Sounders FC

Four Sounders among MLS awards finalists

Four members of Seattle Sounders FC are among the finalists for Major League Soccer’s postseason awards.

Forward Obafemi Martins is among three finalists for the league’s most valuable player, while Chad Marshall is in contention for defender of the year, goalkeeper Stefan Frei for comeback player and Sigi Schmid for the coach of the year.

“I’m very proud of the nominations for Chad Marshall, for Obafemi Martins and for Stefan Frei,” Schmid said. “I think each of them have had excellent seasons, and those nominations are very much deserved. In regards to my nomination, a coach’s nomination is a reflection of the quality of his team and his players, and I’m appreciative that my players have had a great season. I know I wouldn’t be nominated (otherwise), and I’m very proud of what they’ve accomplished this year.”

Seattle won the Supporters’ Shield with a 20-10-4 record and will open the Western Conference championship series Sunday at Los Angeles.

Martins’ club-record 17 goals were fifth in MLS. The Sounders went 12-0-0 in games when Martins scored.

Frei played every minute in his first season in Seattle after making just one appearance over his previous two seasons with Toronto FC, in part due to injuries.

Marshall won the defender award in 2008 and 2009 with the Columbus Crew, while Schmid was voted MLS coach of the year in 1999 with Los Angeles and in 2008 with Columbus.

Three finalists in a dozen categories were announced by the league Thursday. Winners will be rolled out over five announcement days starting Monday and concluding Dec. 4.

Here is the full list:

MVP: Robbie Keane (Los Angeles), Martins, Lee Nguyen (New England).

Rookie: Tesho Akindele (Dallas), Steven Birnbaum (D.C. United), Harrison Shipp (Chicago).

Defender: Bobby Boswell (D.C. United), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles), Marshall.

Coach: Gregg Berhalter (Columbus), Ben Olsen (D.C. United), Schmid.

Comeback player: Charlie Davies (New England), Frei, Rodney Wallace (Portland).

Goalkeeper: Steve Clark (Columbus), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Salt Lake).

Newcomer: Stefan Ishizaki (Los Angeles), Jermaine Jones (New England), Pedro Morales (Vancouver).

Humanitarian: Diego Chara (Portland), AJ DeLaGarza (Los Angeles), Zach Loyd (Dallas).

Fair play: Darlington Nagbe (Portland), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus), Harrison Shipp (Chicago).

Team fair play: Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Salt Lake.

Referee: Mark Geiger, Jair Marrufo, Alan Kelly.

Assistant referee: Peter Manikowski, Paul Scott, Adam Wienckowski.

The fair play awards are based on objective criteria such as fouls and cards, and subjective evaluations of sportsmanlike behavior.

The other awards were voted on by players, clubs and media.


The Sounders were off Thursday. They will return to training Friday in Carson, California. … Schmid repeated Thursday that defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (leg) is healing and wants to play Sunday. Schmid implied Alonso’s availability will be a game-day decision.