Houston Dynamo forward Erick Torres finished third in voting for the MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award, the league announced today. Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey won the annual award, which honors a player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the regular season.
Dempsey was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat last year, and was forced to miss the final 10 games of the regular season and the entirety of the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs. He was cleared for a return in 2017, and scored a goal in his first match in six months and led Sounders FC this season with 12 goals and five assists.
Torres, 24, has enjoyed a resurgent season in 2017 under the leadership of first-year Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera. 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.
The award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media, and current MLS players. The Dynamo forward finished second in the media vote behind Dempsey with 22.39% of the vote, and tied with Dempsey for the second-most club technical staff votes with 15.48% behind Columbus Crew SC's Federico Higuain. Below is a full breakdown of the voting results and a list of past winners:
|Comeback Player of the Year||Player Vote %||Media Vote %||Club Vote %||Average %|
|Clint Dempsey (SEA)||14.52%||26.38%||15.48%||18.79%|
|Federico Higuain (CLB)||16.13 %||11.96||26.19%||18.09%|
|Erick Torres (HOU)||6.05%||22.39%||15.48%||14.64%|
|Yordy Reyna (VAN)||12.90%||8.59%||5.95%||9.15%|
|Drew Moor (TOR)||8.87%||3.99%||13.10%||8.65%|
|Ben Sweat (NYC)||4.03%||4.29%||5.95%||4.76%|
MLS Comeback Player of the Year Winners:
2017: Clint Dempsey – Seattle Sounders FC
2016: Chris Pontius – Philadelphia Union
2015: Tim Melia – Sporting Kansas City
2014: Rodney Wallace – Portland Timbers
2013: Kevin Alston – New England Revolution
2012: Eddie Johnson – Seattle Sounders FC
2011: David Beckham – Los Angeles Galaxy
2010: Bobby Convey – San Jose Earthquakes
2009: Zach Thornton – Chivas USA
2008: Kenny Cooper – FC Dallas
2007: Eddie Johnson – Kansas City Wizards
2006: Richard Mulrooney – FC Dallas
2005: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
2004: Brian Ching – San Jose Earthquakes
2003: Chris Armas – Chicago Fire
2002: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
2001: Troy Dayak – San Jose Earthquakes
2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards