Pontius, Olsen, DeLeon nominated for MLS awards

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Pontius, Olsen, DeLeon nominated for MLS awards

Three of United's finest were listed as finalists today for Major League Soccer's 2012 year-end awards.  DCU head coach Ben Olsen is up for Coach of the Year, captain Chris Pontius is up for Comeback Player of the Year and, as expected, midfielder Nick DeLeon is a finalist for Rookie of the Year.  

DeLeon is the fourth consecutive Rookie of the Year finalist for United, joining teammates Chris Pontius (2009), Andy Najar (2010 winner) and Perry Kitchen (2011). In addition to Najar, United vets Santino Quaranta (2001) and Freddy Adu (2004) also share the honor, each scoring five goals in their rookie seasons to win over voters.

This season, DeLeon notched six goals, which set a new goal-scoring franchise record and has played an integral role in each of United's tallies in the postseason.  DeLeon is up against former college teammate, Austin Berry (Chicago Fire) and Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps FC). 

The 2012 Rookie of the Year will be announced on Nov. 17.  

In only his second full season as head coach of the Black and Red, Ben Olsen has pulled DCU from the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings to a second-place finish (17-10-7) and the club's first playoff berth in five years. Olsen's competition for Coach of the Year includes Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City) and Frank Yallop (San Jose Earthquakes).

After back to back seasons derailed by injury in 2010 and 2011, Pontius, the club's longest-tenured player, rebounded this year to record his best career season.  Pontius led United with 12 goals and set personal highs in games played (31) minutes (2,339) and shots on goal (29). He became the club's captain in September when Dwayne De Rosario was sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes) and Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC) are also finalists for Comeback Player of the Year.

The Coach of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year awards will be announced on Nov. 27. 

NWSL Highlights: Spirit catch Thorns atop standings in Week 13

NWSL Highlights: Spirit catch Thorns atop standings in Week 13

Week 13 in the National Women’s Soccer League saw the Washington Spirit finally catch the Portland Thorns atop the table, while the Houston Dash snapped a six-game losing streak.

Orlando and Chicago squared off in a game with huge playoff implications, and Sky Blue FC and Boston met for Northeast bragging rights.

NWSL Week 10 highlights include final games by USWNT members

NWSL Week 10 highlights include final games by USWNT members

Another week of NWSL action is in the books, but Week 10 was far from just another slate of games. We saw the Western New York Flash make league history in Rochester plus late drama in Orlando and Washington.

This was also the final weekend of NWSL play before members of the U.S. Women's National Team report for camp ahead of the Rio Olympics. 

With 1-0 loss to Colombia, US finishes 4th in Copa America

With 1-0 loss to Colombia, US finishes 4th in Copa America

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Carlos Bacca beat goalkeeper Tim Howard by sliding to poke in a headed cross in the 31st minute, and the United States finished fourth in the Copa America with a 1-0 defeat against Colombia on Saturday night.

After losing to Argentina 4-0 in the semifinals, the 31st-ranked U.S. was beaten by No. 3 Colombia for the second time in the 16-nation tournament.

Bobby Wood came closest to scoring for the U.S. when he hit a post in the 62nd, one minute after Colombia's Juan Cuadrado hit the underside of the crossbar.

The U.S. matched its previous best finish in the tournament, when it lost to Colombia in the 1995 fourth-place game at Uruguay.

After the Americans lost to Jamaica in the semifinals of last year's CONCACAF Gold Cup and struggled in the semifinal round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann was hoping his team would rebound in the Copa, when right back DeAndre Yedlin, central defender John Brooks, midfielder Gyasi Zardes and forward Bobby Wood solidified their positions as regular starters.

Darlington Nagbe and 17-year-old Christian Pulisic again entered as second-half subs, two more players who could break through and replace veterans during the remaining 16 months of World Cup qualifying.

Colombia, which never has won the Copa America, finished third for fourth time but first since 1995. Argentina plays Chile for the title on Sunday night in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Both teams finished a man short, when American defender Michael Orozco and Colombian defender Santiago Arias were ejected for a confrontation in the third minute of second-half stoppage time. Orozco is suspended the U.S.'s World Cup qualifier at St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2, and Arias for Colombia's qualifier against Venezuela.

Klinsmann inserted the 37-year-old Howard into his lineup in place of Brad Guzan, who had started the previous nine games. Matt Besler was in central defense instead of Brooks, who was bothered by knee inflammation, and Orozco was at left back because Fabian Johnson has a sore groin.

Midfielders Jermaine Jones and Alejandro Bedoya returned to the lineup along with Wood after the three served one-game suspensions.

Colombia scored after Juan Cuadrado, from along a flank, cut the ball back to James Rodriguez, just outside the penalty area. Arias made a run to get by Bedoya, and Rodriguez lofted a pass to Arias, who jumped at the edge of the 6-yard box and headed the ball across Howard's goal to Bacca. The forward slid ahead of Yedlin to nudge the ball in for his 13th international goal, his second of the tournament.

Clint Dempsey, who led the U.S. with three goals in the tournament, nearly scored on a free kick in the 51st minute. Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina dived left and lifted his right arm to tip Dempsey's effort wide.