Final_Celly_DCvNYRB_10.27.2021_XD_DSC6742

NEW YORK (October 28, 2021) – Major League Soccer today announced the nominees for the 2021 End of Year Awards and confirmed that voting is set to kick off on Friday, Oct. 29 (12 p.m. ET) and last through Monday, Nov. 8 (5 p.m. ET). MLS will release a list of finalists prior to the start of the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs.

MLS Year-End Awards will be determined through voting from three groups:

  • Current MLS players.
  • MLS clubs (coaches, technical directors/general managers).
  • Select media members representing local and national outlets who consistently covered the 2021 MLS regular season.

Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to weigh in the top plays of the season with both the AT&T Goal of the Year and MLS Save of the Year presented by Allstate by casting their votes on MLSsoccer.com.

Below is the list of nominees for each award.

2021 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player

*Description: Most Valuable Player in MLS during the 2021 regular season.

  • Atlanta United: Ezequiel Barco, Marcelino Moreno
  • Austin FC: Diego Fagundez, Alex Ring
  • Chicago Fire FC: Luka Stojanović, Gastón Giménez
  • FC Cincinnati: Geoff Cameron, Luciano Acosta
  • Colorado Rapids: Jack Price, Michael Barrios
  • Columbus Crew: Lucas Zelarayan, Darlington Nagbe
  • FC Dallas: Ricardo Pepi
  • D.C. United: Ola Kamara, Julian Gressel
  • Houston Dynamo FC: Fafa Picault
  • Sporting Kansas City: Daniel Sallói, Johnny Russell
  • LA Galaxy: Javier "Chicharito" Hernández, Julián Araujo
  • Los Angeles Football Club: Cristian Arango, Jose Cifuentes
  • Inter Miami CF: Gonzalo Higuaín, Gregore
  • Minnesota United FC: Emanuel Reynoso
  • CF Montreal: Djordje Mihailovic, Romell Quioto
  • Nashville SC: Hany Mukhtar
  • New England Revolution: Carles Gil, Gustavo Bou
  • New York Red Bulls: Carlos Coronel
  • New York City FC: Valentin Castellanos, James Sands
  • Orlando City SC: Nani, Mauricio Pereyra
  • Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake
  • Portland Timbers: Diego Chara, Felipe Mora
  • Real Salt Lake: Damir Kreilach, Aaron Herrera
  • San Jose Earthquakes: Eduardo 'Chofis' Lopez, Cristian Espinoza
  • Seattle Sounders FC: João Paulo, Raúl Ruidíaz
  • Toronto FC: Yeferson Soteldo
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Maxime Crépeau, Ryan Gauld

MLS Defender of the Year

* Description: Best defender in MLS during the 2021 regular season.

  • Atlanta United: Miles Robinson
  • Austin FC: Jhohan Romaña, Žan Kolmanič
  • Chicago Fire FC: Carlos Terán, Mauricio Pineda
  • FC Cincinnati: Geoff Cameron
  • Colorado Rapids: Auston Trusty, Keegan Rosenberry
  • Columbus Crew: Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams
  • FC Dallas: Ema Twumasi
  • D.C. United: Andy Najar
  • Houston Dynamo FC: Teenage Hadebe
  • Sporting Kansas City: Andreu Fontas, Ilie Sánchez
  • LA Galaxy: Julián Araujo, Derrick Williams
  • Los Angeles Football Club: Jesus Murillo, Mamadou Fall
  • Inter Miami CF: Leandro González Pirez, Nicolás Figal
  • Minnesota United FC: Michael Boxall, Bakaye Dibassy
  • CF Montreal: Kamal Miller, Rudy Camacho
  • Nashville SC: Walker Zimmerman
  • New England Revolution: DeJuan Jones
  • New York Red Bulls: Sean Nealis
  • New York City FC: James Sands, Alexander Callens
  • Orlando City SC: Antonio Carlos, Robin Jansson
  • Philadelphia Union: Jakob Glesnes, Jack Elliott
  • Portland Timbers: Claudio Bravo, Dario Zuparic
  • Real Salt Lake: Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad
  • San Jose Earthquakes: Nathan, Tanner Beason
  • Seattle Sounders FC: Yeimar Gómez Andrade
  • Toronto FC: Richie Laryea
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Florian Jungwirth, Ranko Veselinović 

MLS Comeback Player of the Year

*Description: Honors an MLS player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the 2021 regular season. Read player comeback information here.

