MLS announced on Monday, that Toronto FC and Italian international goalscorer Sebastian Giovinco was voted MLS Newcomer of the Year, an honor reserved for an experienced professional player in his first MLS season. Giovinco, 28, set a new MLS record for most combined goals and assists (38) in a single season and led TFC to its first-ever playoff appearance. The up-and-coming Italian won the Golden Boot with a league-tying 22 goals in 33 regular season matches and MLS-leading 16 assists. Columbus Crew striker Kei Kamara also scored 22 goals this season, but narrowly lost out on the Golden Boot on tie-breaking assists.
Giovinco was involved in two or more goals in 12 games, which is the most of any player in MLS history. He’s also the first player in MLS history to reach 20-plus goals and 10-plus assists in a single season. Two of Giovinco’s goals are among the top eight contending for MLS Goal of the Year. Giovinco is also a finalist for the MLS Most Valuable Player honor, which will be announced on December 2.
Giovinco joined Toronto FC from Italian powerhouse Juventus in January 2015 and has been called up to the Italian national team twice during his first season in MLS.
The runners-up for Newcomer of the Year Award were Montreal Impact’s Didier Drogba and the New York Red Bulls’ Mike Grella. The award was voted on by MLS club management, media, and MLS players.
MLS Newcomer of the Year winners
2015: Sebastian Giovinco – Toronto FC
2014: Pedro Morales – Vancouver Whitecaps FC
2013: Diego Valeri – Portland Timbers
2012: Federico Higuain – Columbus Crew
2011: Mauro Rosales – Seattle Sounders FC
MLS also announced that New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch was voted MLS Coach of the Year. In his first year managing the Red Bulls, Marsch led the squad to an 18-10-6 (60 points) regular season record and won the MLS Supporters’ Shield for the second time in three years for best overall record. The Red Bulls also led the league with 62 goals and surrendered the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference (43) during the regular season.
Marsch helped NYRB set a new club record for wins in a year and earned the top seed in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs. With an attacking mentality, the Red Bulls finished first or second in MLS in goals, assists, shots, shots on goal, offsides and corner kicks.
Marsch had 14 year career playing in MLS and is the sixth former MLS player to win Coach of the Year. The runners-up were Oscar Pareja of FC Dallas and Carl Robinson of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
MLS Coach of the Year winners
2015: Jesse Marsch – New York Red Bulls
2014: Ben Olsen – D.C. United
2013: Caleb Porter – Portland Timbers
2012: Frank Yallop – San Jose Earthquakes
2011: Bruce Arena – LA Galaxy
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