Kasey Keller is going out on top. Mauro Rosales' entrance impressed. That's the message from Tuesday's round of Major League Soccer awards as the countdown continues to Sunday's MLS Cup final, pitting the Galaxy against the Houston Dynamo, at Home Depot Center.
Keller, the American legend whose career closed with Seattle's playoff loss nearly two weeks ago, was honored as the league's Goalkeeper of the Year. Rosales, the Argentine wing-playmaker who made such a huge impact for the Sounders after Steve Zakuani's season-ending leg injury, is the Newcomer of the Year, which goes to first-year MLS players with previous professional experience.
Keller is the last of the Americans' great quartet of goalkeepers the past 20 years to win the netminding award. Former UCLA star Brad Friedel won with Columbus in 1997, Tony Meola with Kansas City in 2000, and Tim Howard with New York in 2001.
Keller won among all three constituencies -- media, club management and players -- but it was close between him and Philadelphia's Faryd Mondragon among the players.
The weighed score for Keller was 73.97, with Mondragon at 49.75. Two former UCLA goalkeepers, FC Dallas' Kevin Hartman (Palos Verdes/Peninsula HS) and Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando (Montclair/Montclair HS), finished third and fourth (31.67 and 30.43), and Chivas USA's Dan Kennedy (Placentia/El Dorado HS and UC Santa Barbara) was fifth (19.04).
Previous winners include Hartman (with the Galaxy in 1999) and L.A.'s Donovan Ricketts (last year), Chivas USA's Zach Thornton (in 2009 and 11 years earlier in Chicago), and former Chivas USA keeper Brad Guzan (in 2007).
Rosales crushed the competition for the Newcomer honor, finishing with a weighted 85.15 score. New York's Luke Rodgers (34.63) was second, followed by Vancouver's Eric Hassli (31.45), Mondragon (26.25) and Sporting Kansas City's Omar Bravo (22.02).
Rosales is the fourth South American to win the award since its 2007 inception. Only Luciano Emilio (D.C. United, 2007) doubled as MVP.
Rookie of the Year: C.J. Sapong (Sporting Kansas City)
Coach of the Year: Bruce Arena (Galaxy)
Newcomer of the Year: Mauro Rosales (Seattle)
Defender of the Year: Omar Gonzalez (Galaxy)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Kasey Keller (Seattle)
Best XI: GK -- Kasey Keller (Seattle); D -- Todd Dunivant (Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (Galaxy) and Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake); M -- David Beckham (Galaxy), Brad Davis (Houston) Landon Donovan (Galaxy) and Brek Shea (FC Dallas); F -- Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Thierry Henry (New York) and Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)
Golden Boot: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)
Assists leader: Brad Davis (Houston)
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
Referee of the Year: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referee of the Year: Corey Rockwell
Goal of the Year (Nov. 16)
Save of the Year (Nov. 16)
MVP (Nov. 18)
Commissioner's Award (Nov. 18)