Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Mike Magee celebrate after Magee's… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )
Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena has repeatedly said striker Robbie Keane was Major League Soccer's best player for much of the season. But apparently he's not among the most valuable.
MLS released a list of finalists for its major postseason awards Thursday, and Keane's name was nowhere to found despite the fact he finished fourth in the league in scoring with 16 goals.
Keane also finished first in something called the Castrol Index, a mathematical formula similar to the NFL's quarterback rating that measures everything a player does during a game. And he had a goal or assist in 15 of the Galaxy's final 19 games, leading the team out of the Western Conference cellar to within a game of a second consecutive appearance in the MLS Cup.
The Galaxy plays Sunday in Seattle in the second leg of the MLS Western Conference finals, needing only to protect a 3-0 lead to advance to the championship game it won last year. Keane has scored a pair of goals in each of the Galaxy's last two playoff games.
Keane was not alone in his omission, with no Galaxy player listed among the finalists in any category. Even Chivas USA, the Galaxy's roommate at the Home Depot Center and the conference's last-place team, did better than that, placing two players on the list.
Chivas all-star goalkeeper Dan Kennedy is one of three nominees for best player at the position while defender Ante Jazic is a finalist for the individual fair play prize, awarded based on objective criteria such as fouls committed, cards received and minutes played as well as a subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior.
The three finalists for MVP are Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls, Graham Zusi of Sporting Kansas City and Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes, who tied the league record for goals in a season with 27.
Finalists are chosen based on results of ballots cast by current MLS players, MLS club officials (coaches, technical directors, public relations staff) and members of the media.
The finalists (winners will be announced later this month):
Rookie of the Year: Austin Berry (Chicago Fire), Nick DeLeon (D.C. United), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Individual Fair Play: Ante Jazic (Chivas USA), Logan Pause (Chicago Fire), Heath Pearce (New York Red Bulls)
Team Fair Play: Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamo, New England Revolution
Defender of the Year: Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City)
Humanitarian of the Year: Kei Kamara (Sporting Kansas City), Michael Lahoud (Philadelphia Union), Chris Seitz (FC Dallas)
Referee of the Year: Silviu Petrescu, Baldomero Toledo, Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referee of the Year: Ian Anderson, Gregory Barkey, Corey Parker
Coach of the Year: Ben Olsen (D.C. United), Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City), Frank Yallop (San Jose Earthquakes)
Comeback Player of the Year: Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Michael Gspurning (Seattle Sounders FC), Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA), Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)
Newcomer of the Year: Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Gspurning (Seattle Sounders FC), Federico Higuain (Columbus Crew)
Most Valuable Player: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
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