Timbers' Howe, Gordon finalists for postseason honors

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Timbers head coach Bobby Howe is one of two finalists for A-League Coach of the Year and rookie striker Alan Gordon is up for Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year accolades, it was announced Wednesday.

Winners will be announced at the A-League Championship Banquet on Thursday, Sept. 16 in Montreal.

Howe led the Timbers (18-7-3) to their best record in four years and the top record in the A-League this season. Portland paced the league with 58 goals scored and a minus-28 goal differential while making a third playoff appearance in four seasons. The only coach to manage the Timbers, Howe has compiled a 59-40-11 record and has never posted a losing season at the helm.

Montreal head coach Nick DeSantis, who led the Impact to the second-best record in the league, is also in the running for the award.

A member of the A-League’s first team after tallying 17 goals, Gordon, the Timbers’ first-round draft pick from Oregon State in 2004, shared the goal-scoring title this season with Virginia Beach’s Dante Washington, who is also in contention for MVP honors along with Montreal goalkeeper Greg Sutton. Sutton paced the circuit with a 0.54 goals-against average.

Scoring 35 points in his rookie campaign, Gordon was a three-time A-League Player of the Week while collecting two hat tricks on the year.

In the Rookie of the Year competition, Gordon’s 17 goals will go toe-to-toe against the output of Richmond’s McColm Cephas, who collected 10 goals and four assists with the Kickers.

All awards are voted on by A-League general managers and coaches.