Two New England Revolution players are among the three finalists for year-end Major League Soccer awards, the league announced today. Defender Darrius Barnes is a finalist for the Xbox 360 Fair Play Award, while midfielder Zak Boggs is a finalist for the MLS W.O.R.K.S Humanitarian of the Year Award. The winners of both awards will be announced later this week.
The Xbox 360 Fair Play Award will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Barnes is joined among the finalists by Colorado defender Kosuke Kimura and Philadelphia forward Sebastien Le Toux.
The MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year Award will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Joining Boggs as finalists are Houston midfielder Brad Davis and San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski.
The Fair Play Award this year is being awarded based on objective criteria, including fewest fouls committed and cards received, and a subjective evaluation of sportsman-like behavior. In 2011, Barnes made 28 appearances, including 25 starts. He committed just 14 fouls playing both left and right back and center back. Additionally, he was only issued one caution and no ejections this year.
Boggs' work in Dr. Marsha Moses' lab at Children's Hospital Boston has the potential to solve one of humanity's greatest evils: cancer. Each week, Boggs goes into Boston to help Moses and her staff research potential cancer diagnostics and prognostics. Specifically, he is helping to attempt to find proteins in the body that would more clearly identify someone who has cancer from someone who does not. Not only has Boggs been a fixture in Moses' lab since 2010 - when a concussion sidelined him for the entire second half of the MLS season - but Boggs has also been a regular visitor to patients at Children's Hospital through the team's monthly visits.
Boggs was a co-winner of the New England Revolution's own Humanitarian of the Year award with Matt Reis. The last Revs player to win the award at the league level was Michael Parkhurst in 2006. The last Rev to win the Fair Play award was then-captain and current Houston Dynamo assistant coach Steve Ralston in 2009.