So much of the Rookie of the Year spotlight has shined in the direction of two Colorado Rapids men this year, forward Deshorn Brown and midfielder Dillon Powers. They have been foremost candidates since last spring.
Oh, some others have tried to elbow their way into the conversation, maybe a shout for Seattle’s DeAndre Yedlin here, or a little burst for New England’s Andrew Farrell there. But they have been mere little brushfires, while Brown and Powers have been the big fire sucking all the ROY oxygen from the room.
So let’s mark down Saturday, in a nationally televised match against the Supporters Shield frontrunners, as the night Brown and Powers officially and completely cut loose from the rest of the field.
Brown (pictured, on the left) hit two goals in the Rapids’ early destruction of Seattle, shocking in its lopsidedness over the first 45 minutes (a 4-0 Rapids margin). He has nine goals this year – just two off of Damani Ralph’s MLS rookie record of 11 goals for Chicago back in 2003.
Establishing a rookie record for goals (or even getting within, say, a goal of it) would almost certainly earn Brown the Rookie of the Year award. If it didn’t, it will be because it went to the Jamaican striker’s teammate, Powers.
Powers has five goals and five assists. While the stats are not as showy, consider that he isn’t just a midfielder, but spent much of the year as a defensively oriented, holding midfielder. And Powers is keeping a far more experienced, far higher salaried Martin Rivero out of the Rapids starting lineup.
Either way, Major League Soccer may as well save some postage and ship that thing off to Denver. (All MLS awards are announced during MLS Cup week, the first week in December.)