Four Timbers Among Top Three Vote Getters for 2013 MLS Awards

Diego Valeri and Darlington Nagbe could win MLS awards - Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Porter, Darlington Nagbe, Diego Valeri and Donovan Ricketts are up for league-wide awards to be announced over next two weeks.

Today MLS announced the top three vote getters in each of its major award categories, based on media, players, coaches and technical directors voting that took place just before the end of the regular season. While the voting is already complete, the league has shared the top of each list to give fans an idea of who will be in line to win these awards over the next two weeks. The Portland Timbers have three players and manager Caleb Porter listed in the following categories:

Coach of the Year:

Caleb Porter, Mike Petke, Jason Kreis

Individual Fair Play:

Darlington Nagbe, Jalil Anibaba, Nat Borchers

Newcomer of the Year:

Diego Valeri, Jose Goncalves, Nigel Reo-Coker

Goalkeeper of the Year:

Donovan Ricketts, Nick Rimando, Jimmy Nielsen

Here is the club's official press release with all of the players, coaches and referees up for each award:

FOUR TIMBERS NAMED FINALISTS FOR 2013 MLS AWARDS
Caleb Porter, Darlington Nagbe, Donovan Ricketts, Diego Valeri finalists for league awards

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter, midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe, goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and midfielder Diego Valeri were named finalists in their respective categories as Major League Soccer today announced the finalists for its 2013 awards. The winners for each award will be revealed in the coming weeks.

The finalists for each award earned the most votes in polling of current MLS players, MLS clubs and media members who regularly covered the 2013 season.

Porter, 38, is a finalist for MLS Coach of the Year in his first season with the Timbers. Guiding the Timbers to a 23-point turnaround from the 2012 season and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, Porter’s club lost just five matches, which tied the MLS record for fewest losses in a 34-game regular season. Porter steered the Timbers to MLS club single-season records in points (57), goals scored (54), wins (14) and shutouts (15), among other categories. Among first-year MLS coaches, Porter ranks as one of the all-time leaders in winning percentage (.632), points and shutouts. Under Porter’s guidance, the Timbers registered an MLS-record, 43-goal turnaround in goal differential compared to the 2012 season while posting a season-high, plus-21 goal differential in 2013. Mike Petke (New York) and Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake) are the other Coach of the Year finalists.

Nagbe, 23, the league’s most fouled player during the 2013 regular season, is a finalist for the Xbox Individual Fair Play award. The award is selected by MLS based on objective criteria such as fouls committed, cards received, games and minutes played, as well as subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior. Nagbe, who started all 34 games for the Timbers while recording nine goals and four assists, is joined by defenders Jalil Anibaba (Chicago) and Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake) as finalists.  

Ricketts, 36, is a finalist for Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year following a standout season with Portland that saw the Jamaican international set MLS career highs in shutouts (14), saves (92) and minutes played (2,880). The 2010 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, Ricketts was a 10-time winner of MLSsoccer.com’s Save of the Week and ranked among league leaders in wins (13), goals-against average (0.97) and saves percentage (73 percent) while logging three of the league’s top 10 longest streaks without conceding a goal during the regular season. Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) and Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City) join Ricketts as finalists.

Valeri, 27, is a finalist for MLS Newcomer of the Year after leading the Timbers in scoring during the regular season. In his first season in MLS after joining Portland from Argentine club Atlético Lanús, Valeri finished as the league leader with 13 assists while setting Timbers MLS club single-season records in both goals (10) and assists (13). Appearing in 31 games (28 starts), Valeri compiled a stretch of four straight games with an assist, tied for the longest streak in MLS this season from July 27-Aug. 21. Defender Jose Goncalves (New England) and midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker (Vancouver) are the other two finalists.

2013 Major League Soccer Awards Finalists

AT&T Rookie of the Year
Deshorn Brown (Colorado Rapids)
Dillon Powers (Colorado Rapids)
DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

Xbox Individual Fair Play
Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers)
Jalil Anibaba (Chicago Fire)
Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake)

Xbox Team Fair Play
Houston Dynamo
LA Galaxy
Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Defender of the Year
Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)
Jose Goncalves (New England)
Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)

MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year
Jeb Brovsky (Montreal Impact)
Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)
Matt Reis (New England)

Referee of the Year
Ismail Elfath
Hilario Grajeda
Baldomero Toledo

Assistant Referee of the Year
Frank Anderson
Bill Dittmar
Kermit Quisenberry

Coach of the Year
Caleb Porter (Portland Timbers)
Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake)
Mike Petke (New York)

Comeback Player of the Year
Kevin Alston (New England)
Conor Casey (Philadelphia)
Lamar Neagle (Seattle Sounders FC)

Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year
Donovan Ricketts (Portland Timbers)
Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)
Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Newcomer of the Year
Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
Jose Goncalves (New England)
Nigel Reo-Coker (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)

Volkswagen Most Valuable Player
Marco Di Vaio (Montreal Impact)
Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
Mike Magee (Chicago Fire)

Awards Announcement Schedule*
Nov. 25: AT&T Rookie of the Year, Xbox Individual Fair Play and Team Fair Play
Nov. 26: Defender of the Year, MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, Referee/Assistant Referee of the Year
Dec. 2: Coach of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year
Dec. 3: 2013 MLS Best XI
Dec. 4: Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year, Newcomer of the Year
Dec. 5: AT&T Goal of the Year, Save of the Year, Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player
* - Schedule subject to change

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