KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi is a finalist for both Landon Donovan Major League Soccer MVP and MLS Comeback Player of the Year, the league and club announced Monday.
Salloi, 25, is one of five Sporting KC players nominated for the MVP award in club history and the first since 2015.
Preki, the club’s all-time leader in goals scored, won the honor twice in 1997 and 2003, while goalkeeper Tony Meola won MVP honors in 2000.
Preki also was nominated in 1996, while midfielders Graham Zusi (2012) and Benny Feilhaber (2015) also have been past MVP nominees.
New York City FC’s Valentin Castellanos, New England Revolution’s Carles Gil, Nashville SC’s Hany Muhktar and Seattle Sounders FC’s Joao Paulo also are nominated for the MLS MVP award, while Gil and LA Galaxy’s Chicarito Hernandez are the other nominees for Comeback Player of the Year.
Salloi, who was announced Saturday as Sporting KC’s MVP for the 2021 season, has scored 16 goals with eight assists, both career-highs.
All of his goals came during the run of play, which ties him for the MLS lead for most non-penalty kick goals in the league this season, and his 24 combined goals and assists are tied for fourth in MLS.
Salloi’s 16 non-penalty kick goals are the most in a single season in Sporting KC history and tied for the MLS record for the most by a Homegrown Player in a season.
He has five game-winning goals and also scored three game-tying goals late in games this season for Sporting KC, which finished third in the Western Conference and host the Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 4 p.m. Saturday in the MLS Cup Playoffs at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
Sporting Kansas City finished 11-0-3 this season when Salloi scored a goal and 17-10-7 overall.
Salloi played only 265 minutes in 2020 and managed only one goal in 37 appearances during the last two seasons for Sporting KC, earning him a Comeback Player of the Year nomination.
Four players in club history have won the award a total of five times — Meola (2000), midfielder Chris Klein (2002, 2005), Eddie Johnson (2007) and Tim Melia (2015).