MLS released a list of those who officially qualify for rookie status on Monday, presumably with the intent of establishing eligibility for this season’s Rookie of the Year award.
The Rookie of the Year award is one of the more troublesome awards – what exactly constitutes a rookie? Not quite as mind-warping as ‘valuable’ but up there.
The story of Taylor Twellman’s first season in the league – back in 2002 – is the most oft-referred to confusion.
That year, having spent the previous two with the reserve side of German club, 1860 Munich, Twellman was selected second overall by New England in the SuperDraft and went on to score twenty-three goals through twenty-eight appearances.
His experience in Germany was enough to deem him ineligible for the award, even though he would finish second in voting for the league MVP in his first season.
More recently, Toronto FC’s Joao Plata was ineligible for last season’s award, due to a very limited run in the first team with LDU Quito in Ecuador.
There was some confusion as to whether Jonathan Osorio would be considered a rookie under MLS designations, due to his time at Nacional in Uruguay, where he began in the academy structure, before reportedly working his way into the reserve side in time.
But now we know, a rookie he is, one of four Toronto players included on the 2013 Rookie List; Kyle Bekker, Emery Welshman, and Taylor Morgan – who is no longer with the club having been released in May – round out the quartet.
Morgan is eligible due to the fifteen minutes worth of league action he saw in the season opener against Vancouver – he, according to Wikipedia (bastion of scouting knowledge), is plying his trade in the third division in Sweden for Ostersunds FK, where he has two goals in three appearances.
This year’s top candidates, who have featured regularly, include Colorado’s duo of Dillon Powers and Deshorn Brown, Chivas’ Carlos Alvarez, Los Angeles’ Gyasi Zardes, New England’s Scott Caldwell and first-overall draft pick, Andrew Farrell, and Seattle’s DeAndre Yedlin,
Of note, Colorado goalkeeper, Clint Irwin is not included on the list – presumably for the three matches he played for USL side the Charlotte Eagles; his time in Ottawa with Capital City should not have precluded his designation, as Osorio spent a similar period with fellow CSL club, SC Toronto and that did not affect his status.
Columbus’ Wil Trapp has been excellent, but he only recently fought his way into the first team.
The entire list can be found here.
Does Osorio stand a chance against such heralded talents?
Five of the eight mentioned above finished higher in the most recent 24 Under 24 countdown run by MLSsoccer.com.
Who will take the prize?