Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, a finalist for both MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, came up short on both ballots Wednesday, finishing third in the voting for both awards. The Sounders had just one winner of a postseason award, Eddie Johnson, named the Comeback Player of the Year Tuesday.
Although Gspurning led MLS with a 0.73 goals-against average, he lost the Goalkeeper of he Year award to Sporting Kansas City’s Jimmy Nielsen, who led the league with 18 wins, including 15 shutouts, and a 0.79 goals-against average. Gspurning also finished second in winning percentage at 57 percent and second in save percentage at 77 percent.
Chivas USA’s Dan Kennedy placed second in Goalkeeper of the Year voting.
Nielsen finished with 49% of the club vote, 70% of the media vote and 26% of the player vote. Kennedy’s totals were 12%, 3% and 14%, respectively, while Gspurning received 12%, 4% and 11%. Nick Rimando of Real Salt Lake finished fourth in voting and Columbus Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum placed fifth.
In Newcomer of the Year voting, Columbus Crew midseason acquisition Federico Higuain won after posting five goals and seven assists in just 13 games. Higuain won 30% of the media vote and trailed San Jose defender Victor Bernardez in both the club and player votes. Bernardez finished second, while Gspurning finished third, followed by Vancouver defender YP Lee and Houston midfielder Boniek Garcia.
Sounders players captured Goalkeeper of the Year (Kasey Keller) and Newcomer of the Year (Mauro Rosales) in 2011.