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MLS MVP Race Still Up For Grabs

Who should be MVP?

A few weeks ago, it seemed Guillermo Barros Schelotto was a lock to win the award. He had a whopping 18 assists and his squad was on its way to the Supporters Shield. But Mr. Schelotto has been nicked up down the stretch, and the Crew actually continued to win without him. While I still think he will get the MVP Award, there are some other players slowly improving their chances of hijacking the hardware.

Take Kenny Cooper, for example. He’s been finishing the season strong and has singlehandedly led his team into playoff contention.

If the former Burn don’t make the playoff cut, then he obviously will be out. If they do, I still think Schelotto is more deserving of the award. Sure, Kenny Cooper has scored 18 goals, but he’s taken over 120 shots this season. That’s more than 50 more than the next closest player in the entire league. Mr. Donovan has taken less than half that number of shots (59), yet has more goals (19). Cooper has found the net, but he has also had a plethora of opportunities.

Then, there is Donovan himself. No, wait, he can’t win, he plays for the Galaxy. Never mind. As impressive as his stats may look (19 goals and 9 assists), his goals have not been too valuable to the Galaxy, since they have not resulted in wins. If this is the end of his MLS career, so be it. He has the skills to be successful abroad, maybe more successful than any offensive player in US history. Good luck to him. He’s clearly not crazy about MLS anymore, so let ’em go. He’ll catch on somewhere.

Jaime Moreno has 10 goals and 9 assists. Good season. But ditto the Donovan analysis above. If your team sucks, you do not win the MVP. Kljestan, Ralston and Morales have been good too and damn valuable to their teams, but they lack the flashy numbers to win the award.

Heck, Jon Busch probably deserves the award, but I doubt he’ll get it, even though his 0.96 GAA is best in the league, and if he earns two shutouts to end the season, could challenge the record for best ever in MLS. Only Hartman has had more saves.

Busch won’t get it though. Tony Meola is the only MLS keeper to ever get it (and Meola won just about every award that year). I don’t see Busch becoming #2.

So, I guess it will be Schelotto… Unless Cooper can perhaps notch 3 more goals.

He could do it. He’ll take at least 10 more shots.

Or (maybe) Busch could win.

But if I were him and wanted to win it, I’d start rocking the pony tail Meola-style pronto. The voters obviously like imaginative hair and/or facial hair. Exhibit A, Carlos Valderrama.