BALTIMORE, Jan. 18, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- FieldTurf announced the winners of its second annual 2007 Soccer awards today at the National Soccer Coaches Convention in Baltimore. Award-winners were named in 9 categories. These awards are based on tabulated votes from FieldTurf Tarkett executives and the seven member panel consisting of Bill Irwin, Steve Sampson, Jay Hoffman, Aly Wagner, Steve Shak, Brian Ching, and Buzz Lagos.

This year's award winners are:

 * MLS Coach of the Year - Preki Radosavljevic (Chivas USA)
 * USL Division 1 Coach of the Year - Gavin Wilkinson (Portland
 * USL Division 2 Coach of the Year - Bill Becher (Harrisburg City
 * USL W-League Coach of the Year - Keith Jones (Atlanta Silverbacks)
 * NCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year (Men's Soccer) - Ed Kelly (Boston
 * NCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year (Women's Soccer) - Garrett Smith
   (University of Portland)
 * MLS Team of the Year - Houston Dynamo
 * USL Team of the Year - Seattle Sounders
 * NCAA Team of the Year - Wake Forest Demon Deacons

PREKI RADOSAVLJEVIC, Chivas USA (MLS Coach of the Year):

One of Major League Soccer's most decorative players did not take long to leave his mark as a coach. In his first season as head coach of Chivas USA, Preki, a two-time MLS MVP, guided the franchise to the number-one record in the Western Conference (15-7-8), posting a club record 46 goals and surrendering just 28, the second stingiest defense in the league. Ironically, Preki the player was known for one of the deadliest left foots in the game, finishing his 10-year MLS career with 79 goals and 112 assists, but it was Chivas' defense that built the foundation for Preki's success as a rookie head coach.

GAVIN WILKINSON, Portland Timbers (USL Division 1 Coach of the Year):

In his first season as head coach and general manager in 2007, Wilkinson led the Portland Timbers to their first USL First Division semifinals appearance after finishing the regular season in second place with a record of 14-5-9 (51pts). He also guided the Timbers to the best turnaround season in USL First Division history after the team tied for last in 2006. Wilkinson has been a member of the Timbers organization since it joined the USL in 2001. As a player, Wilkinson ranks among Timbers career leaders in games (124) and minutes played (10,181).

BILL BECHER, Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Division 2 Coach of the Year):

Becher has built the City Islanders into one of the league's most competitive clubs in just four seasons, leading the City Islanders from a losing record in 2006 to the USL2 championship in 2007. The Harrisburg City Islanders defeated the defending champion Richmond Kickers 8-7 in a nine-round penalty kick shootout. Becher, a former player for the Major Indoor Soccer League's Harrisburg Heat, scored 280 goals and assisted on 254 others in 458 games during his indoor playing career.

KEITH JONES, Atlanta Silverbacks (USL W-League Coach of the Year):

Just three seasons after the inaugural W-League season, the Atlanta Silverbacks Women, led by first-year head coach Keith Jones, have become a dominating force in the league both on and off the field. Jones, who played in the English Premier League for Charlton Athletic and Chelsea, guided the Silverbacks (12-3-1) to the 2007 W-League championship match, winning a Central Conference and Atlantic Division title along the way. Off the field, the USL recognized the Atlanta Silverbacks as the W-League Organization of the Year.

ED KELLY, Boston College (NCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year):

Boston College head men's soccer coach Ed Kelly led BC to one of its best seasons in school history. BC finished its season with a record of 15-5-1, including a mark of 7-1-0 in league play. Its 15 wins ranks just second in Kelly's 20-year tenure at BC to the 2002 club that won 18 games. The 2007 team captured the ACC regular-season and tournament titles and earned the nation's No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, where it fell to semifinalist Massachusetts in second-round action. Kelly finished his 23rd season as a head coach and 20th year (1988-2006) as head coach of Boston College; spent three years (1985-1987) at Seton Hall. He has an overall record of 223-162-41.

GARRETT SMITH, University of Portland (NCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year, Women's Soccer):

Portland head coach Garrett Smith, whose team was ranked #2 in the nation, posted an 18-4-0 record in 2007, and was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament by UCLA on penalty kicks. Garrett, who took over for legendary coach Clive Charles in 2003, has guided the Pilots to the NCAA tournament in each of his five seasons at the helm, winning it all in 2005.

HOUSTON DYNAMO (MLS Team of the Year):

For the second consecutive year, the Dominic Kinnear-led Dynamo took home the MLS Cup after going down a goal in the final. Forward Dwayne De Rosario, best known for his lethal right foot, scored the game winner with a powerfully driven header. With its second consecutive title, and the team's fourth championship since 2001, the team might want to change their name from Dynamo to Dynasty.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS (USL Team of the Year):

Not only did the Sounders capture their second USL title in the past three seasons, but they defeated three MLS teams to advance to the US Open Cup semifinals. And this was not even their biggest news of the year. Major League Soccer announced that Seattle will be its 15th franchise under co-owner/celebrity Drew Carey, slated to start in 2009.

WAKE FOREST (NCAA Team of the Year):

After being eliminated in penalty kicks in the semifinal by last year's eventual champion Santa Barbara, Wake Forest persevered in 2007 to return to the College Cup and capture its first national soccer title in school history. Ranked number-one for most of the year, the Demon Deacons tallied two second-half goals to come from behind against Ohio State in the final.

In addition to the votes of FieldTurf Tarkett executives, award-winners were picked by a 7-member panel. The distinguished members of the panel are:

 Bill Irwin - US U-21 Women's National Team head coach and Director of
  Soccer for University of Portland
 Steve Sampson - Former US National Team head coach and Costa Rican
  National Team head coach.
 Jay Hoffman - US Paralympics National Soccer Team Head Coach, Virginia
  Rush Soccer Club director of coaching and Region I Boys ODP head
 Aly Wagner - US Women's National Team midfielder
 Steve Shak - All-star defender for the Charlotte Eagles of the USL2
  and former #1 draft pick in the 2000 MLS draft.
 Brian Ching - Veteran forward for the Houston Dynamo of Major League
  Soccer and member of the 2006 U.S. Men's World Cup Team
 Buzz Lagos - Former long-time head coach of the Minnesota Thunder.
  Until he retired in 2005, he was the only coach in team history. He
  coached the Minnesota Thunder to four A-League Championship matches
  (1998, 1999, 2000, 2003) winning the championship match in 1999.

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Darren Gill