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Alston, Porter win MLS awards

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POSTED December 3, 2013 1:38 a.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — New England defender Kevin Alston has been voted Major League Soccer’s Comeback Player of the Year after returning from treatment for leukemia, and Portland’s Caleb Porter has been selected Coach of the Year.

Alston took a leave of absence in April and returned July 27 to play in five of his team’s final 14 games. He helped New England reach the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

The 25-year-old, who played at Indiana, received 99.8 percent of voting by players, club officials and media. Philadelphia forward Conor Casey was second with 63 percent in balloting announced Monday, followed by Seattle forward Lamar Neagle at 35 percent.

Porter, in first season with a professional club after leaving the University of Akron, led the Timbers to a Western Conference-best 14-5-15 record. That’s a 23-point improvement from 2012.

First-year New York coach Mike Petke was second in voting, followed by Salt Lake’s Jason Kreis.

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