Revolution presents 2011 team awards

Matt Reis wins MVP, A.J. Soares takes top defensive award

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Matt Reis was named 2011 New England Revolution Team MVP, as announced by the team in a pregame ceremony prior to tonight’s regular-season home finale against the Columbus Crew at Gillette Stadium. Rookie A.J. Soares was also honored with the Best Defender award, while Reis and Zak Boggs shared Humanitarian of the Year honors.

The MVP award was determined by a fan vote, while the defensive award was voted on by the team’s beat media.

Reis, 36, has anchored the team in goal for another season, one year removed from several surgeries that limited the netminder to just 14 appearances. In 27 appearances so far this year, Reis has posted a 1.59 goals against average with five shutouts. The Mission Viejo, Calif., product has posted 111 saves this year, which leads Major League Soccer entering this week’s schedule.

Also this year, Reis moved into fifth place on MLS’ career goalkeeper appearances chart (254) and also sits sixth in goalkeeper starts (249) and minutes played (22,511). This is Reis’ second team MVP award after winning the 2006 team MVP award.

Soares, 22, was drafted sixth overall by the Revolution in January at the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, and has been a fixture in the starting lineup from the first game of the year. Until he had season-ending surgery on his ankle last week, Soares started all but three matches this season. The Solana Beach, Calif., native also scored his first-career MLS goal on Sept. 7 at Philadelphia. This is Soares’ first Best Defender award.

Zak Boggs, 24, and Reis share the 2011 humanitarian of the year award.

Boggs’ work in Dr. Marsha Moses’ lab at Children’s Hospital has the potential to solve one of humanity’s greatest evils: cancer. Each week, the Vienna, W. Va., product travels into Boston and sets up in Moses’ lab, researching potential cancer diagnostics and prognostics. Specifically, he’s helping Moses and her staff attempt to find proteins in the body that would more clearly identify someone who has cancer from someone who does not. Not only has Boggs been a fixture in Moses’ lab since 2010 – when a concussion sidelined him for the entire second half of the MLS season – but Boggs has also been a regular visitor to patients at Children’s Hospital through the team’s monthly visits.

Reis launched the Matt Reis Charity Golf Challenge this year, and hopes to make it an annual event. While many athletes establish fundraisers for charities, few take as hands-on of an approach as Reis did this year. Working through the Johnny Damon Foundation, Reis was involved in every aspect of launching and running his golf tournament, which was held Sept. 19, at Shaker Hills Golf Club in Harvard, Mass. With celebrities on board, Reis and his wife Nicole hosted 15 foursomes and raised almost $70,000 through the tournament and night-before Pairings Party at The House of Blues. A trio of local charities will be the beneficiaries of Reis’ hard work and will receive donations once the final proceeds are determined: Children’s Hospital Boston, Grassroot Soccer and the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.  All three organizations are close to the Reis’ hearts for personal reasons.