Chivas USA announced its award winners before Saturday night’s loss to Chicago, and you couldn’t argue with any of them. All were determined in a vote by the players:
MVP: Justin Braun
The third-year forward made a huge step forward in 2010, exhibiting an attacking presence absent in his first two seasons. He scored nine goals, several of them real beauties, to lead Chivas.
Defender of the Year: Michael Umaña
The Costa Rican center back was the strongest of Chivas’ defenders, bringing consistency to a backline that too often lacked consistency, both in terms of lineup and of play.
Claudio Suarez Award: Jonathan Bornstein
The award for most inspirational player, and the one who best embodies the spirit of the club -- named after the Mexican great, a former Chivas captain -- was a no-brainer. Bornstein might be the most significant figure in club history, when everything is taken into consideration.
Humanitarian of the Year: Michael Lahoud
The second-year midfielder has been deeply involved in community service since joining Chivas, working with Compton United (a club that caters to at-risk youth) with Wall-Las Memorias Project’s HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, Haiti earthquake relief, Chrysalis (which find jobs for homeless and impoverished in Los Angeles), and America SCORE LA (a program for poet-athletes).