.C. United. In fact, his offensive contributions would have been even greater but for two unusual booboos along the Galaxy back line, as three potentially huge road points devolved into a lone point.

L.A. has a huge match this weekend against Seattle; Keane doing something special in this one could propel him into the lead in this close-quarter, three-man chase.

3. Montreal’s Marco Di Viao

What is all this talk of retiring, Marco? Major League Soccer’s Golden Boot Winners have gone on to bigger, better things before, using a mighty season of league scoring as a launching pad for a move abroad. But to retire?

Yes, the man is 37. And of course he misses his family back in Italy. But … retire? When you continue to lead the league in scoring, now with 18 goals? Say it ain’t so!

By the way, 18 goals would have led the league at season’s in 10 previous MLS campaigns. So with just a little more continued production in Montreal’s seven remaining matches, we could be talking about something approaching a historically great scoring season. He probably won’t approach Chris Wondolowski’s record-tying 27 from last year, but even getting into the low 20s might be too hard for MVP voters to overlook.

  1. talgrath - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Diego Valeri might be worthwhile to toss into that MVP discussion, the Timbers just look better with him. That said, I think Magee has this one, lots of goals and assists and the Fire just play harder with him on board.

    • Steve Davis - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      I think guys like Valeri and Camilo and a couple of others probably fall into that second group, a bunch that might get consideration on another year … but just aren’t going to get there with three very strong candidates.

  2. charliej11 - Sep 19, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    When you say Golden Boot winners have moved on to “bigger and better things”, who.are you talking about ?
    I don’t believe that is correct.

    One to say other league are better, is subjective. Two, I don’t believe anyone moved on.

    • Steve Davis - Sep 19, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      Stern John used his GB success in MLS to move into Nottingham Forest (better money). Mamadou Diallo went to Saudi Arabia and then later to Sweden (although not immediately after his Golden Boot; but he was still scoring regularly for NY when he made that first move out of MLS).

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