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Dante Washington Named Finalist for 2004 A-League Player of the Year

September 15, 2004 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Virginia Beach Mariners News Release

Tampa, Florida – United Soccer Leagues announced today the three finalists for 2004 A-League Player of the Year: Virginia Beach Mariner forward Dante Washington, Montreal Impact goalkeeper Greg Sutton and Portland Timbers forward Alan Gordon.

Washington led the Mariners throughout the season in scoring and goals, tallying 17 goals and 6 assists (40 points) for the season. He was named 2004 A-League Scoring Champion and finished in a tie with Gordon for 2004 Goal Scoring Champion. He has also been named A-League All-League First Team for the second consecutive year. He was named Player of the Week for the first time in his A-League career for his 2-goal, 1 assist performance against Atlanta on August 11 and named to the Team of the Week three times. In 2003 he finished the season ranked third league-wide in points with 27, and ranked second in goals with 18 in 26 games. He also led the league in shots with 82. He was also named to the Team of the Week three times in 2003.

Sutton, the leagueÂ’s 2004 Goalkeeper of the Year, had a record season, tying former Rochester goalkeeper Pat OnstadÂ’s 1998 league record of 16 shutouts. His goals-against-average of 0.54 is the lowest in the league and third lowest in league history in a season with 20 or more games. Sutton ranked first is goals against, allowing only 14 in 25 games. He ranked third in wins with 14, fifth in minutes played with 2355 and tied for fifth place with Mariner Matt Nelson and MilwaukeeÂ’s Jim Larkin in number of games played (25).

Gordon, also a finalist for Rookie of the Year, finished tied with Washington for the Goal Scoring Championship with 17 goals on the season. He ranked third in points with 35. Also drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS, Gordon was recently loaned to the club for the remainder of the 2004 season.

Finalists for A-League Coach of the Year, Nick DeSantis of Montreal and PortlandÂ’s Bobby Howe, were also announced today. The league also announced the finalists for Rookie and Defender of the Year. In addition to Gordon for Rookie honors is McColm Cephas from Richmond. The Virginia Commonwealth grad scored 10 goals and four assists. Defender of the Year will be decided between MontrealÂ’s Gabriel Gervais and RichmondÂ’s Peter Luzak.

All winners will be announced Thursday at the A-League Championship Banquet in Montreal. The championship game between Montreal and Seattle will be played Saturday in Montreal at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports World.

For information about the 2004 or 2005 Virginia Beach Mariners, please call 430-9800.

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