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By ESPN Staff

Donovan, Howard, Altidore finalists for U.S. player of year honor

LOS ANGELES -- Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Jozy Altidore are finalists for the 2009 Honda Player of the Year Award that honors the best performer on the U.S. national team.

A panel of 221 sports journalists selected the final three, with the winner to be announced Oct. 20 in Los Angeles.

The 27-year-old Donovan, who plays midfield and forward, is a five-time winner of the award and a seven-time finalist. Goalkeeper Howard, 30, is a finalist for the third year in a row. Altidore, a 19-year-old forward, is first-time finalist.

Donovan took the award the last two years, and also won it in 2002-2004. He is the career goal-scoring leader for the U.S. team with 41 in 118 games. Since 2005, he has played with the Los Angeles Galaxy in MLS.

Howard starred this year at the Confederations Cup in South Africa, where he received the Golden Glove award in recognition as the best goalkeeper of the tournament. The United States finished second to Brazil in that event. Howard has 46 appearances with the national team since his debut in 2002. He currently plays for Everton in the English Premier League.

Altidore became the youngest player to score for the United States during a 2-2 draw against Mexico in 2008, when he was 17. On April 1 this year, he became the youngest U.S. player to record a hat trick when the Americans won 3-0 in the World Cup qualifying against Trinidad & Tobago. Altidore has scored eight goals in 19 appearance for the national squad. He currently plays for Hull City in the EPL.

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