Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
MLS Awards: Brown closes strong to top rookie class
by Ridge Mahoney, October 31st, 2013 3:09AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

By Ridge Mahoney

They vied for the lead neck-and-neck for much of the season, then it was Deshorn Brown pulling away from Colorado teammate Dillon Powers in the Rookie of the Year race.

Those weren’t the only two contestants, as several other first-year pros found their feet early in the season and provided valuable contributions to their teams. Yet Brown and Powers finished as their team’s top two scorers, and while a rash of injuries provided their initial opportunities, they held their spots for a team that improved from an 11-19-4 record last year to a 14-11-9 mark and a return to the playoffs.

Brown, picked No. 6 overall out of Central Florida by the Rapids, came within one goal of Damani Ralph’s rookie record of 11 goals set in 2003. In 31 appearances (24 starts) Brown scored 10 goals and recorded four assists in 2,174 minutes of play. Like Ralph, he’s a native of Jamaica blessed with a speed and a keen knack of knifing into threatening positions. He scored the second-fastest goal in league history, 14 seconds after the opening kickoff, in a 5-1 demolition of the Sounders Oct. 5.

Deshorn’s teammate Powers, the 11th overall pick out of Notre Dame, started 29 of 30 games in midfield and finished the season with five goals, six assists, and numerous opponents befuddled by his mastery of the ball. He and Brown carried the bulk of the Rapids’ attack until the midseason arrivals of Gabriel Torres and Vicente Sanchez, but those arrivals didn't sideline the two rookies. In the 3-2 defeat of Vancouver Oct. 19 that clinched a playoff spot, Torres scored twice, and Brown also netted with a clever chip.

Colorado wasn’t the only team to rely heavily on rookies this season. Two first-year pros played integral roles for the Revs. No. 1 SuperDraft pick Andrew Farrell started in each of his 32 appearances (2,813 minutes) in the back line and committed just 12 fouls, though he was sent off once. Scott Caldwell took over the holding midfield role early enough to start 23 of 29 games (2,174 minutes) and register two assists.

Like Caldwell, Sounders right back DeAndre Yedlin is a Homegrown signing who made good. Yedlin, 20, locked up the right-back job early in the season and among rookies only Farrell exceeded his 2,710 minutes played (31 games, 30 starts). TFC academy product Jonathan Osorio started 18 of 28 games in midfield, scored five goals, and registered one assist. Carlos Alvarez, whose SuperDraft selection at No. 2 prompted some skepticism, played 29 games for Chivas USA with two goals and three assists.

Signed as a Homegrown player by the Galaxy last December, and thus held out of the SuperDraft after scoring 38 goals in three collegiate seasons at Cal State Bakersfield, Gyasi Zardes played wide midfield and up front for the Galaxy. He scored four goals and registered four assists in 27 games (23 starts).

Here are the top five in the chase for Rookie of the Year:

1. Deshorn Brown (Colorado).
2. Andrew Farrell (New England).
3. Dillon Powers (Colorado).
4. DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle).
5. Gyasi Zardes (Los Angeles).

Who's your pick for MLS MVP? Begin the debate on Twitter or Facebook.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Bruce Arena is a safe bet compared to the gamble U.S. Soccer took on Klinsmann    
It was an exciting and hopeful time, when U.S. Soccer hired Jurgen Klinsmann in the summer ...
Jurgen Klinsmann, the U.S. years    
More than five years with Jurgen Klinsmann in charge of the U.S. team ended Monday when ...
Tony DiCicco: Jill Ellis has USA on the right track despite Olympic setback    
Tony DiCicco remains the only coach who has guided the U.S. women to a World Cup ...
Klinsmann's promises of progress are not to be found    
The 4-0 blowout loss in Costa Rica Tuesday night is grounds for real concern, not just ...
Asleep at the wheel, an old U.S. habit    
First things first, the better team won on Friday night. Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio recalled ...
Americans' sporadic performance mars a great night for soccer    
A decade and a half of dominance crashed to earth Friday night in Columbus, where Mexico ...
Kinnear is anxious for 'awesome' encounter in Columbus    
Every time the USA plays Mexico those who have taken part in the rivalry think about ...
USL president Jake Edwards on Division II, expansion, MLS relationship and FC Cincinnati phenomenon    
Jake Edwards just completed his second season as the president of the USL. The league expanded ...
Big names laid big eggs in the MLS conference semifinals    
The byzantine MLS playoff schedule goes into hiatus at just the right time, allowing more time ...
Jermaine Jones will get USA audition in Sunday's Rapids-Galaxy playoff game    
After nearly four months on the shelf rehabbing a knee injury, midfielder Jermaine Jones has returned ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives