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Portland Timbers Successfully Avoid Fair Play Award

The Timbers got to fouling this year and kept the fair play award out of Portland.

Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Since winning the 2011 Fair Play Award the Portland Timbers have successfully avoided winning the award for a second time, now extending their streak to three years thanks largely to the contributions of midfielder Diego Chara, but with strong supporting play from Alvas Powell, Pa Modou Kah, and Rodney Wallace. The award will instead reside with the Philadelphia Union this year thanks to their remarkably low total of fouls and cards.

Chara finished the year with a ridiculous 83 fouls, eighteen more than the next most prolific fouler in MLS and five more than the next three Timbers combined. Where Chara could have done more is on the card front: although his eight yellow cards put him in a six-way tie for sixth place in the league.

Wallace and Urruti, although nowhere near the clip of Chara's foul every 33 minutes, did pick up fouls at a good rate. Wallace managed a foul every 42 minutes, while Urruti was whistled for a foul every 44.

Powell had a bit of a drop off in his fouling rate, getting called once every 50 minutes, but his red card against Columbus early in the season, one of the Timbers' three reds this year, was a big help toward keeping the Fair Play Award out of Portland.

For his part, Kah still managed to pick up five yellow cards in only 20 games played. Although he has not as prodigious a fouler as some of his teammates, Kah matched Chara almost exactly, earning a yellow every 348 minutes played to the midfielder's yellow every 343.

The MLS Press Release:

Promising FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele scoops

2014 AT&T Rookie of the Year Award

Columbus Crew SC Defender Earns Record-tying Third Xbox Individual Fair Play Award, while Philadelphia Union snag Xbox Team Fair Play Award

NEW YORK (Monday, Nov. 24, 2014) – A talented forward and stalwart center back took home the honors as Major League Soccer today announced the 2014 AT&T Rookie of the Year and the Xbox Individual Fair Play awards.  FC Dallas front man and Canadian-born, Tesho Akindele, earned the Rookie nod, while Michael Parkhurst of Columbus Crew SC won the Individual Fair Play title. The Philadelphia Union were also recognized with the Xbox Team Fair Play Award.

2014 AT&T Rookie of the Year: Tesho Akindele – FC Dallas

A goal hungry and lightning-fast player drafted out of the Colorado School of Mines, where he holds the school’s all-time goal scoring record, Tesho Akindele made his presence known in FC Dallas’ 2014 campaign. The rookie forward made 26 appearances in the regular season, 18 of which were starts, logging 1,748 minutes and playing every minute of the Hoops’ playoff run. The 22-year-old recorded seven goals and three assists during the regular season, adding a goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Akindele was named MLS Player of the Week for week 23 after he recorded his first MLS hat trick in a 5-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Aug. 16.

All first-year players in MLS, without previous professional experience, were eligible for the AT&T Rookie of the Year award, voted by media, MLS players and MLS club management based on regular season performance. The other two finalists were Chicago Fire midfielder Harry Shipp and D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum. Below is a breakdown of the voting for the top four candidates:

Player (Club)

% of Club Votes

% of Media Votes

% of Player Votes

Weighted Total

Tesho Akindele (DAL)

29.12

26.10

31.18

86.40

Harry Shipp (CHI)

22.34

22.78

27.90

73.02

Steve Birnbaum (DC)

16.86

22.89

23.33

63.08

Chis Duvall (NY)

3.87

1.20

1.11

6.18

2014 Xbox Individual Fair Play Award: Michael Parkhurst – Columbus Crew SC

This year’s winner of the Xbox Individual Fair Play award has proven a true gentleman on the field, while still churning out gritty defensive displays for Columbus Crew SC. Michael Parkhurst joined the Crew prior to the 2014 season and proceeded to log 2,806 minutes in 33 games, committing just 11 fouls and drawing one yellow card. In five MLS seasons, the Rhode Island native has never recorded more than 12 fouls and two yellow cards in a single season. Parkhurst is the second player in MLS history to win the Xbox Fair Play Award three times.

This award is selected by MLS based on objective criteria such as fouls committed, cards received, games & minutes played, as well as subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior. The other two finalists were Chicago Fire midfielder Harry Shipp and Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe.

2014 Xbox Team Fair Play Award: Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union earned the fewest cards in MLS in 2014, receiving 37 yellow cards and five red cards throughout the season. Additionally, the Union’s 413 fouls were the fifth-lowest in the league. This is the club’s first time winning the award.

The award is selected by MLS based on objective criteria such as fewest fouls committed and cards received, and subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior.

AT&T Rookie of the Year Winners

2014: Tesho Akindele – FC Dallas

2013: Dillon PowersColorado Rapids

2012: Austin Berry – Chicago Fire

2011: C.J. Sapong – Sporting Kansas City

2010: Andy Najar – D.C. United

2009: Omar GonzalezLA Galaxy

2008: Sean Franklin – LA Galaxy

2007: Maurice EduToronto FC

2006: Jonathan Bornstein – Chivas USA

2005: Michael Parkhurst – New England Revolution

2004: Clint Dempsey – New England Revolution

2003: Damani Ralph – Chicago Fire

2002: Kyle Martino – Columbus Crew

2001: Rodrigo Faria - MetroStars

2000: Carlos Bocanegra – Chicago Fire

1999: Jay Heaps – Miami Fusion

1998: Ben Olsen – D.C. United

1997: Mike Duhaney – Tampa Bay Mutiny

1996: Steve Ralston – Tampa Bay Mutiny

Xbox Fair Play Award - Individual Winners:

2014: Michael Parkhurst – Columbus Crew SC

2013: Darlington Nagbe – Portland Timbers

2012:  Logan Pause – Chicago Fire

2011:  Sébastien Le Toux – Philadelphia Union

2010:  Sébastien Le Toux – Philadelphia Union

2009:  Steve Ralston – New England Revolution

2008:  Michael Parkhurst – New England Revolution

2007:  Michael Parkhurst – New England Revolution

2006:  Chris KleinReal Salt Lake

2005:  Ronald Cerritos – San Jose Earthquakes

2004:  Eddie Pope – Metro Stars

2003:  Brian McBride – Columbus Crew

2002:  Mark Chung – Colorado Rapids

2001:  Alex Pineda Chacon – Miami Fusion

2000:  Steve Ralston – Tampa Bay Mutiny

1999:  Steve Ralston – Tampa Bay Mutiny

1998:  Thomas Dooley – Columbus Crew

1997:  Mark Chung – Kansas City Wizards

Xbox Fair Play Award -Team Winners:

2014: Philadelphia Union

2013:  LA Galaxy

2012:  New England Revolution

2011:  Portland Timbers

2010:  San Jose Earthquakes

2009:  Chicago Fire

2008:  New England Revolution

2007:  Columbus Crew

2006:  Kansas City Wizards

2005:  Kansas City Wizards

2004:  Columbus Crew

2003:  New England Revolution

2002:  Kansas City Wizards

2001:  San Jose Earthquakes

2000:  Tampa Bay Mutiny

1999:  Columbus Crew

1998:  Kansas City Wizards

1997:  Columbus Crew