MLS announced the finalists for the 2021 MLS season awards on Monday, and two LA Galaxy players were among those in the running for individual honors.
Defender Julian Araujo was named a finalist for two awards, MLS Young Player of the Year, for players 22 years old and younger, and for Humanitarian of the Year.
Future is bright.— Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 15, 2021
Which young star deserves it. pic.twitter.com/vxGY1CnBPe
Great players. Better people.— Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 15, 2021
This group made impacts both on the pitch and in the community. pic.twitter.com/oSILKr7xzl
His teammate, forward Chicharito, is a finalist for Comeback Player of the Year.
Star power— Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 15, 2021
Who should be the Comeback Player of the Year? pic.twitter.com/2OEIoqm9Bl
In handicapping these contests, I think Araujo has stiff competition for Young Player of the Year, and while he certainly has a chance to win, I think Ricardo Pepi is likely the favorite for this one. Humanitarian of the Year is also hard to project, but I think it’s a toss-up and his work in his hometown of Lompoc could very well give him the honor.
Comeback Player of the Year is a total mystery, to be honest. Let’s break down the criteria, which is something we do every year: “Honors an MLS player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the 2021 regular season.”
I don’t really know what Gil “came back” from, frankly. Honestly Andy Najar should be a finalist and inexplicably is not. Salloi is coming back from being bad for a couple seasons, which, ok. Chicharito is coming back from being hurt and a bad debut season in MLS, which is also pretty hmmmm. What I’m saying is I don’t think any of these candidates jump out as clear winners of this muddled award, but I think there’s a 50/50 chance Chicharito will win, because of his star status and to be fair, he came back from being bad last year.
We’ll see if Araujo or Chicharito take these awards, but many congratulations to them for being finalists in the league awards this year.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.