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Decision Day tipped the scales for several players and clubs as Major League Soccer transitions towards the MLS Cup Playoffs.
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Now, it’s time to take a look back at the best players/coaches from the 2017 season, including the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Below, PST hands out its awards for the 2017 MLS regular season and gives some insight into the selections.
|Matt Reed||Joe Prince-Wright||Nick Mendola||Andy Edwards||Kyle Bonn||Dan Karrell|
|1st place||David Villa||Sebastian Giovinco||Sebastian Giovinco||Diego Valeri||Diego Valeri||Sebastian Giovinco|
|2nd||Diego Valeri||Miguel Almiron||Diego Valeri||David Villa||David Villa||Nemanja Nikolic|
|3rd||Nemanja Nikolic||Diego Valeri||Nemanja Nikolic||Nemanja Nikolic||Nemanja Nikolic||David Villa|
PST thoughts — Reed: “This may be one of the most difficult MVP races to assess in recent seasons simply because of the way that things shaped up towards the end. Nikolic was brilliant, and deservedly won the Golden Boot, but Valeri and Villa each carried their teams to first-round byes with strong efforts throughout the course of 2017. I think Sunday’s effort against the Crew showed just how important Villa is to NYCFC, though, as he nearly picked up his second hat-trick of the season. Without his goals, NYCFC drops to fifth place.”
Manager of the Year
|1st place||Tata Martino||Greg Vanney||Tata Martino||Tata Martino||Caleb Porter||Greg Vanney|
|2nd||Greg Vanney||Carl Robinson||Chris Leitch||Greg Vanney||Greg Vanney||Veljko Paunovic|
|3rd||Chris Leitch||Wilmer Cabrera||Greg Vanney||Patrick Vieira||Patrick Vieira||Caleb Porter|
PST thoughts — Edwards: “It’s crazy to not put the coach of the all-time points record holders first here, but what Tata did this year — quickly melding together 20 guys over the course of seven months and turning them into legitimate contenders — is a slightly tougher task. TFC rolled over 10 of 11 players from last year’s MLS Cup side (adding only Victor Vazquez, the unquestioned missing piece), which significantly lowers the degree of difficulty of the task as hand.”
Rookie of the Year
|1st place||Julian Gressel||Julian Gressel||Julian Gressel||Julian Gressel||Julian Gressel||Julian Gressel|
|2nd||Abu Danladi||Abu Danladi||Jack Elliott||Jackson Yueill||Abu Danladi||Ian Harkes|
|3rd||Jack Elliott||Ian Harkes||Jonathan Lewis||Alex Crognale||Jack Elliott||Abu Danladi|
PST thoughts — JPW: “A rising star for Atlanta, his ability to create goals in a dynamic attack has not been overlooked. Just edges the award ahead of Danladi, Harkes and Jack Elliott.
Newcomer of the Year
|1st place||Nemanja Nikolic||Nemanja Nikolic||Nemanja Nikolic||Josef Martinez||Miguel Almiron||Nemanja Nikolic|
|2nd||Miguel Almiron||Josef Martinez||Romain Alessandrini||Nemanja Nikolic||Nemanja Nikolic||Miguel Almiron|
|3rd||Victor Vasquez||Bastian Schweinsteiger||Miguel Almiron||Romain Alessandrini||Victor Vasquez||Victor Vasquez|
PST thoughts — Mendola: “Was this the best year of imports in MLS history? It’s hard to say otherwise, with Romain Alessandrini, Miguel Almiron, Josef Martinez, even half-season talents like Vako Qazaishvili and Paul Arriola. Well, wow. Nikolic’s 24 goals give him the distinction of leading three different leagues in scoring across four seasons.”Follow @MattReedFutbol
Atlanta United has done just about everything right in its first season in MLS, and the club is already being rewarded.
On Monday, Major League Soccer announced that Atlanta will host the 2018 MLS All-Star Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The new venue has already been a part of MLS history when Atlanta hosted over 71,000 supporters on Sunday in the club’s regular season finale against Toronto FC.
“We’re proud to bring our 2018 All-Star Game to Atlanta, a city and Club that have taken Major League Soccer by storm,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a league statement. “Atlanta United’s success is one of the most compelling and impressive expansion team launches in the history of pro sports, and a testament to Arthur Blank’s vision and leadership, and the tremendous team that he has built both on and off the field.
“Atlanta and its supporters have earned the opportunity to host MLS All-Star week and showcase their passion for the beautiful game.”
The expansion side has taken MLS by storm in its first season in the league, with its supporters purchasing more than 36,000 season tickets and the club averaging roughly 48,200 fans per home match.
To this point, the date and opponent for next year’s All-Star Game are yet to be determined.Follow @MattReedFutbol
The yearly debate as to whom the best player in the world is won’t be settled in the minds of fans across the globe, but on Monday, FIFA gave its two cents.
Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo took home Best Male Player honors at the FIFA Best awards, beating out Lionel Messi and Neymar for the title.
Meanwhile, all three superstars were named in the FIFA Best XI for the year, alongside the likes of Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Andres Iniesta.
Here’s a look at some of the other winners from Monday’s FIFA awards.
Best Male Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
FIFA World XI: Gianluigi Buffon; Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos, Leonardo Bonucci, Marcelo; Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta; Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar.
FIFA Men’s Coach of 2017: Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)
Puskas Award for Best Goal: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)
Best Female Player: Lieke Martens (Netherlands)Follow @MattReedFutbol
The 2017 MLS regular season saw some of the finest performances from players across the league.
New arrivals in Atlanta, such as Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron, garnered a great amount of attention, while Chicago Fire striker Nemanja Nikolic went on to capture the Golden Boot in his first season in MLS.
Stars like Sebastian Giovinco and David Villa continued to leave a lasting impression on the league, but with only 11 spots available for selection, some of game’s best had to be left off.
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Budding U.S. Men’s National Team figures have emerged throughout the MLS scene, including from each of last season’s MLS Cup final squads.
Below is the PST built its Best XI for the 2017 MLS season.
Players that just missed the cut
GK: Luis Robles, Bill Hamid
Defense: Roman Torres, Ike Opara, Andrew Farrell, Joevin Jones
Midfielders: Lee Nguyen, Sacha Kljestan, Alex Ring, Romain Alessandrini
Forwards: Miguel Almiron, Sebastian Giovinco, Justin Meram
Which players would you have included in your Best XI? Who was the best player in the league? Tell us below.Follow @MattReedFutbol