MLS Rookie of the Year Award

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In the United States, Major League Soccer (MLS) has handed out a Rookie of the Year Award since its inception in 1996. MLS, as opposed to other American sports leagues like Major League Baseball, only designates a player as a rookie if the player has had no prior professional experience. So, for example, although Taylor Twellman finished second in MVP voting in 2002, he was ineligible for the Rookie of the Year Award because he had played on the reserve team of 1860 Munich.


Season Player Position Team Draft
Draft Class College
1996 United States Steve Ralston Midfielder Tampa Bay Mutiny 18 1996 MLS College Draft Florida International
1997 United States Mike Duhaney Defender Tampa Bay Mutiny 87 1996 MLS Inaugural Draft UNLV
1998 United States Ben Olsen Midfielder D.C. United N/A Project-40 Virginia
1999 United States Jay Heaps Defender Miami Fusion 2 1999 MLS College Draft Duke
2000 United States Carlos Bocanegra Defender Chicago Fire 4 2000 MLS SuperDraft UCLA
2001 Brazil Rodrigo Faria Forward MetroStars 13 2001 MLS SuperDraft Concordia College
2002 United States Kyle Martino Midfielder Columbus Crew 8 2002 MLS SuperDraft Virginia
2003 Jamaica Damani Ralph Forward Chicago Fire 18 2003 MLS SuperDraft Connecticut
2004 United States Clint Dempsey Midfielder New England Revolution 8 2004 MLS SuperDraft Furman
2005 United States Michael Parkhurst Defender New England Revolution 9 2005 MLS SuperDraft Wake Forest
2006 United States Jonathan Bornstein Defender Chivas USA 37 2006 MLS SuperDraft UCLA
2007 United States Maurice Edu Midfielder Toronto FC 1 2007 MLS SuperDraft Maryland
2008 United States Sean Franklin Defender LA Galaxy 4 2008 MLS SuperDraft Cal State Northridge
2009 United States Omar Gonzalez Defender LA Galaxy 3 2009 MLS SuperDraft Maryland
2010 Honduras Andy Najar Midfielder D.C. United N/A Homegrown Player N/A
2011 United States C. J. Sapong Forward Sporting Kansas City 10 2011 MLS SuperDraft James Madison
2012 United States Austin Berry Defender Chicago Fire 9 2012 MLS SuperDraft Louisville
2013 United States Dillon Powers Midfielder Colorado Rapids 11 2013 MLS SuperDraft Notre Dame
2014 Canada Tesho Akindele Forward FC Dallas 6 2014 MLS SuperDraft Colorado School of Mines
2015 Canada Cyle Larin Forward Orlando City SC 1 2015 MLS SuperDraft Connecticut
2016 United States Jordan Morris Forward Seattle Sounders FC N/A Homegrown Player Stanford
2017 Germany Julian Gressel Midfielder Atlanta United 8 2017 MLS SuperDraft Providence College
2018 United States Corey Baird Forward Real Salt Lake N/A Homegrown Player Stanford
2019 Brazil Andre Shinyashiki Forward Colorado Rapids 5 2019 MLS SuperDraft Denver

Wins by playing position[edit]

Position Number of
Defender 8
Forward 8
Midfielder 8
Goalkeeper 0

Wins by nationality[edit]

Nationality Number of
 United States 17
 Canada 2
 Brazil 1
 Germany 1
 Honduras 1
 Jamaica 1

Wins by team[edit]

Team Number of
Chicago Fire 3
Colorado Rapids 2
D.C. United 2
Los Angeles Galaxy 2
New England Revolution 2
Tampa Bay Mutiny 2
Atlanta United FC 1
Chivas USA 1
Columbus Crew 1
FC Dallas 1
MetroStars 1
Miami Fusion 1
Orlando City SC 1
Seattle Sounders FC 1
Sporting Kansas City 1
Toronto FC 1
Real Salt Lake 1