Nashville SC

Mukhtar, Willis, Zimmerman are finalists for MLS end-of-year awards

From League release:

NEW YORK (November 15, 2021) Major League Soccer today announced finalists for the 2021 MLS Year-End Awards, honoring the top performers on and off the field during the regular season. With the spread of finalists recognizing players from 15 MLS clubs, the wealth of talent features more teams with finalists than in any of the last four years.

Among the contenders for the coveted Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Award are five players who have led their sides to a top-four finish in the conference, including MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi winner Valentín “Taty” Castellanos (New York City FC), the league leader in assists Carles Gil (New England Revolution), Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC), João Paulo (Seattle Sounders FC) and Dániel Sallói (Sporting Kansas City).

As MLS continues to showcase young dynamic players on the rise, the LA Galaxy’s Julián Araujo is alongside New England Revolution star Tajon Buchanan of the Canadian National Team and FC Dallas Academy product Ricardo Pepi of the U.S. Men’s National Team in the chase for the Young Player of the Year Award – which recognizes the best player under age 22.

The finalists (in alphabetical order) which follow below earned the most votes in polling among three voting groups:

Current MLS players.
MLS club technical staffs (coaches, technical directors/GMs).
Select group of media members.

2021 Major League Soccer Year-End Awards Finalists
Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists

Valentín Castellanos (New York City FC)
Carles Gil (New England Revolution)
Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC)
João Paulo (Seattle Sounders FC)
Dániel Sallói (Sporting Kansas City)

Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists

Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
Matt Turner (New England Revolution)
Joe Willis (Nashville SC)

Defender of the Year Finalists

Yeimar Gómez (Seattle Sounders FC)
Miles Robinson (Atlanta United)
Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)

Major League Soccer release

Other categories (the ones without an NSC player in the running) are Newcomer, Young Player, Comeback, Humanitarian, Coach, Referee, and Assistant Referee of the Year.

Since I’m among the “select group” of media members, but votes for the relevant categories were Mukhtar for MVP, Blake for Goalkeeper, and James Sands for Defender of the year. At coach – the other category with realistic chances for a Nashville SC representative, in my eyes – my vote went to Colorado Rapids’ Robin Fraser, though Bruce Arena is going to win it in a runaway.

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