Atlanta United

ATL UTD receives 5 MLS End-of-Season Award Nominations


Major League Soccer today announced the finalists for the 2017 End of Year Awards, honoring the league’s top performers during the 2017 MLS regular season. Atlanta United is represented by five finalists, the most of any club, including Most Valuable Player finalist Miguel Almirón and Coach of the Year finalist Tata Martino. Almirón and Josef Martinez are also finalists for Newcomer of the Year while Julian Gressel is up for AT&T Rookie of the Year.

Almirón, 23, recorded nine goals and a team-high 14 assists and was voted to the MLS All-Star Game in his first season. The Paraguayan midfielder was at the center of an attack that ranked second in the league with 70 goals scored. Atlanta United became just the sixth team in league history to reach that number, while also breaking an MLS expansion team record.

In addition to being named an MVP finalist, Almirón is also up for Newcomer of the Year along with Martinez. The 24-year-old Venezuelan forward scored 19 goals in only 17 starts in his debut MLS season, the most ever by a player on an expansion team. Martínez’s three hat tricks in one season tied an MLS mark while his 0.95 goals per game average ranks third in league history amongst players with a least five goals scored in a single season.

Gressel, drafted No. 8 overall in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, scored five goals and led all rookies with nine assists in his first season. The German midfielder appeared in 32 games and made 24 starts, playing various positions over the course of the season.

Martino led Atlanta to become only the fourth expansion team in MLS history to make the postseason. In his first season in MLS, the Argentine manager guided his side to the fourth-best goal difference (+30) and the fifth-most goals scored (70) in league history. With 55 points, Atlanta finished fourth in the Supporters’ Shield race.

The finalists for each award are listed in alphabetical order below, as well as the announcement schedule for the winner of each.

The finalists earned the most votes in polling of three voting groups:

  • Current MLS players
  • MLS Clubs (Coaches, Technical Directors/General Managers)
  • Media members who consistently covered the 2017 MLS Regular Season

The AT&T Goal of the Year and MLS Save of the Year will be decided by online voting at or the free MLS app from now through November 14. 

2017 Major League Soccer Awards Finalists

(Listed in alphabetical order by last name within each award category)
Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists

Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United)
Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)
Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire)
Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
David Villa (New York City FC)

Newcomer of the Year Finalists*
For this award, “newcomer” is defined as a player with previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2017

Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United)
Josef Martínez (Atlanta United)
Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire)

AT&T Rookie of the Year Finalists
For this award, “rookie” is defined as a player without previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2017

Abu Danladi (Minnesota United FC)
Jack Elliott (Philadelphia Union)
Julian Gressel (Atlanta United)

Coach of the Year Finalists

Gerardo "Tata" Martino (Atlanta United)
Veljko Paunović (Chicago Fire)
Greg Vanney (Toronto FC)

Defender of the Year Finalists

Justin Morrow (Toronto FC)
Ike Opara (Sporting Kansas City)
Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)

Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists

Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC)
Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City)

Comeback Player of the Year Finalists
Honors an MLS player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the 2017 regular season

Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC)
Federico Higuaín (Columbus Crew SC)
Erick Torres (Houston Dynamo)

MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, presented by AdvoCare, Finalists

Ryan Hollingshead (FC Dallas)
Matt Lampson (Chicago Fire)
Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)

MLS Fair Play Finalists – Individual
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.

DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo)
Jahmir Hyka (San Jose Earthquakes)
Dave Romney (LA Galaxy)

MLS Fair Play Finalists - Team
Selected by MLS based on objective criteria such as fewest fouls committed, cards received, and on subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior. 

Chicago Fire
Seattle Sounders FC
Toronto FC

Referee of the Year Finalists

Allen Chapman
Ismail Elfath
Mark Geiger

Assistant Referee of the Year Finalists

Jeremy Hanson
Corey Parker
Adam Wienckowski

Awards Announcement Schedule:
Schedule subject to change

November 2: MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, presented by AdvoCare
November 7: MLS Referee and Assistant Referee of the Year; Fair Play Award – Individual and Team
November 8: AT&T Rookie of the Year
November 9: MLS Defender of the Year
November 14: AT&T Goal of the Year and MLS Save of the Year
November 15: MLS Comeback Player of the Year
November 16: Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year
November 20: Newcomer of the Year
November 27: MLS Coach of the Year
November 28: MLS Best XI
December 4: Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player

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