Rookie of the Year

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Seattle forward Jordan Morris voted MLS Rookie of the Year

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NEW YORK (AP) Seattle forward Jordan Morris has been voted Major League Soccer’s Rookie of the Year after scoring 12 goals in his first professional season.

The 21-year-old made his national team debut two years ago while still at Stanford.

[ MORE: PST makes its Rookie pick ]

He received an average of 45 percent of the vote in balloting by players, media and club management that was announced Thursday. He will miss Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Mexico because of a hamstring injury.

Philadelphia right back Keegan Rosenberry was second at 31 percent, followed by New York City midfielder Jack Harrison at 15 percent.

No doubter: MLS Rookie of the Year gets 96 percent of vote

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The least shocking story in MLS Awards season hit the news Tuesday, as Cyle Larin scooped up Major League Soccer’s Rookie of the Year award.

Larin, 20, was the first overall SuperDraft pick in the history of Orlando City, and the Canadian youngster responded by going bonkers on the score sheet. He’s now the first No. 1 pick since Maurice Edu in 2007 to win MLS ROY.

[ USMNT: Players with most to gain, lose in qualifiers ]

He netted an MLS rookie record 17 goals in 27 matches, basically equaling his strike rate at UConn in his first year in the pro ranks.

And, of course, he was a two-time PST MLS POTW.

When we say no-brainer, it’s partly because striker is a high-profile position. Chicago’s Matt Polster (SIUE) was quite good, and San Jose’s Fatai Alashe (Michigan State).

It’s also because, at 96% of the weighted vote, it wasn’t close.

Rookies of the Year don’t always go on to be all-timers, but it’s a pretty solid indication of a solid career in MLS or abroad. Larin will certainly be attracting attention from across the globe. Will Orlando cash in?

Rookie of the Year winners
2015: Cyle Larin, Orlando City
2014: Tesho Akindele, FC Dallas
2013: Dillon Powers, Colorado Rapids
2012: Austin Berry, Chicago Fire
2011: C.J. Sapong, Sporting Kansas City
2010: Andy Najar, D.C. United
2009: Omar Gonzalez, LA Galaxy
2008: Sean Franklin, LA Galaxy
2007: Maurice Edu, Toronto FC
2006: Jonathan Bornstein, Chivas USA
2005: Michael Parkhurst, New England Revolution
2004: Clint Dempsey, New England Revolution
2003: Damani Ralph, Chicago Fire
2002: Kyle Martino, Columbus Crew
2001: Rodrigo Faria, MetroStars
2000: Carlos Bocanegra, Chicago Fire
1999: Jay Heaps, Miami Fusion
1998: Ben Olsen, D.C. United
1997: Mike Duhaney, Tampa Bay Mutiny
1996: Steve Ralston, Tampa Bay Mutiny

Tesho Akindele brings FC Dallas its first MLS Rookie of the Year award

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From Calgary to Colorado to Dallas, Tesho Akindele’s young career has been quite a ride.

The latest stop? MLS rookie of the year.

The league announced Monday that Akindele edged Steve Birnbaum of DC United and Harry Shipp of the Chicago Fire for the honor.

[ MLS: BWP did not know suspension rule ]

The 22-year-old, who holds an American passport and has turned down an invite to Canada camp, scored 7 goals and added 3 assists in his rookie year after being selected sixth overall in the MLS SuperDraft.

Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year award winners
1996- Steve Ralston, Tampa Bay
1997- Mike Duhaney, Tampa Bay
1998- Ben Olsen, DC United
1999- Jay Heaps, Miami
2000- Carlos Bocanegra, Chicago
2001- Rodrigo Faria, NY/NJ
2002- Kyle Martino, Columbus
2003- Damani Ralph, Chicago
2004- Clint Dempsey, New England
2005- Michael Parkhurst, New England
2006- Jonathan Bornstein, Chivas USA
2007- Maurice Edu, Toronto
2008- Sean Franklin, LA
2009- Omar Gonzalez, LA
2010- Andy Najar, DC United
2011- CJ Sapong, Sporting KC
2012- Austin Berry, Chicago
2013- Dillon Powers, Colorado (PST choice: Powers)
2014- Teshi Akindele, FC Dallas
(PST choice: Nick Hagglund, Toronto FC)

Colorado Rapids’ Dillon Powers named MLS Rookie of the Year

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Three quick thoughts on this year’s honor, which went to the Colorado Rapids’ midfielder Monday:

Are we getting smarter about this stuff?

