The San Jose Earthquakes clinched their second-ever Supporters’ Shield and set a Guinness World Record for largest participatory groundbreaking over the weekend.
Now, they have four prime contenders for year-end MLS awards, including: Chris Wondolowski for Volkswagen Most Valuable Player, Frank Yallop for Coach of the Year, Alan Gordon for Comeback Player of the Year and Victor Bernardez for Defender and Newcomer of the Year.
Wondolowski has put together one of the finest campaigns in MLS history. He leads the Budweiser Golden Boot race with 26 goals, nine more than his next-closest pursuer, and more than doubled his career high with seven assists.
Yallop has marshaled one of the biggest turnarounds from one season to the next in MLS history. At 19-6-8, Yallop’s squad has
improved by 27 points and a league-record 11 wins from their 2011 finish. Gordon bounced back from a pair of potentially career-ending surgical procedures at the end of 2011 to post the best season of his nine-year MLS career. Gordon has scored at a league-leading rate of 0.90 goals per 90 minutes.
Bernardez signed with the Earthquakes on Dec. 21, 2011 and has since been a crucial part of San Jose’s back line. Despite an attack-minded approach, which has translated into one of the league’s most prolific goal-scoring outputs since 1996, Bernardez has helped the Earthquakes to a No. 8 ranking in goals allowed.