Four members of Seattle Sounders FC — Sigi Schmid (coach of year), forward Obafemi Martins (most valuable player), Chad Marshall (defender of year) and goalkeeper Stefan Frei (comeback player) — have been selected as finalists for Major League Soccer postseason accolades. The awards will be announced in the coming weeks.
Schmid is one of three candidates for the coaching honor, which he has won twice. This year, he led the Sounders to a 20-10-4 record, a Supporters’ Shield trophy and a spot in the Western Conference finals opposite the LA Galaxy. Schmid’s Sounders also won their fourth U.S. Open Cup this year en route to leading the league with 64 points.
On Aug. 10, Schmid, in his sixth season with the Sounders, became the first coach in league history to record 200 victories.
Gregg Berhalter of the Columbus Crew and Ben Olson of D.C. United are the other candidates.
Martins set a club record with 17 goals (fifth in MLS) and matched the club mark with 13 assists (tied for fifth in MLS). His five multi-goal games were tied for second, and his four game-winning assists were tied for fourth. Martins started 29 of his 31 appearances and accumulated 2,600 minutes. The Sounders went 12-0-0 in games in which Martins scored a goal.
Robbie Keane of the LA Galaxy and Lee Nguyen of New England are also MVP candidates.
Completing his first season with Seattle, Marshall started and played 90 minutes in all 31 of his appearances. The 11-year MLS veteran led the league with 136 interceptions and recorded 126 headers won, 206 clearances and an 83 percent passing accuracy. Marshall previously won MLS Defender of the Year with the Columbus Crew in 2008 and 2009.
Marshall is in the running for top defender along with Bobby Boswell of D.C. United and Omar Gonzalez of the LA Galaxy.
Also in his first season in Seattle, Frei played every minute of the 2014 season after making just one appearance in the last two seasons with Toronto FC due to injury. Frei set a league record for the post-shootout era with 20 wins, finishing third in MLS with nine shutouts and first with a 59 percent win percentage.
Charlie Davies of New England and Rodney Wallace of Portland are also comeback nominees.
The Sounders previously had four players earn MLS postseason awards. Fredy Montero was newcomer in 2009, Mauro Rosales newcomer in 2011, Kasey Keller goalkeeper in 2011, and Eddie Johnson comeback in 2012.