NEW YORK -- Kansas City Wizards forward Eddie Johnson was selected as the comeback player of the year in Major League Soccer on Monday.
He made history on June 2 as the first MLS player to score a hat trick in consecutive games. He accomplished the feat in a 4-3 win over New England on May 26 and again on June 2 in a 3-2 win over the New York Red Bulls. Johnson won the award over Columbus Crew defender Frankie Hejduk and New England Revolution forward Pat Noonan.
Johnson started 24 games and had 15 goals and six assists for the Wizards. He was selected as the player of the week for two consecutive weeks and was the player of the month for April. The 23-year-old Johnson earned the honor in his seventh season in the MLS. The Kansas City forward is not coming off injury, but a 2006 season filled with inconsistent play and absences because of playing for the U.S. national team and suspension.
Revolution defender Michael Parkhurst was picked as the top defender.
The 23-year-old Parkhurst started 25 games at central defender for the Revolution, who finished in second place in the Eastern Conference with a 14-8-8 record.
He missed the first three games of the season recovering from a preseason shoulder injury, but came back to anchor a defense that had 10 shutouts and allowed 43 goals, sixth best in the League. He also is a member of the U.S. national team.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press