The Race for MLS MVP

As the 2015 MLS regular season draws to a close, we take a look at three players that have placed themselves ahead of the pack in the race for this year’s MVP. Last season, none of these three were playing stateside, but the transition to the MLS has done little to hinder their talents. Here are my three favorites to take home the MLS MVP:

Kei Kamara

After two years of plying his trade across the pond in English football, Kei Kamara has returned to the MLS stronger than ever. The Columbus Crew midfielder currently sits as the league’s top scorer with 22 tallies, and his unbelievable form in front of the net is a large reason why the Crew looks set to make a run in the playoffs. When Kamara was originally drafted by the Ohio club way back in 2006, he looked ill-equipped to deal with the pressure of playing professionally and a lack of experience with that level of competition saw him finish with just five goals after 36 appearances.

Now in nearly his tenth season as a professional soccer player, Kamara is starting to show the talent and goal scoring ability that convinced the Crew to take him ninth overall when they drafted him. The 31-year-old has shown no signs of his age as his pace and strength in the air have made him a constant threat whenever the ball finds its way into the attacking third. His 22-goal season makes him an obvious player to consider for MVP.

David Villa

Arguably the biggest player to join the MLS other than David Beckham was David Villa. The Spanish legend has won titles with the likes of Barcelona and Atlético Madrid while also becoming the national team’s all-time leading scorer. When New York City FC introduced Villa as their first ever signing, it was seen as a clear message that they were ready to compete for silverware in the league.

Even during this newest stage of his career, Villa has continued to show the lethal goal scoring that made him a champion in Europe. Despite playing without the likes of Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo for the majority of the season, Villa has still managed to score 18 times for his new club. The fact that the 33-year-old was able to still have such a massive impact even with an arguably weaker side than some of the other big names in the league, perhaps adds more weight to his MVP campaign.

Sebastian Giovinco

Sebastian Giovinco, MVP candidate

Image: Tom Szczerbowski

By far, the favorite to take home this year’s MVP has to be Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco. The Italian striker has made himself an immediate favorite to all MLS fans with his dazzling moves on the pitch, and his highlight reel strikes. Through his first season away from the Juventus system, Giovinco has sparked a resurgence in form that once made him a consistent player for the Italian national team.

The Atomic Ant has put away 21 goals this season, while also providing a league-best 12 assists. Within those 21 goals are some unbelievable free kicks, some thunderous strikes from distance, and some maze-y runs through helpless defenders. The amount of excitement and amazement that Giovinco has brought not only to Toronto, but to the entire league, paired with his incredible statistical contribution, should make Giovinco the clear choice to take home the MVP in his first ever MLS season.

Even though Kamara is the league’s leading scorer, and even though David Villa has performed admirably with a less talented roster, Sebastian Giovinco should be this year’s MVP. The Italian is head and shoulders above the rest of the league in terms of talent, and should be recognized as such. Final Rankings: 1. Giovinco 2. Kamara 3. Villa

 

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About the author: Collin Carpio

 

I am currently a senior at the University of Missouri in the Journalism School. I have been an avid follower of Manchester United since 2006 and of course I support the Stars and Stripes. Due to my St. Louis high school allegiances, I am a big supporter of Brad Davis and Sporting KC in MLS.

 

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