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Erick Torres, DaMarcus Beasley named finalists for league awards

Two Houston Dynamo players have been named as finalists for annual Major League Soccer awards, the league announced today.

Forward Erick Torres is one of three finalists for the MLS Comeback Player of the Year; and defender DaMarcus Beasley is one of three finalists for the Individual Fair Play Award.

Torres, 24, has enjoyed a resurgent season in 2017 under the leadership of first-year Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera. Honors an MLS player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the 2017 regular season.

After scoring a career-high 15 goals in 2014 with Chivas USA, Torres signed with the Dynamo as a Designated Player and struggled through two goalless seasons before bursting back onto the scene this year. Reunited with Cabrera, his coach at Chivas, Torres broke the Dynamo club record for goals in a season with 14, topping club legend Brian Ching’s goal total from 2008. The Mexican international’s club success during the early part of the year resulted in a call-up to the Mexican National Team for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where he appeared in three games. Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey and Columbus Crew SC midfielder Federico Higuain were also finalists for the award.

Beasley, 35, saw action in 24 games during the regular season and played 1,985 minutes while only committing 13 fouls. The defender was not shown a card all season and drew 35 fouls while playing an integral role in Houston’s fast-paced counterattacking system.

Houston’s vice-captain, Beasley wore the captain’s armband in seven regular-season matches and again in Monday night’s MLS Western Conference Semifinal match against the Portland Timbers.

San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Jahmir Hyka and LA Galaxy defender Dave Romney were also finalists for the award, which utilizes subjective evaluations on sportsmanlike behavior, as well as objective criteria such as fouls committed, cards received, games and minutes played to select the winner.

The Dynamo closed the regular season with a record of 13-10-11 and 50 points, good for fourth in the Western Conference table.

Houston won the MLS Cup in 2006 and 2007, becoming the second team in league history to repeat as champions. The club’s 30 games played in the postseason are the most by any club since 2006 and their four MLS Cup Final appearances are tied for the most in the league over that time span. The club’s 62.1 winning percentage in postseason play is the fourth-highest in league history among teams with at least 10 playoff games played.

The Dynamo have been one of the league’s toughest teams at home this season, with a record of 13-1-5 at BBVA Compass Stadium, including the playoffs. The 13 home wins this year (including postseason) matched the total posted in 2012, the club’s first year in the new stadium. Houston has been particularly prolific in front of goal at home this season, scoring 44 goals while only conceding 17, giving them the best home goal differential in the Western Conference this year.

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