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Johnson wins MLS comeback player award, Zakuani 5th; San Jose’s Yallop wins coach award, Schmid 5th

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Nov. 27, 2012 at 8:58 am with No Comments »
November 27, 2012 5:30 pm

This news just in from the club:

Major League Soccer today announced Seattle Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson was voted 2012 MLS Comeback Player of the Year.

Johnson finished sixth in the Golden Boot race with a club record 14 goals, and added three assists. The U.S. international playing his first season for Seattle appeared in a career-high 28 matches and helped Sounders FC reach the Western Conference Championship for the first time in club history. He also led the league with nine header goals, and added three goals in outside competitions.

“I would like the entire Sounders organization for giving me this opportunity in Seattle,” said Johnson. “This was a fun and exciting year and I share this award with my coaches and teammates for pushing me to be the best player I can be.”

Johnson, 28, signed with Sounders FC on February 17 after playing four years in Europe. He has been capped 44 times by the US National Team, including two appearances in 2012 World Cup Qualifiers. In his return to the national team, Johnson netted two goals against Antigua and Barbuda and an assist against Guatemala, helping the United States advance to the hexagonal stage. He now has 14 goals for the US National Team, and ranks second all-time with 10 goals in World Cup Qualifiers.

Johnson was named MLS Player of the Week twice this season (Weeks 22 and 27) and was named to the Team of the Week three times. Johnson was also named an MLS All-Star for the third time in his career. He was previously named Comeback Player of the Year with Kansas City in 2007.

And here’s an earlier release from the league:

Major League Soccer today announced the 2012 Coach of the Year and the Comeback Player of the Year awards.

2012 Coach of the Year: Frank Yallop – San Jose Earthquakes
This season Yallop led the San Jose Earthquakes to its second Supporters’ Shield in club history, a drastic turnaround from the club’s 14th place finish in 2011. Yallop and the Earthquakes fell just two points shy of the MLS single-season points record, set by LA Galaxy in 1998 (68 points).

With 114 regular season wins, Yallop is tied for fourth overall in MLS history with current Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear. As a coach, Yallop has made five trips to the MLS Cup Playoffs and claimed two MLS Cup titles (2001, 2003) during his ten year career.

The award was voted on by media, MLS players and MLS club management based on regular season performance. The other two finalists were D.C United’s Ben Olsen and Sporting Kansas City’s Peter Vermes. The top five finishers: Frank Yallop (SJ), Peter Vermes (SKC), Ben Olsen (DC), Frank Klopas (CHI) and Sigi Schmid (SEA).

2012 Comeback Player of the Year: Eddie Johnson – Seattle Sounders FC
After struggling to find consistency for three years playing in Europe, Eddie Johnson returned to Major League Soccer to join Seattle Sounders FC ahead of the 2012 season. The move resurrected Johnson’s career for both club and country.

Johnson regained his form this season, scoring 14 goals and recording three assists in 28 games played to help the Sounders FC reach the MLS Cup playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. In October, Johnson received his first United States national team call up since May 2010. He scored two decisive goals against Antigua and Barbuda, which propelled the U.S. into the hexagonal round of World Cup Qualifying.

This is Eddie Johnson’s second Comeback Player of the Year award. He previously received the honor in 2007 when he scored 15 goals for the Kansas City Wizards after only scoring twice in the season prior.

The award was voted on by media, MLS players and MLS club management based on regular season performance. The other two finalists were D.C United midfielder Chris Pontius and San Jose Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon. The top five finishers: Eddie Johnson (SEA), Chris Pontius (DC), Alan Gordon (SJ), David Ferreira (DAL), Steve Zakuani (SEA).

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