On this evening in December, another MLS season will be in the books. Rather than wait for the entire campaign to play out, however, the league prefers to fill some dead space during the international break by handing out its awards and today the Rookie of the Year will be announced.
This prize has been won by Canadians two years in a row, with 2015 winner Cyle Larin following up Tesho Akindele’s victory 12 months earlier. Toronto FC’s only winner came in 2007, when Maurice Edu was the recipient.
This year, however, no Canadians or players of Canadian teams are in contention. Keegan Rosenberry of the Philadelphia Union, who was the only outfield player to play every single minute of his team’s regular-season games, takes on the Seattle Sounders’ 12-goal forward Jordan Morris and New York City midfield prodigy Jack Harrison.
We asked a few of our writers for their choices; let us know what you think by voting in the poll below and posting in the comments.
To me, this award is a toss-up between Jordan Morris of the Seattle Sounders and Keegan Rosenberry of the Philadelphia Union. Both players played in all 34 regular-season games for their respective clubs and both made significant impacts on the field.
While Rosenberry was a dominant presence at the back of a Union team that finally clawed it’s way back into the playoffs, the flair of Morris’s offensive skill set will likely give him the edge. Morris scored 12 goals as a rookie and was a significant threat coming from out wide. A physical specimen at age 22, Morris also has the technical ability to make him a dynamic piece of any offensive setup for years to come.
Not only did Morris have a great season, he's also more-or-less the most-hyped rookie in MLS since Freddy Adu. He should be a lock for the award as a USMNT regular-to-be, an attacker, and a great player to boot.
I think Morris will take it, but Rosenberry is also a deserving recipient so I’m going to opt for him to avoid a clean sweep. The maturity and durability he has displayed as a 22-year-old has been remarkable; what’s even more impressive to me than the minutes he racked up is that he did so without being shown a single card - yellow or red - all season despite making the third-most tackles in the league among defenders.
Who should be the MLS Rookie of the Year?— Waking the Red (@WakingtheRed) November 10, 2016