D.C. United forward Jaime Moreno, who resurrected his career this season following a severe back injury, was named a finalist yesterday for two MLS awards, including most valuable player.
Moreno, who led the league in assists with 14 and finished tied for third in points with 28, was joined on the MVP list by New York/New Jersey MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara (10 goals, 10 assists) and Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Joe Cannon (10 shutouts). The winner will be announced Nov. 11.
Moreno, 30, a native of Bolivia who played seven seasons for United before spending the 2003 season with the MetroStars, was also named a finalist for comeback player of the year. He played sparingly last year and had to undergo offseason back surgery, which jeopardized his career and left him a free agent until United offered him a tryout last winter.
The other nominees for the comeback award are San Jose Earthquakes forward Brian Ching, who returned from a ruptured Achilles' tendon to tie for the league lead in goals with 12, and Dallas Burn midfielder Ronnie O'Brien, who missed most of last season with a broken leg and had two goals and 10 assists this year.
MLS also announced the finalists for defender of the year: Robin Fraser of the Columbus Crew, Jimmy Conrad of the Kansas City Wizards and Eddie Pope of the MetroStars. The winners of the comeback and defender awards are tentatively scheduled to be announced Nov. 12.
Finalists for rookie and goalkeeper of the year will be unveiled Monday. Nominees for coach of the year, best goal, humanitarian of the year and the fair play award will be released Nov. 8.
-- Steven Goff