Keane, Magee, Di Vaio or Cahill? Goal take's a look at the prime candidates to win this year's MLS MVP.
The eight games between Saturday and Sunday could also determine who wins this year’s MVP award.
Going into the weekend, forwards Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Robbie Keane (Los Angeles Galaxy) and Marco Di Vaio (Montreal Impact) are the favorites for the award.
Keane’s stats are the most impressive of the three, having racked up a remarkable 15 goals and 11 assists in only 21 games. His having missed more than a third of the games this season does play against him however; other players, like Landon Donovan, have had to pick up the slack for the Galaxy in Keane’s absence. Magee too, who was with the Galaxy at the start of the season, had a hand in the team’s offensive production, scoring six goals in 10 games to help the team to a respectable 5-3-2 record to kick off the year.
The advantage Magee has is that Chicago’s offense was simply abysmal before he was traded to the Windy City in May for Robbie Rogers – they had only managed to score seven goals in 11 games. Magee’s arrival ultimately transformed the Fire, propelling them up the standings into contention for a playoff place, something which would have been unthinkable at the beginning of the season.
Di Vaio has been with the Montreal Impact all season, but where would they be without him? Like Magee, Di Vaio has also scored 20 goals this season, though the 37-year-old has had a better supporting cast. Magee also has four assists, whereas Di Vaio only has two so far. Where the Italian does have an edge, though, is in the fact that he hasn’t taken any of the Impact’s four penalty kicks this season; Di Vaio could very well be at 24 goals instead of 20; four of Magee’s 20 goals came from the penalty spot. Keane had five goals from penalty kicks as well.
Neither Chicago nor Montreal have guaranteed their place in the playoffs and will likely need results in their away fixtures this weekend in order to do so. Not making the postseason would severely lessen their chances of winning MVP.
Vancouver Whitecaps’ forward, Camilo Sanvezzo, has had an excellent season notching 19 goals and six assists, but since the Whitecaps have been eliminated from the playoffs, the Brazilian’s chances have tapered off.
A player who’s recently emerged as a strong candidate for the award is New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill. The Australian has been the Red Bulls’ most influential player this season, and if the Red Bulls can beat Chicago on Sunday and win the Supporters’ Shield then Cahill would have a strong case. It’s rare that a midfielder is named MVP, but 11 goals from midfield is an impressive tally.
With all of the standout performances in MLS this season, the MVP race might only be resolved when all of this weekend's results are in.
Who’s should win MVP? Tell us your choice in the comment section below.
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