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Timbers continue to pile up postseason honors

Dec 4, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

Portland Timbers against the Seattle Sounders AP

After placing  a remarkable, if overwhelming, three players on the MLS Best XI and earning Caleb Porter coach of the year honors, the Portland Timbers earned two more MLS honors on Wednesday.

Donovan Ricketts became the fourth player in MLS history to win multiple Goalkeeper of the Year awards and earn such honors with multiple teams. Ricketts won the 2010 award for his work behind the Los Angeles Galaxy (Zach Thornton and Joe Cannon have also done the double, so-to-speak, while Pat Onstad won both of his with San Jose).

Meanwhile, teammate Diego Valeri won one of the league’s newer honors in being named Newcomer of the Year in truly dominant fashion. Valeri was given 72 percent of club votes, 79 percent of media votes and 36 percent of player votes for a weighted total of 187.94, much higher than the runner-up’s number, the 22.19 posted by New England defender Jose Goncalves. Vancouver’s Nigel Reo-Coker and Colorado’s Clint Irwin rounded out the Top Four.

Ricketts’ victory was by a much slimmer margin, with the media being the biggest booster of the Timbers keeper. Nick Rimando of Real Salt Lake finished second across the board, continuing his Henrik Stenson-like “best at his position never to have won the big individual award” status. Reigning award winner Jimmy Nielsen (SKC) finished third. New York’s Luis Robles was fourth but third in the player voting.

The Timbers turnaround remains amazing, but it’s remarkable to see them tearing the postseason honors up. After all, this is a league where 59 points won the Supporters Shield but a team with 51 missed the postseason. Is it possible that Portland’s dominance was that great, these honors that deserved?

  1. mlsconvert88888 - Dec 4, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    I think a constant through all these votes is the media voted strongly with the Timbers.
    They have a great atmosphere there at Jeld-Wen, which broadcasters want to feature, so they get more games on ESPN/NBC (i.e. more exposure) which helps with name recognition come voting time.

    That being said, I think the club and player votes also went in favor of Rickets/Valeri/Porter, but not by as big of margins.

    And one last note oin this topic, Timbers’ Darlington Nagbe also won the Fair Play Award, whatever that is.

  2. hildezero - Dec 4, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    How was Clint Irwin even in the top four?

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