Sebastian Giovinco, Victor Vazquez and Michael Bradley are in the running for MLS’ MVP award.
Don’t get too excited: today’s initial list simply comprises the submissions made by each club for the award. Every MLS team can nominate up to three of its players for consideration by voters (players, technical staffers and select media).
The voting will then narrow the list down to three finalists and choose a winner.
It’s not clear exactly who decides on Toronto’s list, but it is not particularly surprising. The consensus has been that the battle for the team’s own MVP award will be between Vazquez and Bradley.
Giovinco and Jozy Altidore have once again formed one of the most potent partnerships in the league, and the Italian’s superior stats (15 goals and six assists in 23 games versus 13 goals and six assists in 25 games) get him the nod in the other spot. It’s also worth noting that a number of Giovinco’s goals have been timely, clutch efforts.
Toronto have had plenty of other good performers - Alex Bono, Chris Mavinga, Marky Delgado and Justin Morrow stand out - but none were likely to have the name power to be in with a shot at this award.
Not all clubs have submitted three players, and many of the others that have are really stretching. Kaka, anyone? How about Wondo?
All three of Toronto’s nominees have a chance, though, even if there is probably an equal or better one that none are nominated. Diego Valeri is the obvious favourite to win the prize, and David Villa will almost certainly be at least a final-three nominee again. Josef Martinez will be in with a shot despite his injury problems, too, if he finishes the year strongly.
For what it’s worth, my final three would be the three Vs: Valeri, Vazquez and Villa. What’s yours?
Atlanta United: Miguel Almiron, Josef Martinez, Tito Villalba
Chicago Fire: Nemanja Nikolic, Bastian Schweinsteiger
Colorado Rapids: Dominique Badji, Marlon Hairston, Tim Howard
Columbus Crew: Federico Higuain, Justin Meram, Ola Kamara
D.C. United: Luciano Acosta, Bill Hamid
FC Dallas: Michael Barrios, Maxi Urruti
Houston Dynamo: Juan David Cabezas, Alberth Elis, Erick Torres
Minnesota United: Ibson, Bobby Shuttleworth, Christian Ramirez
Montreal Impact: Ignacio Piatti
New England Revolution: Antonio Delamea, Lee Nguyen
New York City FC: Alex Ring, David Villa
New York Red Bulls: Sacha Kljestan, Bradley Wright-Phillips
Orlando City: Joe Bendik, Jonathan Spector, Kaka
Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake, C.J. Sapong, Haris Medunjanin
Portland Timbers: Diego Valeri
Real Salt Lake: Kyle Beckerman, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata
San Jose Earthquakes: Florian Jungwirth, Marco Urena, Chris Wondolowski
Seattle Sounders: Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro, Stefan Frei
Sporting Kansas City: Ike Opara, Tim Melia, Matt Besler
Toronto FC: Michael Bradley, Sebastian Giovinco, Victor Vazquez
Vancouver Whitecaps: Fredy Montero, Yordy Reyna, Kendall Waston