The Panamanian, key player of the Seattle Sounders, won the award with 52.2% of the votes
The Seattle Sounders player and member of the Panama National Team was chosen as Latin of the Year 2017 of the Major League Soccer (MLS), ahead of players like the Venezuelan Josef Martínez of Atlanta United, the Venezuelan Yangel Herrera of New York City FC, the Paraguayan Miguel Almirón of Atlanta United, the Venezuelan Jefferson Savarino of Real Salt LAke, the Argentinian Diego Valeri of Portland Timbers, the Mexican Erick "Cubo" Torres of Houston Dynamo and the Honduran Alberth Elis of Houston Dynamo.
Román Torres won the award with 52.2 % of the votes, leaving Alberth Elis of the Houston Dynamo in second place with 29.8 % in the elections. The third place was for Miguel Almirón of Atlanta United with the 14.2 % of the votes.
Torres played 27 games throughout the season with Seattle Sounders, which took him to play his second consecutive MLS Cup final. Despite having been defeated by Toronto FC, the club continues to grow, becoming one of the leaders of the league. On the other hand, Román Torres was the idol of the national team of Panama to score the agonizing goal that ensured the team a place in the world cup of Russia 2018. 2017 has been a special year for the player who arrived to Seattle Sounders in 2015 from Millonarios F. C. of Colombia.
The Latin of the Year award is given by the MLS since 2010 through a voting system of fans. The selection of the nominated players is made by a group of editors from FutbolMLS.com, UnivisionDeportes.com and MLSsoccer.com, and a select group of expert journalist. The voting is coordinated by Univision Deportes and is systematized as a tournament: the players nominated are planted in a group phase, the most voted advance to the round of 16, then to the quarterfinals, then semifinals, and then the final, composed of the two most voted players.
The winners of the prestigious award since its creation in 2010 are:
- the Colombian Fredy Montero in 2010 with Seattle Sounders FC
- the Mexican Omar Bravo in 2011 with Sporting Kansas City
- the Honduran Óscar Boniek García in 2012 with Houston Dynamo
- the Costa Rican Álvaro Saborío in 2013 with Real Salt Lake
- the Guatemalan Marco Pappa in 2014 with Seattle Sounders FC
- the Salvadoran Darwin Cerén in 2015 with Orlando City SC
- and the Panamanian Román Torres in the year 2016 and 2017 with Seattle Sounders FC. Torres is the first player to win this award in two years in a row, and in this way increase the Central American streak to 6 successive titles.
The award enhances the valuable role of Latin Americans in the MLS, a league that has had great growth in its level of play, in its prestigious and in its global reach due to the hiring to the great footballers from the all world, especially from the Latin America and Europe.
Latin American Post | Javier Aldana
Copy edited by Laura Rocha Rueda