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D.C. United’s Ben Olsen and Chris Pontius named as finalists for year-end League awards

Washington, D.C. (November 2, 2009) - Major League Soccer today announced the finalists for its 2009 year-end awards. Among the finalists are D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen - up for Comeback Player of the Year - and United midfielder/forward Chris Pontius - up for Rookie of the Year.

The Comeback Player of the Year awarded will be announced on November 10, while Rookie of the Year will be revealed on November 12. The full list of finalists, as well as the announcement schedule follows.

2009 Major League Soccer Awards Finalists:

Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists
Kasey Keller - Seattle Sounders FC
Donovan Ricketts - Los Angeles Galaxy
Zach Thornton - Chivas USA

Fair Play Finalists - Individual
Kasey Keller - Seattle Sounders FC
Pat Onstad - Houston Dynamo
Steve Ralston - New England Revolution

Comeback Player of the Year Finalists
Brian McBride - Chicago Fire
Ben Olsen - D.C. United
Zach Thornton - Chivas USA

Visa Defender of the Year Finalists
Geoff Cameron - Houston Dynamo
Jhon Kennedy Hurtado - Seattle Sounders FC
Chad Marshall - Columbus Crew

adidas Referee of the Year Finalists
Alex Prus
Ricardo Salazar
Kevin Stott

Rookie of the Year Finalists
Stefan Frei - Toronto FC
Omar Gonzalez - Los Angeles Galaxy
Chris Pontius - D.C. United

Coach of the Year Finalists
Bruce Arena - Los Angeles Galaxy
Sigi Schmid - Seattle Sounders FC
Robert Warzycha - Columbus Crew

Newcomer of the Year Finalists
Kasey Keller - Seattle Sounders FC
Freddie Ljungberg - Seattle Sounders FC
Fredy Montero - Seattle Sounders FC

Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists
Jeff Cunningham - FC Dallas
Landon Donovan - Los Angeles Galaxy
Shalrie Joseph - New England Revolution

Awards Announcements Schedule:
Schedule subject to change

Wednesday, November 4
Goalkeeper of the Year
Fair Play Award Individual & Team

Thursday, November 5
Visa Defender of the Year
adidas Referee of the Year & Assistant Referee of the Year

Friday, November 6
MLS W.O.R.K.S. - U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year

Tuesday, November 10
MLS Newcomer of the Year
MLS Comeback Player of the Year

Wednesday, November 11
MLS Coach of the Year

Thursday, November 12
Rookie of the Year

Monday, November 16
MLS Best XI

Wednesday, November 18
Goal of the Year presented by AT&T
Save of the Year presented by Degree Men

Thursday, November 20
Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player

Saturday, November 22
MLS Commissioner’s Award

Broadcasting and P.A. Request: When speaking of the organization, please refer to the team as either “D.C. United” or “United,” but not “the D.C. United” or “the United.” We appreciate your cooperation.

Doug Hicks, dhicks@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5448,

Boris Flores, bflores@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5452,

Kyle Sheldon, ksheldon@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5450 or

Cristina Cruz, ccruz@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5440