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October 7, 2008
Dempsey, Donovan, Howard

Former Rev Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Tim Howard have been selected by 213 sports journalistsas the three finalists for the 2008 Honda Player of the Year Award.

The winner will be announced during the special award luncheon celebrating the 18th Honda Player of the Year Award on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at The Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles at 11:30 a.m. The winner of the Honda Player of the Year Award will receive a new Honda automobile.

Dempsey, winner of the 2006 award, consistently has been one of the best U.S. internationals since his debut in 2004. Playing in his first World Cup in Germany 2006, Dempsey was the only player to score for The 25-year old has continued to lead the team, scoring four goals in this year's World Cup qualifiers, including the lone goal in the U.S.'s 1-0 win over Cuba in Havana. The midfielder began his professional club career with the New England Revolution in 2004 before transferring to Fulham (English Premier League) in 2006 where he has become a regular, making 36 appearances and scoring six goals last season.

Donovan, the only four-time winner of the award, reached another milestone with this year's nomination by tying goalkeeper Kasey Keller as the only other player to be a finalist six times. Earlier this year, Donovan scored a record-breaking 35th goal during the game against Sweden, making him the all-time goalscorer for the National Team. Yhe 26-year old scored at the WCQ victory over Barbados, bringing his career total to 36 goals in 104 internationals. Donovan began his professional career with the San Jose Earthquakes before performing for Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) prior to joining his current team, the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Howard, an award finalist for the second year in a row, has become the U.S. National Team's first-choice goalkeeper, appearing in eight of the eleven matches played this year. With 34 caps, Howard has 15 career shutouts, including five in this year's WCQs The 29-year old began his professional career with the MetroStars before transferring to Manchester United in 2003. In 2007, Howard moved to his current club, Everton (English Premiership). Though his 2007-2008 season with the team was cut short by a finger injury, Howard still finished it only one short of the league's shutout record of 15.

The previous winners of the Honda Player of the Year Award are: Donovan (2007, 2004, 2003 and 2002), Dempsey (2006), Keller (2005, 1999), Earnie Stewart (2001), Claudio Reyna (2000), Cobi Jones (1998), Eddie Pope (1997), Eric Wynalda (1996, 1992), Alexi Lalas (1995), Marcelo Balboa (1994), Thomas Dooley (1993) and Hugo Perez (1991). In 2000, Eric Wynalda was named player of the decade.

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