  • Atlanta United: Miles Robinson
  • Austin FC: Jhohan Romaña, Žan Kolmanič
  • Chicago Fire FC: Carlos Terán, Mauricio Pineda
  • FC Cincinnati: Geoff Cameron
  • Colorado Rapids: Auston Trusty, Keegan Rosenberry
  • Columbus Crew: Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams
  • FC Dallas: Ema Twumasi
  • D.C. United: Andy Najar, Julian Gressel
  • Houston Dynamo FC: Teenage Hadebe
  • Sporting Kansas City: Andreu Fontas, Ilie Sánchez
  • LA Galaxy: Julián Araujo, Derrick Williams
  • Los Angeles Football Club: Jesus Murillo, Mamadou Fall
  • Inter Miami CF: Leandro González Pirez, Nicolás Figal
  • Minnesota United FC: Michael Boxall, Bakaye Dibassy
  • CF Montreal: Kamal Miller, Rudy Camacho
  • Nashville SC: Walker Zimmerman
  • New England Revolution: DeJuan Jones
  • New York Red Bulls: Sean Nealis
  • New York City FC: James Sands, Alexander Callens
  • Orlando City SC: Antonio Carlos, Robin Jansson
  • Philadelphia Union: Jakob Glesnes, Jack Elliott
  • Portland Timbers: Claudio Bravo, Dario Zuparic
  • Real Salt Lake: Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad
  • San Jose Earthquakes: Nathan, Tanner Beason
  • Seattle Sounders FC: Yeimar Gómez Andrade
  • Toronto FC: Richie Laryea
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Florian Jungwirth, Ranko Veselinović

MLS Newcomer of the Year

*Description: The best newcomer in MLS during the 2021 regular season. For this award, “newcomer” is defined as a player who made his MLS debut in 2021.

  • Atlanta United: Santiago Sosa, Luiz Araujo
  • Austin FC: Cecilio Domínguez, Sebastián Driussi
  • Chicago Fire FC: Gabriel Slonina
  • FC Cincinnati: Brenner, Tyler Blackett
  • Colorado Rapids: Lucas Esteves
  • Columbus Crew: Steven Moreira
  • FC Dallas: Szabolcs Schön
  • D.C. United: Nigel Robertha
  • Houston Dynamo FC: Teenage Hadebe
  • Sporting Kansas City: Remi Walter
  • LA Galaxy: Rayan Raveloson, Jonathan Bond
  • Los Angeles Football Club: Cristian Arango
  • Inter Miami CF: Gregore, Nick Marsman
  • Minnesota United FC: Franco Fragapane
  • CF Montreal: Joaquin Torres, Sunusi Ibrahim
  • Nashville SC: Luke Haakenson
  • New England Revolution: Arnór Traustason
  • New York Red Bulls: Patryk Klimala
  • New York City FC: Thiago Andrade, Santiago Rodriguez
  • Orlando City SC: Silvester van der Water
  • Philadelphia Union: Leon Flach
  • Portland Timbers: Claudio Bravo, Santiago Moreno
  • Real Salt Lake: Rubio Rubin, Anderson Julio
  • San Jose Earthquakes: Eduardo 'Chofis' Lopez, Nathan
  • Seattle Sounders FC: Léo Chú
  • Toronto FC: Yeferson Soteldo
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Déiber Caicedo, Ryan Gauld 

Young Player of the Year

*Description: The best young player in MLS during the 2021 regular season. For this award, any “young player” in MLS who is age 22 or younger during the calendar year is eligible for the award.

For 2021, any player born on or after Jan.1, 1999 is eligible, and any player born on or before Dec. 31, 1998, is ineligible. Only players who meet the age requirement are eligible.

