New England’s Kevin Alston: Finally, a truly worthy MLS comeback player of the Year


In all honesty, MLS Comeback Player of the Year has been something of an odd duck, and one where the choices don’t always make sense.

Eddie Johnson won in 2012, and I am still attempting to understand what exactly the man “came back” from? Yes, his career was on the brink of extinction, and I suppose that’s it. But don’t we usually think about players overcoming injury – not overcoming their own career decisions and inability to catch on overseas?

But that wasn’t as weird as the year before; the time line of injury and recovery didn’t exactly jibe as David Beckham was named MLS top comebacker for 2011.

Bobby Convey claimed the award in 2010, but … uh … what? Convey played in 26 matches in 2009, so whatever he was “coming back” from was apparently a well-kept secret.

At any rate, we come to the award in 2013, and now we land on a truly worthy choice in New England’s Kevin Alston.

Alston, a four-year starter at Gillette Stadium, had to take break from all things soccer in April when he was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia. He returned to the field in late July after four-and-a-half months of treatment.