Seattle Sounders FC forward Fredy Montero beat out teammates Kasey Keller and Freddie Ljungberg for Major League Soccer’s newcomer of the year award, which was announced Tuesday.
The award is given annually to the player who is in his first MLS season but has prior professional experience (making him ineligible for rookie of the year).
This season, all three newcomer finalists were Sounders – the only MLS postseason award category dominated by one club.
Montero tied for third in the league in goals (12) and game-winning goals (four). He led MLS in shots (86), suffered the second-most fouls (62) and was seventh in shots on goal (32).
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A 22-year-old Colombian, he came to the Sounders from Deportivo Cali, where he twice led the Colombian First Division in scoring.
“This is a great honor for Fredy because he faced some formidable competition for the award within our own team,” coach Sigi Schmid said through a Sounders press release. “He had a great first season in MLS, and we’re very proud of his accomplishment.”
Schmid is a finalist for the league’s coach of the year honor, which will be announced today. He has won the award twice: in 1999 with Los Angeles and last season with Columbus.