Schweinsteiger, Villa and Valeri make the cut as MLS sets 2017 MVP ballot

MLS has announced the 53 players who will be on the ballot for the league's top individual honor

MLS has announced the 53 players named to the ballot for the 2017 Most Valuable Player award, with Bastian Schweinsteiger, David Villa and Diego Valeri among the stars making the cut.

New York City FC star Villa is looking to become the first player to win back-to-back MVP honors, having recorded 20 goals and nine assists this season.

Portland Timbers playmaker Valeri appears to be Villa's stiffest opposition for the prize, having become the first midfielder in MLS history to score 20 goals in a season.

Each club submitted up to three nominees for the award, though the league-worst LA Galaxy declined to have any names included on the ballot.

Here is the full list:

Atlanta United: Miguel Almiron, Josef Martinez, Hector Villalba

Chicago Fire: Nemanja Nikolic, Bastian Schweinsteiger

Colorado Rapids: Dominique Badji, Marlon Hairston, Tim Howard

Columbus Crew: Federico Higuain, Ola Kamara, Justin Meram

D.C. United: Luciano Acosta, Bill Hamid

FC Dallas: Michael Barrios, Maximiliano Urruti

Houston Dynamo: Juan David Cabezas, Alberth Elis, Roman Torres

Minnesota United: Ibson, Christian Ramirez, Bobby Shuttleworth

Montreal Impact: Ignacio Piatti

New England Revolution: Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Lee Nguyen

New York City FC: Alexander Ring, David Villa

New York Red Bulls: Sacha Kljestan, Bradley Wright-Phillips

Orlando City: Joe Bendik, Kaka, Jonathan Spector

Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake, Haris Medunjanin, C.J. Sapong

Portland Timbers: Diego Valeri

Real Salt Lake: Kyle Beckerman, Joao Plata, Albert Rusnak

San Jose Earthquakes: Florian Jungwith, Marco Urena, Chris Wondolowski

Seattle Sounders: Clint Dempsey, Stefan Frei, Nicolas Lodeiro

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Sporting Kansas City: Matt Besler, Tim Melia, Ike Opara

Toronto FC: Michael Bradley, Sebastian Giovinco, Victor Vazquez

Vancouver Whitecaps: Fredy Montero, Yordy Reyna, Kendall Waston

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