Friday, November 20, 2009

Exploring the Geography of MLS MVP's

After the LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan was named 2009 MLS Most Valuable Player yesterday, we thought we'd explore the geographies behind where the players have come from who have won the title since the league's inception in 1996.

When analyzing the all-time winners of this award, some interesting geographical MLS MVP notes for your consideration:

-Donovan becomes only the 4th out of the 14 lifetime winners to have been born in the United States.

-Preki, the only player to have won the award twice, was born in Yugoslavia and later became a US citizen.

-Rank of countries producing total number of MVP Award winning players in descending order: USA (4), Argentina (2), Honduras (2), Brazil (1), Yugoslavia (1), Guatemala (1), Bolivia (1), Colombia (1)

-2 MVP's on the list have lived in Colorado, playing for the Rapids (Valderrama and Gomez)

-1999 and 2000 were the only years in MLS history when players won MVP awards in consecutive years from the same country of birth (USA)

-MLS MVP's have only been produced by less than half the continents on Earth. 3 continents have produced MVP's: North America, South America and Europe. There have yet to be MVPs hailing from Asia, Africa, Australasia or Antarctica (although we don't see that one happening any time soon).

-Total MLS MVP's produced by continent of birth in descending order: North America (7), South America (5), Europe (1)

-Only 1 country an MLS MVP was born in no longer exists: Preki's Yugoslavia, which was dissolved in 2003 as Serbia and Montenegro were forming.

Compiled here below are the all-time MLS MVP winners, with their year, club, and place of birth.

(Year, Player, Club, Place of Birth)
2009: Landon Donovan - LA Galaxy - California, USA
2008: Guillermo Barros Schelotto - Columbus Crew - La Plata, Argentina
2007: Luciano Emilio - D.C. United - Ilha Solteira, Brazil
2006: Christian Gomez - D.C. United - Buenos Aires, Argentina
2005: Taylor Twellman - New England Revolution - Minnesota, USA
2004: Amado Guevara - MetroStars - Tegucigalpa, Honduras
2003: Preki - Kansas City Wizards - Belgrade, Yugoslavia
2002: Carlos Ruiz - Los Angeles Galaxy - Guatemala City, Guatemala
2001: Alex Pineda Chacon - Miami Fusion - Santa Cruz, Honduras
2000: Tony Meola - Kansas City Wizards - New Jersey, USA
1999: Jason Kreis - Dallas Burn - Nebraska, USA
1998: Marco Etcheverry - D.C. United - Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
1997: Preki - Kansas City Wizards - Belgrade, Yugoslavia
1996: Carlos Valderrama - Tampa Bay Mutiny - Santa Marta, Colombia

What can be divined from these geographical tidbits? Anything? Or is it just food for thought with no real earth-shattering theses to be produced? Post your thoughts below.........

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