Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Joe Cannon MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara and D.C. United forward Jaime Moreno were announced as the three candidates for the 2004 Honda Major League Soccer Most Valuable Player award during Sunday's ESPN2 broadcast of the MLS Cup Playoff match between the San Jose Earthquakes and Kansas City Wizards.
The winner will be revealed live on ESPNews at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday Nov. 11 three days before MLS Cup 2004.
Joe Cannon becomes the third straight Rapids player to be nominated for the League's highest honor as Rapids forward John Spencer was one of the three finalists in the 2003 season and Rapids midfielder Mark Chung was one of the 3 finalists in 2002.
Cannon the 2002 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year almost singlehandedly guided the Rapids to third place and a playoff berth in the Western Conference.
Cannon led the entire league this year with 150 saves several of them of the highlight reel variety and also finished tied atop MLS in shutouts with 10. He also recorded his first shutout of the 2004 postseason Friday night in the Rapids' 1-0 blanking of the Galaxy at Invesco Field. The Rapids' shot-stopper also was the only 'keeper in the league to play every minute of every game this season. Only one goalkeeper in MLS history- Tony Meola in 2000 - has ever been named a League MVP.
The 2004 MLS Honda MVP will be announced live on ESPNews on Thursday November 11 at 2:00 p.m. MT from the ESPNZone in Anaheim California as a kick-off to the 2004 MLS Cup Weekend culminating in the League's Championship game to be played on Sunday November 14 at The Home Depot Center (1:30 p.m. MT - live on ABC Sports).
Finalists for the seven other year-end awards will be made public on each of the next two Mondays - Nov. 1 and Nov. 8.
2004 MLS Honda Most Valuable Player Finalists:
Joe Cannon (Colorado Rapids) - Although he had not started a regular season game in Major League Soccer since the 2002 season while with the San Jose Earthquakes Cannon this year proved that he was still the same goalkeeper that earned the 2002 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors. He was one of only four players in MLS to play every minute of every game during the 2004 campaign leading the League in saves (150) and save percentage (80 percent) while facing the most shots in the League (431).
The 29-year old Rapids keeper tied for the League lead in shutouts with 10 twice compiling streaks of more than 300 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal. Cannon gave up only 32 goals including five penalty kicks and one own goal. Cannon led the Rapids defense to set up a new MLS record for the lowest Goals Against Average at home in a single season.
In 15 regular season home games at INVESCO Field at Mile High in 2004 the Rapids gave up just eight goals for a 0.53 GAA tallying seven shutouts and never allowing a team to score more than a single goal in any game good for the new MLS record.
Amado Guevara (MetroStars) - Guevara the co-Budweiser Scoring Champion was the only player in the League to register double figures in both goals (10) and assists (10). The second year player registered several key performances during the season including scoring three game-winning goals and two game-winning assists. The 2004 Sierra Mist All-Star MVP who scored twice during the midsummer showcase was a perfect 6 for 6 from the penalty spot. At one point in the season Guevara recorded a point in nine consecutive games (seven goals six assists) the highest such streak since the 1998 season when three players had streaks of 11.
Jaime Moreno (D.C. United) - Moreno who re-signed with United the day before the 2004 season kicked off had his best year since 2000 with seven goals and 14 assists for 28 points. The League leader in assists who returned to his vintage form after an injury-plagued year with the MetroStars had back-to-back three-assist games for United in the month of September having a hand in six consecutive D.C. United goals. His consistent and unselfish play has put opponents on their heels all season and has been one of the main reasons for United's success in 2004.