Edson Buddle, who scored 17 goals -- nine of them in the first six games -- to lead the Galaxy to Major League Soccer's Western Conference and Supporters' Shield titles, is one of three finalists for the league's MVP honor.
Teammate Landon Donovan, who won the award last year and led MLS in assists this season, isn't.
Buddle, who won the Galaxy's MVP honor over Donovan, is contending with FC Dallas midfielder David Ferreira and San Jose forward/midfielder Chris Wondolowski for the league's top award. It's a wide-open contest. My vote went: 1. Ferreira; 2. Donovan; 3. Wondolowski.
Omar Gonzalez is a finalist for Defender of the Year, with Real Salt Lake's Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers (my vote: 1. Olave; 2. Borchers; 3. FCD's George John), and Donovan Ricketts is up for Goalkeeper of the Year with UCLA products Kevin Hartman (Palos Verdes/Peninsula HS) of FCD and Nick Rimando (Montclair/Montclair HS) of RSL (my vote: 1. Hartman; 2. Rimando; 3. Ricketts).
Kansas City defender Jimmy Conrad (Temple City/Temple City HS and UCLA) is a Humanitarian of the Year finalists. Former Galaxy defender Chris Albright, now with New York, is a Comeback Player of the Year finalist. Kevin Stott (Brethren Christian HS) is up for Referee of the Year.
The Galaxy's Michael Stephens failed to make the final three in the Rookie of the Year balloting. L.A. defenders Sean Franklin and Gonzalez won the past two seasons.
New York's Thierry Henry and Joel Lindpere, along with RSL's Alvaro Saborio, are finalists for Newcomer of the Year, the second-most prestigious players honor. My vote: 1. Saborio; 2. Lindpere; 3. K.C.'s Ryan Smith.
Award finalists (with date winner will be announced):
MVP (Nov. 19): Edson Buddle (Galaxy), David Ferreira (FC Dallas), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)
Coach of the Year (Nov. 11): Hans Backe (New York), Schellas Hyndman (FC Dallas), Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake)
Newcomer of the Year (Nov. 10): Thierry Henry (New York), Joel Lindpere (New York), Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)
Rookie of the Year (Nov. 3): Danny Mwanga (Philadelphia), Andy Najar (D.C. United), Tim Ream (New York)
Defender of the Year (Nov. 5): Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake), Omar Gonzalez (Galaxy), Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake)
Goalkeeper of the Year (Nov. 3): Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas), Donovan Ricketts (Galaxy), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Fair Play Award (Nov. 3): C.J. Brown (Chicago), Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)
Comeback Player of the Year (Nov. 10): Chris Albright (New York), Bobby Convey (San Jose), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
Humanitarian of the Year (Nov. 8): Brian Ching (Houston), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City), Seth Stammler (New York Red Bulls)
Referee of the Year (Nov. 5): Mark Geiger, Kevin Stott, Baldomero Toledo
Note: Annoucement of MLS Best XI will be Nov. 15, Goal of the Year and Save of the Year will be Nov. 17 and Commissioner's Award will be Nov. 19