  • Atlanta United: Ezequiel Barco, George Bello
  • Austin FC: Moussa Djitté, Daniel Pereira
  • Chicago Fire FC: Gabriel Slonina, Brian Gutierrez
  • FC Cincinnati: Brenner, Alvaro Barreal
  • Colorado Rapids: Braian Galván, Cole Bassett
  • Columbus Crew: Alexandru Matan
  • FC Dallas: Ricardo Pepi, Jesús Ferreira
  • D.C. United: Kevin Paredes, Moses Nyeman
  • Houston Dynamo FC: Griffin Dorsey
  • Sporting Kansas City: Jaylin Lindsey, Cam Duke
  • LA Galaxy: Efraín Álvarez, Julián Araujo
  • Los Angeles Football Club: Jose Cifuentes
  • Inter Miami CF: Christian Makoun, Indiana Vassilev
  • Minnesota United FC: Joseph Rosales
  • CF Montreal: Sunusi Ibrahim, Mathieu Choinière
  • Nashville SC: Jack Maher
  • New England Revolution: Tajon Buchanan
  • New York Red Bulls: John Tolkin
  • New York City FC: James Sands, Thiago Andrade
  • Orlando City SC: Daryl Dike, Andrés Perea
  • Philadelphia Union: Leon Flach
  • Portland Timbers: Santiago Moreno
  • Real Salt Lake: David Ochoa
  • San Jose Earthquakes: Cade Cowell, Marcos López
  • Seattle Sounders FC: Josh Atencio, Danny Leyva
  • Toronto FC: Jacob Shaffelburg
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Déiber Caicedo, Ranko Veselinović 

MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year

*Description: Honors an MLS player who showed outstanding dedication to charitable efforts and serving the community during the 2021 season. Read player bios on these efforts here.

  • Atlanta United: Mikey Ambrose
  • Austin FC: Brad Stuver
  • Chicago Fire FC: Jonathan Bornstein
  • FC Cincinnati: Nick Hagglund
  • Colorado Rapids: Kellyn Acosta
  • Columbus Crew: Josh Williams
  • FC Dallas: Nkosi Tafari
  • D.C. United: Julian Gressel
  • Houston Dynamo FC: Zarek Valentin
  • Sporting Kansas City: Ilie Sánchez
  • LA Galaxy: Julián Araujo
  • Los Angeles Football Club: Jordan Harvey
  • Inter Miami CF: Victor Ulloa
  • Minnesota United FC: Jacori Hayes
  • CF Montreal: Victor Wanyama
  • Nashville SC: Taylor Washington
  • New England Revolution: Teal Bunbury
  • New York Red Bulls: Sean Davis
  • New York City FC: Sean Johnson
  • Orlando City SC: Nani
  • Philadelphia Union: Matt Freese
  • Portland Timbers: Diego Chara
  • Real Salt Lake: Zac MacMath
  • San Jose Earthquakes: JT Marcinkowski
  • Seattle Sounders FC: Stefan Frei
  • Toronto FC: Justin Morrow
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Tosaint Ricketts

Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year

*Description: Best head coach in MLS during the 2021 regular season.

  • Atlanta United: Gonzalo Pineda
  • Austin FC: Josh Wolff
  • Chicago Fire FC: Frank Klopas
  • FC Cincinnati: Tyrone Marshall (interim head coach)
  • Colorado Rapids: Robin Fraser
  • Columbus Crew: Caleb Porter
  • FC Dallas: Marco Ferruzzi (interim head coach)
  • D.C. United: Hernán Losada
  • Houston Dynamo FC: Tab Ramos
  • Sporting Kansas City: Peter Vermes
  • LA Galaxy: Greg Vanney
  • Los Angeles Football Club: Bob Bradley
  • Inter Miami CF: Phil Neville
  • Minnesota United FC: Adrian Heath
  • CF Montreal: Wilfried Nancy
  • Nashville SC: Gary Smith
  • New England Revolution: Bruce Arena
  • New York Red Bulls: Gerhard Struber
  • New York City FC: Ronny Deila
  • Orlando City SC: Oscar Pareja
  • Philadelphia Union: Jim Curtin
  • Portland Timbers: Gio Savarese
  • Real Salt Lake: Pablo Mastroeni
  • San Jose Earthquakes: Matías Almeyda
  • Seattle Sounders FC: Brian Schmetzer
  • Toronto FC: Javier Perez (interim head coach)
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Vanni Sartini (acting head coach)

Referee of the Year

  • Jair Marrufo
  • Robert Sibiga
  • Armando Villarreal

Assistant Referee of the Year

  • Frank Anderson
  • Ian Anderson
  • Cory Richardson