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Busch named MLS Goalkeeper of Year

Busch, 32, led the Chicago Fire to the playoffs in his first full season as a starter since 2004, when he was a member of the Columbus Crew. Busch started and played every minute (2,700) of all 30 regular season games for Chicago. He led the club to a second place finish in the Eastern Conference (13-10-7) and ranked first in the League in shutouts (10), was tied for second in wins (13) and second in goals against average (1.10).

Injuries plagued Busch's career during 2005 and 2006 with the Crew, and Chicago traded for him before the 2007 season. He served as a back up to Matt Pickens throughout most of 2007, but after Pickens departed, Busch took over the starting job. He played in 20 games combined from 2005-2007 and recorded just seven wins in that three-year stretch. But this season, Busch excelled, facing more shots than all but two MLS goalkeepers and recording the top save percentage mark at 78.2 percent. San Jose's Joe Cannon ranked second in save percentage at 74.7 percent.

Busch played five seasons in the USL prior to making his Major League Soccer debut in 2002. The former collegiate All-American at UNC Charlotte anchored a Fire defense that allowed a meager 33 goals, second-best in MLS this season. Busch becomes the 11th different player to win the Goalkeeper of the Year award. Only Cannon and Pat Onstad have won the award more than once. He led the voting ahead of Columbus Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer and New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis, the other finalists named last week.

Parkhurst is claiming his second consecutive MLS Fair Play Award. The 24 year-old New England Revolution defender from Cranston, R.I., becomes the third player to win the award twice and second to do it in consecutive seasons. Steve Ralston, his Revolution teammate, won the award in consecutive years in 1999 and 2000. Mark Chung is the other two-time winner.

Parkhurst was a pillar at center back for the Revolution again in 2008. He started 28 games for the Revolution, ranked second on the team, behind Jay Heaps, in minutes played with 2,520, and committed only nine fouls. For the second consecutive season he did not receive a caution or red card. Parkhurst, the 2007 Visa MLS Defender of the Year, was a member of the 2007 MLS Best XI and is a three-time MLS All-Star.

The New England Revolution claimed the Team Fair Play award for accumulating the fewest disciplinary points (300) of any team during the 2008 regular season. Disciplinary points are assigned as follow: 4 points for each caution received, 10 points for each red card, 0.50 points for each foul committed and a reduction of 15 points for each game that a team completes without receiving any cards or action from the MLS Disciplinary Committee.

MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Winners:
2008: Jon Busch - Chicago Fire
2007: Brad Guzan - Chivas USA
2006: Troy Perkins - D.C. United
2005: Pat Onstad - San Jose Earthquakes
2004: Joe Cannon - Colorado Rapids
2003: Pat Onstad - San Jose Earthquakes
2002: Joe Cannon - San Jose Earthquakes
2001: Tim Howard - MetroStars
2000: Tony Meola - Kansas City Wizards
1999: Kevin Hartman - Los Angeles Galaxy
1998: Zach Thornton - Chicago Fire
1997: Brad Friedel - Columbus Crew
1996: Mark Dodd - Dallas Burn

MLS Fair Play Award - Individual Winners:
2008: Michael Parkhurst - New England Revolution
2007: Michael Parkhurst - New England Revolution
2006: Chris Klein - Real Salt Lake
2005: Ronald Cerritos - San Jose Earthquakes
2004: Eddie Pope - MetroStars
2003: Brian McBride - Columbus Crew
2002: Mark Chung - Colorado Rapids
2001: Alex Pineda Chacon - Miami Fusion
2000: Steve Ralston - Tampa Bay Mutiny
1999: Steve Ralston - Tampa Bay Mutiny
1998: Thomas Dooley - Columbus Crew
1997: Mark Chung - Kansas City Wizards

MLS Fair Play Award -Team Winners:
2008: New England Revolution
2007: Columbus Crew
2006: Kansas City Wizards
2005: Kansas City Wizards
2004: Columbus Crew
2003: New England Revolution
2002: Kansas City Wizards
2001: San Jose Earthquakes
2000: Tampa Bay Mutiny
1999: Columbus Crew
1998: Kansas City Wizards
1997: Columbus Crew


2008 Major League Soccer Awards Finalists
Panasonic Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists
Jon Busch - Chicago Fire
William Hesmer - Columbus Crew
Matt Reis - New England Revolution
Fair Play Finalists - Individual
Juan Pablo Angel - New York Red Bulls
Michael Parkhurst - New England Revolution
Chris Rolfe - Chicago Fire

MLS Comeback Player of the Year Finalists
Jon Busch - Chicago Fire
Kenny Cooper - FC Dallas
Santino Quaranta - D.C. United

Visa Defender of the Year Finalists
Jimmy Conrad - Kansas City Wizards
Chad Marshall - Columbus Crew
Bakary Soumare - Chicago Fire

adidas Referee of the Year Finalists
Michael Kennedy
Jair Marrufo
Terry Vaughn

Gatorade Rookie of the Year Finalists
Geoff Cameron - Houston Dynamo
Kheli Dube - New England Revolution
Sean Franklin - Los Angeles Galaxy

MLS Coach of the Year Finalists
Dominic Kinnear - Houston Dynamo
Sigi Schmid - Columbus Crew
Frank Yallop - San Jose Earthquakes

Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists
Cuauhtémoc Blanco - Chicago Fire
Landon Donovan - Los Angeles Galaxy
Guillermo Barros Schelotto - Columbus Crew

Newcomer of the Year
Darren Huckerby - San Jose Earthquakes
Claudio Lopez - Kansas City Wizards
Andre Rocha - FC Dallas


Schedule of Awards Announcements:
Tuesday, November 4
Panasonic Goalkeeper of the Year
Fair Play Award Individual & Team
Thursday, November 6
Visa Defender of the Year
adidas Referee of the Year

Friday, November 7
US Soccer Foundation & MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year

Tuesday, November 11
MLS Newcomer of the Year
MLS Coach of the Year

Thursday, November 13
Gatorade Rookie of the Year

Wednesday, November 19
Sierra Mist Goal of the Year

Thursday, November 20
Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player

Saturday, November 22
MLS Best XI
MLS Comeback Player of the Year


About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and features many stars from the U.S. and around the world. Now in its 13th season, the 14 teams in MLS are: the Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes and Toronto FC. Seattle Sounders FC will join the League in 2009 and a Philadelphia expansion team will debut in 2010. MLS Cup 2008 will be held Nov. 23 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. For more information about MLS, log on to the League's official Web site at www.MLSnet.com.

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