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Friday, November 18, 2011
De Ro wins MLS's biggest prize

By Scott French

CARSON -- Turns out David Beckham was wrong.


It's Dwayne De Rosario, not Brad Davis, who captured Major League Soccer's top award, and the voting wasn't close.

The D.C. United attacker, who won the Golden Boot as MLS's top scorer, was revealed as MVP early Friday morning, about 10 hours before a news conference scheduled to make the announcement.

Davis, whose leadership and distribution was pivotal in the Houston Dynamo's run to Sunday's MLS Cup final against the Galaxy, had widely been expected to win the honor. Beckham -- a contender who finished well below where he should have in the vote of media, players and club officials -- had said in passing nearly two weeks ago that Davis had “got the MVP, and rightly so, the service that he provides for their team.”

De Rosario almost universally was considered MLS's best player this year, lifting D.C. United into the playoff race after starting the year with Toronto FC and spending a short stint with New York. Is he the MVP? D.C. faded at the finish and missed the playoffs -- De Ro is the first MLS MVP from a club that didn't reach the postseason -- while others (Davis and Philadelphia's Sebastien Le Toux, perhaps most of all) pulled their clubs into favorable positions during the stretch drive.

De Ro's quality won out over context, and he won among all three voting blocs, massively among his peers, who gave him 26.38 percent of the vote and nobody else above 9 percent.

De Rosario weighted score was 72.72, and he was followed by Davis (43.66), FC Dallas' Brek Shea (27.59), Galaxy captain Landon Donovan (26.52) and Seattle's Mauro Rosales (19.30).

Shea drew more players' votes than did Davis, who was close to De Rosario (25.91 percent to 21.24 percent) in the media balloting. Donovan finished third in the club vote, tied with Davis for third in the player vote but received only 5.18 percent of media support.

MVP: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)
Rookie of the Year: C.J. Sapong (Sporting Kansas City)
Coach of the Year: Bruce Arena (Galaxy)
Newcomer of the Year: Mauro Rosales (Seattle Sounders)
Defender of the Year: Omar Gonzalez (Galaxy)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders)
Best XI: GK -- Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders); D -- Todd Dunivant (Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (Galaxy) and Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake); M -- David Beckham (Galaxy), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo) Landon Donovan (Galaxy) and Brek Shea (FC Dallas); F -- Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls) and Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Golden Boot: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)
Assists leader: Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)
Comeback Player of the Year: David Beckham (Galaxy)
Humanitarian of the Year: Zak Boggs (New England Revolution)
Fair Play/Individuals: Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union)
Fair Play/Team: Portland Timbers
Goal of the Year: Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), vs. Sporting Kansas City on July 2
Save of the Year: Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders), serquence vs. San Jose on Oct. 15
Referee of the Year: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referee of the Year: Corey Rockwell

Coming up ...
Commissioner's Award (Friday night)

MLS MVPS
1996 -- Carlos Valderrama (Tampa Bay Mutiny)
1997 -- Preki (Kansas City Wizards)
1998 -- Marco Etcheverry (D.C. United)
1999 -- Jason Kreis (Dallas Burn)
2000 -- Tony Meola (Kansas City Wizards)
2001 -- Alex Pineda Chacon (Miami Fusion)
2002 -- Carlos Ruiz (Galaxy)
2003 -- Preki (Kansas City Wizards)
2004 -- Amado Guevara (MetroStars)
2005 -- Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)
2006 -- Christian Gomez (D.C. United)
2007 -- Luciano Emilio (D.C. United)
2008 -- Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew)
2009 -- Landon Donovan (Galaxy)
2010 -- David Ferreira (FC Dallas)
2011 -- Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)