Left back Kevin Alston became the third New England Revolution player to earn individual post-season honors after he was named MLS Comeback Player of the Year on Monday.
Alston was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia, a rare but treatable form of leukemia shortly after coming off late in a Mar. 30 match against FC Dallas. He missed nearly four months of action to receive treatment. He returned to the pitch on Jul. 27 at D.C. as a late-game substitute in a 2-1 win.
“Kevin has been an inspiration for our entire organization this year,” Revolution president Brian Bilello said in a statement on Monday. “It was a shock to everyone to hear that someone so young and fit could be hit with this disease, but Kevin approached his treatment with such a tremendous attitude that it was no surprise that he returned to the field so quickly. We’re very pleased his determination and spirit has been recognized by those around the league.”
The fifth-year defender earned 35.42 percent of the club votes, 48.05 percent of the media votes, and 16.34 percent of the player votes for a weighted total of 99.81. Runner up Conor Casey, who hails from Dover, NH, received a 62.62 weighted total.
Alston played in nine games during the 2013 season and started the Revolution’s regular season finale at Columbus on Oct. 27. The 1-0 win at Columbus gave the Revolution their first postseason berth in four years.
Alston is the first Revolution player to earn Comeback Player of the Year honors. Last week, Jose Goncalves earned the Defender of the Year award, while Matt Reis picked up the Humanitarian of the Year honors.
Alston is currently out of contract going into the 2014 season.