Olsen wins Coach of the Year, Wallace Comeback Player in MLS awards

IMAGE, DC UNITED

On Tuesday, Major League Soccer announced the winners of two more end-of-season awards. Portland’s Rodney Wallace was voted Comeback Player of the Year, while Ben Olsen won Coach of the Year.

Wallace played only 17 games in 2014 after missing the first half of the season  with a knee injury suffered during last year’s playoffs. He was a regular with the Costa Rican national team before the injury, and likely missed this summer’s World Cup as a result. In Wallace’s 12 starts, he scored five goals for the Timbers as they made an unsuccessful push towards the playoffs. He becomes the first Portland player to win the award.

Coming in a close second was Charlie Davies, who overcame injuries to become a regular with the New England Revolution. It’s the second time that Davies has been a runner up for the award. Seattle keeper Stefan Frei was not far behind in third, and actually won voting among both the clubs and media.

It comes as no surprise that DC United’s Ben Olsen won Coach of the Year. In 2013, DC posted just three wins, a record low for the franchise, and there were some who expected Olsen to lose his job. This year, though, he rewarded management’s faith in him with an incredible turnaround, taking DC to the best regular season record in the Eastern Conference. In addition to securing  a spot in next year’s CONCACAF Champions League, Olsen led the team to the knockout stage of the current tournament.

Olsen won the voting in a landslide, taking first place among all three groups of voters. Sigi Schmid finished in a distant second after leading Seattle to the Supporters Shield. Colombus’ Greg Berhalter and Dallas’ Oscar Pareja rounded out the top four.

MLS will announce the league’s most valuable player tomorrow at a press conference in Los Angeles. Due to that location, many assume that the award will go to LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane.