ProSoccerTalk’s MLS awards choices: Most Valuable Player

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We continue to roll out our choices for the league’s top defender, top goalkeeper, top rookie, MVP and more:

Today we look at ProSoccerTalk’s writer’s picks for Major League Soccer’s Most Valuable Player:

  • Steve Davis

source: APRobbie Keane, Los Angeles Galaxy

There are great arguments for several players – more than I can remember for a single season, in fact. Mike Magee, Marco Di Vaio, Camilo and Will Johnson would all make splendid choices. But Keane was consistently the best player I watched this year, always sharp of movement, unwavering in his commitment. And then the argument really ends for me on the raw statistical, scoring evidence: only one player in Major League Soccer contributed directly to more goals. Keane was in on 27 Galaxy strikes (16 goals, 11 assists). Only Camilo (22 goals, 6 assists) nicked the Irish international, and that came on the final-day push, with playoffs out of the question. Keane’s significant contributions to a better team seal the deal for me.

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  • Richard Farley

source:  Mike Magee, Chicago Fire

This isn’t a most valuable to their team-thing. I don’t believe in that. I vote for the best player in the league, and almost remarkably, I felt Mike Magee was MLS’s best. From journeyman to opportunist to legitimate front line, impact player, Magee’s 2013 is the culmination of a remarkable, prolonged arc. While this isn’t a get out of the wheelchair and walk-level miracle, it is astounding how we got here. In a league that has Keane, Henry, Cahill, Di Vaio, and Donovan, Mike Magee was the best player. And I’m more than okay with that. I’m thrilled.

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  • Joe Prince-Wright

source:  Will Johnson, Portland Timbers

He meshes everything together for the Portland Timbers and has scored some fantastic goals. That’s not really what his game is all about as Johnson harries and harasses the opposition and suits the Timbers’ high-pressing approach perfectly. The Canadian international midfielder has been an inspired pick up by Caleb Porter and is the heart and soul of his team. A true box-to-box player, Johnson can do it all with ease.

LA FC continues active offseason with addition of Laurent Ciman

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It seems like Major League Soccer’s latest expansion team is taking a page out of Atlanta United’s playbook in its buildup to the 2018 season.

[ MORE: NYCFC provides stadium details for Belmont proposal ]

After selecting five players in Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft, Los Angeles FC announced that it will be sending two of those players to the Montreal Impact.

LA FC will be sending Jukka Raitala and Raheem Edwards to the Impact.

The return? Bob Bradley and LA FC will acquire Impact center back Laurent Ciman — who has proven to be one of the best defenders in MLS since arriving in 2015.

“Laurent is a top defender who provides leadership and great distribution,” Bradley said upon acquiring Ciman. “His experience in the league and with the Belgian National Team will be invaluable as we build our club.”

With the addition of Ciman now in place, LA FC has built a strong central defensive partnership after the club also brought in former FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman in a trade on Sunday.

The expansion side already made a major splash with its first Designated Player signing this year, bringing in Mexican international Carlos Vela.

Huddersfield 1-3 Chelsea: Blues bounce back on the road

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Chelsea picked up a convincing road victory on Tuesday as the Blues topped Huddersfield Town, 3-1, at the Kirklees Stadium.

[ MORE: Gremio reaches Club World Cup final ]

The Blues came out hungry following Sunday’s defeat at West Ham, and an unlikely goalscorer gave  Conte’s group the lead.

Sloppy passing at the back saw Willian with the ball at the top of the Huddersfield area, before the Brazilian brilliantly played Tiemoué Bakayoko in on goal for his second finish of the season.

Willian — who played a key role throughout the match — extended the Chelsea advantage three minutes prior to halftime when his header snuck past Terriers goalkeeper Jonas Lössl.

Chelsea was clicking on all cylinders after halftime, when Willian helped set up Pedro for his third goal of the Premier League season.

Meanwhile, Laurent Depoitre pulled a goal back late for the hosts, but it was too late to rescue a result for Huddersfield.

Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford: Eagles storm back late, move up to 17th

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All things were pointing towards Watford’s direction on Tuesday, but a late change in fortune gave the Eagles a share of the points.

[ MORE: Burnley climbs into Premier League top four ]

A pair of late goals gave Crystal Palace a 2-1 win over Watford at Selhurst Park, and pulled Roy Hodgson’s side out of the relegation zone.

Bakary Sako and James McArthur each found the back of the net after the 87th minute to complete an important comeback for the Eagles. Now, Palace sits 17th in the PL standings on 14 points.

The big moment of the match came in the 87th minute, when Tom Cleverley was sent off after picking up his second yellow card.

Three minutes into the match, Daryl Janmaat struck for the visitors after the Dutchman headed home Richarlison‘s cross from close-range.

Burnley 1-0 Stoke City: Barnes’ late strike guides Clarets into top four

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Don’t look now, but the Clarets have climbed into the Premier League top four.

Burnley found a way Stoke City late on Tuesday, picking up a 1-0 win at the Turf Moor behind Ashley Barnes‘ late finish.

[ MORE: Gremio reaches Club World Cup final, awaits Real Madrid or Al Jazira ]

The Clarets, who have now secured 31 points over their first 17 matches this season, leapfrogged Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham with the victory. However, all three sides will be in action on Wednesday.

Steven Defour nearly put Burnley ahead on 69 minutes, when the front man tested Stoke keeper Jack Butland — who had to make a sprawling save to his right.

While Stoke mustered up several quality chances, it was Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s blast in the first half that nearly found the top left corner.

Next up for Burnley will be a date against Brighton on Saturday, while Stoke travels to Huddersfield the same day.