Preki is coach of year, Edu rookie of year in MLS

November 7, 2007

NEW YORK -- First-year coach Preki was voted Major League Soccer's coach of the year on Wednesday, earning the honor after guiding Chivas USA to the second-best record in MLS.

Toronto FC midfielder Maurice Edu was chosen rookie of the year.

The 44-year-old Preki retired as a player in 2005 after a 22-year career that comprised stints at clubs in his native Yugoslavia, England and MLS as well as 28 appearances for the United States, including the 1998 World Cup. The only two-time winner of MLS' Most Valuable Player award, he ascended from assistant coach to manager this year when Bob Bradley left Chivas USA for the U.S. national team.

Chivas was the worst team in MLS when it debuted in 2005, but under Preki this year went 15-7-8 with 53 points, two points behind D.C. United. Chivas lost only once at home.

Both D.C. and Chivas were eliminated in the first round of the MLS Cup playoffs.

Edu's honor comes three weeks after he made his international debut, playing a full 90 minutes for the United States in a 1-0 exhibition victory over Switzerland in Basel. As the only No. 1 selection in MLS' annual draft to win rookie of the year, he was one of the few bright spots for Toronto, scoring four goals in 25 starts for a team that finished with the league's worst record (6-17-7).

MLS awards are determined by a vote of players, coaches, general managers and reporters.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press