PORTLAND – The Portland Timbers were showered with awards this week as player snatched best Goalkeeper of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards and took three of the MLS Best XI slots.
Donovan Ricketts, Diego Valeri, and Will Johnson made the MLS Best XI, Tuesday, with Ricketts and Valeri punching through Wednesday, earning Goalkeeper and Newcomer of the Year respectively.
Jamaican national, Ricketts, 36, achieved a record-setting season with a league high of 14 shutouts, 92 saves, 2,880 minutes played and a GAA of 0.97.
Valeri, 27, hit the ground running in January, after arriving from the Atlético Lanús in Argentine, in his first MLS year. He led the team in goals with 10, and the league in assists with 13. Even after suffering a hernia in the last two months of the season, he continued to play and helped push the Timbers to their first place finish in the Western Conference.
Both awards are based on votes combined by media, MLS players and MLS club management and are based on regular-season performance.
Team Captain, Johnson, 26, bounded in from Real Salt Lake at the head of the season and was the third to hit the MLS Best XI with a career high of 9 goals, 5 assists and 2520 minutes played, a personal best.
2013 MLS Best XI
Goalkeeper – Donovan Ricketts (Portland Timbers)
Defender – Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)
Defender – Jose Goncalves (New England Revolution)
Defender – Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
Midfielder – Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls)
Midfielder – Will Johnson (Portland Timbers)
Midfielder – Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
Midfielder – Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forward – Marco Di Vaio (Montreal Impact)
Forward – Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
Forward – Mike Magee (Chicago Fire)