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MLS announces Awards finalists: Big day for New York

Toronto FC v New York Red Bulls

HARRISON, NJ - MARCH 6: Sacha Kljestan #16 of New York Red Bulls dribbles past Steven Beitashour #33 of Toronto FC during their match at Red Bull Arena on March 6, 2016 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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When ProSoccerTalk shortlisted our awards candidates, we had a good feeling we’d done a good job of narrowed the field of Major League Soccer’s best contributors this season.

The whittling down process, however, does have us asking a few questions.

Granted MLS can’t do much about who is nominated by MLS players, staff, and media members, but Sebastian Giovinco! Ignacio Piatti! Giovani Dos Santos three MVP nominees from 21 miles apart stings a bit.

[ MORE: FIFA’s new Ballon d’Or rival ]

New York City star David Villa joins two New York Red Bulls -- Sacha Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips -- as the three finalists of MLS MVP (now known as the Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player).

Villa has been NYC’s star two years running, and the club’s move to second in the East means he’s rightly in the final three. Kljestan led the league in assists with 20, while BWP won his second Golden Boot in two years.

It’s just hard to appreciate two MVP candidates from the same team in a league that screams parity.

Other categories:

Defender of the Year
Matt Hedges (Dallas), Axel Sjoberg (Colorado), Jelle Van Damme (LA)

Goalkeeper of the Year
Andre Blake (Philadelphia), Tim Howard (Colorado), Luis Robles (RBNY)

Newcomer of the Year
Ola Kamara (Columbus), Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle), Jelle Van Damme (LA)

Rookie of the Year
Jack Harrison (NYC), Jordan Morris (Philadelphia), Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia)

Coach of the Year
Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado), Oscar Pareja (Dallas), Patrick Vieira (NYC)

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