MVP candidates Di Vaio, Keane and Magee headline list of MLS award finalists

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Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee is one of three finalists for the 2013 MLS MVP award. (Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

Mike Magee

A year after Chris Wondolowski took all the suspense out of the MLS MVP vote, the league has a genuine race on its hands. Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio, L.A.’s Robbie Keane and Chicago’s Mike Magee were named MVP finalists on Wednesday, and each has a claim to the honor.

The goal-scoring trio highlighted the list of award contenders unveiled by the league, which balloted current MLS players, club officials and members of the media. Magee (21), Di Vaio (20) and Keane (16) finished second, third and fourth, respectively, in the league’s Golden Boot race, and there’s little question their clubs would have suffered without them. Keane also had 11 assists.

Vancouver forward Camilo Sanvezzo scored 22 regular season goals, but the Whitecaps missed the playoffs by three points. Chicago failed to make the postseason as well, but the team improved significantly once Magee arrived from L.A. in late May.

STRAUS: Magee relishing being home in Chicago

The Coach of the Year race, featuring three American managers aged 40 or younger, is also compelling. Portland’s Caleb Porter engineered a remarkable turnaround and took the Timbers to the top of the Western Conference. Real Salt Lake’s Jason Kreis maintained his team’s consistent level of excellence despite significant offseason player movement, and New York’s Mike Petke guided his underachieving club to the Supporters' Shield in his first season in charge.

Here are the finalists for the major awards and the scheduled date of announcement:

Rookie of the Year  (Nov. 25)

Deshorn Brown (Colorado Rapids)

Dillon Powers (Colorado Rapids)

DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)

Defender of the Year (Nov. 26)

Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)

Jose Goncalves (New England Revolution)

Omar Gonzalez (L.A. Galaxy)

Coach of the Year (Dec. 2)

Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake)

Mike Petke (New York Red Bulls)

Caleb Porter (Portland Timbers)

Comeback Player of the Year (Dec. 2)

Kevin Alston (New England Revolution)

Conor Casey (Philadelphia Union)

Lamar Neagle (Seattle Sounders)

Goalkeeper of the Year (Dec. 4)

Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)

Donovan Ricketts (Portland Timbers)

Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Newcomer of the Year (Dec. 4)

Jose Goncalves (New England Revolution)

Nigel Reo-Coker (Vancouver Whitecaps)

Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

Most Valuable Player (Dec. 5)

Marco DiVaio (Montreal Impact)

Robbie Keane (L.A. Galaxy)