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MLS announces 2012 Goalkeeper of the Year and Newcomer of the Year Awards

Sporting KC's Jimmy Nielsen becomes the team's first goalie to win the award since Tony Meola in 2000. Federico Higuain had an instant impact for the Crew.

Major League Soccer announced the winners of its 2012 Goalkeeper and Newcomer of the Year awards. Jimmy Nielsen took the honors for goalkeepers and Federico Higuain was named the league's top new player.

Sporting KC's Danish keeper Nielsen posted a league-best 15 shutouts -- just one behind Tony Meola's all-time record -- and a 0.79 goals-against average, leading the team to a first place finish in the Eastern Conference.

Nielsen was also named to the MLS Best XI, along with his teammates Aurélien Collin, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi. Besler was also named MLS Defender of the Year and Zusi is a finalist for the league MVP award.


Nielsen beat out Chivas USA's Dan Kennedy and Seattle's Michael Gspurning, both men finishing second and third respectively. Here are the results of the voting, which show Nielsen winning by a comfortable margin.

Player (Club)

% of Club Votes

% of Media Votes

% of Player Votes

Weighted Total

Jimmy Nielsen (SKC)

49.12

70.77

26.44

146.33

Dan Kennedy (CHV)

12.28

3.08

14.94

30.30

Michael Gspurning (SEA)

12.28

4.61

11.49

28.38

Nick Rimando (RSL)

8.77

4.61

4.60

17.98

Andy Gruenebaum (CLB)

3.51

9.23

4.60

17.34


The Columbus Crew's Higuain won the Newcomer of the Year award for 2012. Higuain, who is the older brother of Real Madrid star Gonzalo, was a valuable midseason acquisition for the Crew, scoring five goals and adding seven assists in just 13 appearances.

The Newcomer of the Year honors the player who is in his first season in Major League Soccer, but has prior professional experience, making him ineligible for Rookie of the Year honors.

Higuain edged out San Jose's top defender Victor Bernardez in second and Gspurning in third.

Player (Club)

% of Club Votes

% of Media Votes

% of Player Votes

Weighted Total

Federico Higuain (CLB)

17.24

30.77

10.99

59.00

Victor Bernardez (SJ)

18.97

9.23

23.08

51.28

Michael Gspurning (SEA)

15.52

10.77

5.49

31.78

Young-Pyo Lee (VAN)

6.90

4.61

14.29

25.80

Boniek Garcia (HOU)

12.1

4.61

7.69

24.40



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