Sounders GK Gspurning, FW Johnson finalists for postseason honors

Major League Soccer announced finalists for its postseason awards Thursday, and among the nominees are Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning and forward Eddie Johnson.

Gspurning is up for the goalkeeper of the year award and the MLS newcomer of the year award (an award for non-rookies who are new to the league). When it comes to goalkeeper of the year honors, Gspurning’s chances hinge on how much weight voters put on playing an entire season. There’s a very good case to be made that Gspurning, who allowed a league-low 0.73 goals per game, was the best in the league this season when healthy. He did, however, miss a good chunk of the season with a hip injury, and the team struggled in his absence.

Johnson, who established a team record with 14 goals this season, is nominated for the league’s comeback player of the year award. Johnson was a standout in Major League Soccer early in his career, then went to England in 2008 and struggled to find success in several European leagues. He returned to MLS with many questioning whether his best days were behind him, but Johnson has enjoyed a standout season while also making his first appearance for the US National Team since 2010.

Here is the full list of award nominees:

Rookie of the Year Finalists

Austin Berry (Chicago Fire)

Nick DeLeon (D.C. United)

Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)

Xbox Individual Fair Play Finalists*

Ante Jazic (Chivas USA)

Logan Pause (Chicago Fire)

Heath Pearce (New York Red Bulls)

*Selected by MLS based on objective criteria such as fouls committed, cards received, games &minutes played, as well as subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior.

Xbox Team Fair Play Finalists*

Chicago Fire

Houston Dynamo

New England Revolution

*Selected by MLS based on objective criteria such as fewest fouls committed, cards received, and on subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior.

Defender of the Year Finalists

Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes)

Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)

Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City)

MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year Finalists

Kei Kamara (Sporting Kansas City)

Michael Lahoud (Philadelphia Union)

Chris Seitz (FC Dallas)

Referee of the Year Finalists

Silviu Petrescu

Baldomero Toledo

Armando Villarreal

Assistant Referee of the Year Finalists

Ian Anderson

Gregory Barkey

Corey Parker

Coach of the Year Finalists

Ben Olsen (D.C. United)

Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City)

Frank Yallop (San Jose Earthquakes)

Comeback Player of the Year Finalists

Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes)

Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)

Chris Pontius (D.C. United)

Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists

Michael Gspurning (Seattle Sounders FC)

Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA)

Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)

Newcomer of the Year Finalists

Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes)

Michael Gspurning (Seattle Sounders FC)

Federico Higuain (Columbus Crew)

Volkswagen Most Valuable Player Finalists

Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)

Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Awards Announcements Schedule:

Schedule subject to change

November 19: MLS Rookie of the Year, Xbox Fair Play Individual &Team of the Year

November 20: MLS Defender of the Year, MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year, and Referee/Assistant Referee of the Year

November 26: 2012 MLS Best XI

November 27: MLS Coach of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year

November 28: Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year and Newcomer of the Year

November 29: AT&T Goal of the Year, MLS Save of the Year and Volkswagen MLS MVP

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