Finalists for the Toyota Award Announced – And Other Soccer Goodness

While most of you are probably asking; “Is an award for a fuel efficient car?”  It is not.Landon Donovan

“…the 2009 Honda Player of the Year Award that honors the best performer on the U.S. national team.” and the finalist are: LA Galaxy (MLS) midfielder – Landon Donovan, Everton (English Premier League) goalie – Tim Howard, and Hull City (EPL) striker – Jozy Altidore.

Here is the press release from ESPN.com, which I quoted earlier.

This is a great topic as US Soccer has become the “IT” team as they upset Spain and made it the finals to play Brazil in the Confederation Cup this summer, and writer Bill Simmons has become a fan of the game, which gets them even more ESPN.com front page coverage.

The three finalists have proven extremely valuable to the US National Team.  Howard and Donovan have been regulars on the first team for years, but Altidore has just recently taken hold of a starting spot.  But if you take these players off the team, the US would not have a chance of getting to South Africa in 2010.

Tim HowardEveryone knows Donovan.  He has been the “next great hope” for nearly ten years , he currently is the captain of LA Galaxy, has always been good on the national team.  But this summer has seen take his game to a new level.  He has taken over for a when the team needed him and knows when and how to use his teammates.  His creativity and pace have pushed him to new confidence and has turned in some quality goals.

Howard has firmly taken his place on top the list of talented-bald-headed-American goal keepers.  Howard has kept the US team in many games.  When he is on top of his game, he seems to be one step ahead, getting to lose balls with authority and commanding the defense like a general.  He has been one of the best keepers in England on a team that is lacking a solid back line.Jozy Altidore

Altidore is unlike the other two.  He is here because he performed well this summer, but he is younger, only 19-year-old, and does not have the body of work like Howard and Donovan.  That said, Altidore is the future of American soccer and we have seen his progress against some of the best teams in the world.  Even from the early part of the summer, he have seen his first touch get better, and his ability to hold of defenders with his strength is impressive.  At this rate, we will see on this list of finalist for many years to come.

This is not the award for the best American player, its for the player who has performed the best for the US National Team.  It is tough a decision between Howard and Donovan.  You could really argue the case for either guy and it would make sense.

If the choice were up to me, I would pick…wait for it…Landon Donovan.

Without Donovan, the US would look lost.  The don’t have another player as creative as Donovan and he can change the game quickly and is not afraid to involve his teammates.

USA Roster – Honduras/Costa Rica from USSoccer.com

Players Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate Hometown Club/College Caps/Goals
Altidore, Jozy F 5-11 175 11/06/89 Boca Raton, Fla. Hull City (England) 19/8
Bocanegra, Carlos D 6-0 170 05/25/79 Alta Loma, Calif. Stade Rennais (France) 72/11
Bornstein, Jonathan D 5-9 145 11/07/84 Los Alamitos, Calif. Chivas USA 22/1
Bradley, Michael M 6-2 175 07/31/87 Manhattan Beach, Calif. Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany) 36/6
Casey, Conor F 6-1 170 07/25/81 Gilpin, Colo. Colorado Rapids 14/0
Cherundolo, Steve D 5-6 145 02/19/79 San Diego, Calif. Hannover 96 (Germany) 54/2
Ching, Brian F 5-11 195 05/24/78 Haleiwa, Hawaii Houston Dynamo 43/10
Clark, Ricardo M 5-10 150 05/10/83 Jonesboro, Ga. Houston Dynamo 25/2
Conrad, Jimmy D 6-2 185 02/12/77 Temple City, Calif. Kansas City Wizards 26/1
Cooper, Kenny F 6-3 210 10/21/84 Dallas, Texas 1860 Munich (Germany) 9/4
Davies, Charlie F 5-10 160 06/25/86 Manchester, N.H. Sochaux (France) 16/4
Dempsey, Clint F 6-1 170 03/09/83 Nacogdoches, Texas Fulham FC (England) 59/17
Donovan, Landon M 5-8 150 03/04/82 Redlands, Calif. Los Angeles Galaxy 118/41
Feilhaber, Benny M 5-9 150 01/19/85 Irvine, Calif. AGF Aarhus (Denmark) 26/2
Goodson, Clarence D 6-4 170 05/17/82 Alexandria, Va. IK Start (Norway) 6/1
Guzan, Brad GK 6-4 210 09/09/84 Homer Glen, Ill. Aston Villa (England) 13/0
Holden, Stuart M 5-10 160 08/01/85 Houston, Texas Houston Dynamo 8/2
Howard, Tim GK 6-3 210 03/06/79 North Brunswick, N.J. Everton FC (England) 46/0
Onyewu, Oguchi D 6-4 210 05/13/82 Olney, Md. AC Milan (Italy) 49/5
Rogers, Robbie M 5-10 165 05/12/87 Huntington Beach, Calif. Columbus Crew 6/1
Spector, Jonathan D 6-0 180 03/01/86 Arlington Heights, Ill. West Ham United (England) 20/0
Torres, Jose Francisco M 5-7 135 10/29/87 Longview, Texas Pachuca (Mexico) 6/0

Bradley Names 22-Man Roster To Prepare For Final CONCACAF Qualifying Matches For The 2010 FIFA World Cup Against Honduras and Costa Rica.

Info from USSoccer.com.

Other American Soccer Articles

Destination 2010: America’s quest to play in World Cup 2010 all hinged on one week in Septemberby Luke Cyphers for ESPN the Magazine

Donovan ‘proud’ of Beckham’s MLS progress by Martin Rogers from Yahoo Sports.

Donovan should headline MLS’ Best XI lineupby Kristian Dyer for ESPNsoccernet.

Random David Beckham Thought

As I have stated before, I am almost done with Grant Wahl’s books, The Beckham Experiment. And after reading and watching some clips, I need to ask a question to all soccer fans out there.

Why has nothing been said about the fact since leaving ManU, he has always signed with clubs that have Adidas as thier kit/jersey provider?

Everyone knows that Beckham has been an Adidas guy for years, but I find this very interesting, for lack of a better word.  Maybe this is more commonplace than I thought.  But since he left ManU – jerseys made my Nike – he has been with Real Madrid, LA Galaxy and AC Milan – all have their jerseys provided by Adidas.

david-beckham-real-madridDavid_Beckham_LA_Galaxy6736626

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