A good holding midfielder can stitch his team together in ways many fans and supporters cannot see without the most careful study. Casual observers might see a guy who doesn’t contribute enough to the attack, or does not manhandle enough opposition attackers for their liking. But there is a handsome value on the holding mid who can shape a contest through defensive positioning, by covering ground, by using skill and space wisely in linking possession front to back, etc.

It’s not always glamorous work. But show me a solid team, I can probably show you a steady-eddy holding midfielder.

So we come to Dillon Powers, the first-year Colorado Rapid who was today named MLS Rookie of the Year.

It would have been so easy for voters to choose teammate Deshorn Brown, whose stats made a screaming account. His 10-goals equaled an MLS rookie record – and if there is one thing we American sports fans love, it’s a “scoring record” of any shape or form.

We’ve seen central mids picked as RoY, Maurice Edu most recently, although that was back in 2007. But this one seems different because there was an attractive choice among attackers (Brown).

Young American playing centrally? Impressive

U.S. born-and-bred central midfielders have hardly been non-existent. Claudio Reyna, Tab Ramos, John O’Brien, John Harkes, Chris Armas, Kerry Zavagnin, Ben Olsen … well, the list could go on. They all made contributions from the center of the field.

But if we’re honest, the list of stately U.S. center backs, forwards and, of course, goalkeepers is probably longer. Bottom line, it’s tough for a U.S. man, especially a younger one, to make his mark as a central midfielder, where technical work and a savvy first touch is of highest value.

So, a bonus congrats to young Powers. Well done, young man.

The award was always bound for Colorado

But then, we were saying that three months ago.

What would have been really interesting: had Rapids’ left back Chris Klute, goalkeeper Clint Irwin or center back Shane O’Neill been eligible. All were practically rookies, although not technically so, having signed low-level pro deals before 2013.

Now that would have created a selection pool of RoY candidates from one team the likes none of us have ever seen.

(MORE: ProSoccerTalk’s staff choices for Rookie of the Year)

ProSoccerTalk’s MLS awards choices: Rookie of the Year

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We continue to roll out our choices for the league’s top defender, top goalkeeper, top rookie, MVP and more:

Today we look at ProSoccerTalk’s writer’s picks for Major League Soccer’s Rookie of the Year:

  • Steve Davis

source:  Dillon Powers, Colorado Rapids

Dillon Powers helped lead the Rocky Mountain rookie revolution around DSG Park. A central midfielder (who kept far more experienced foreign veterans off the field), he was in the middle of all things offense and defense for Oscar Pareja’s stylish side. Even statistically, Powers’ body of work gets more impressive upon just a little deeper examination. Deshorn Brown (a top ROY candidate) tied an MLS rookie record with 10 goals, and also had four assists, so he contributed directly to 14 goals as a forward. But Powers’ ability to contribute directly to 11 goals (5 goals, 6 assists) as a central midfielder really is something else.

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  • Richard Farley

source:  Deshorn Brown, Colorado Rapids

I thought Andrew Farrell’s season for the New England Revolution ended up under-appreciated, something I only bring up because this became a two-Rapid race (DeAndre Yedlin love dissipated, too). Among them, I went with Deshorn Brown, who I thought was a handful for Colorado Rapids’ opponents throughout the season, bringing value that went beyond his 10 goals (which tied an MLS rookie record). That said, every time somebody tells me they voted for Rapids’ teammate Dillon Powers, I feel guilty and left out.

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Joe Prince-Wright

source:  Dillon Powers, Colorado Rapids

Having come up against Powers once upon a time, his relentless movement and maneuvers to make space for himself is what impresses me most. At Notre Dame he led one of the most storied college soccer programs in the nation and he’s made the step up to MLS with consummate ease. Smashing long-range efforts in at will, bagging five goals and keeping Colorado’s engine ticking over in the middle of the pitch, Powers was a big reason why Oscar Pareja’s men made it to the playoffs. This guy will be a stud in the coming years. Think Will Johnson, but more powerful.

Schedule of ProSoccerTalk’s choices for MLS awards: