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 Nationality Team Draft
Draft Class College
1996 Ralston, SteveSteve Ralston Midfielder  United States Tampa Bay Mutiny 18 1996 MLS College Draft Florida International
1997 Duhaney, MikeMike Duhaney Defender  United States Tampa Bay Mutiny 87 1996 MLS Inaugural Draft UNLV
1998 Olsen, BenBen Olsen Midfielder  United States D.C. United N/A Project-40 Virginia
1999 Heaps, JayJay Heaps Defender  United States Miami Fusion 2 1999 MLS College Draft Duke
2000 Bocanegra, CarlosCarlos Bocanegra Defender  United States Chicago Fire 4 2000 MLS SuperDraft UCLA
2001 Faria, RodrigoRodrigo Faria Forward  Brazil MetroStars 13 2001 MLS SuperDraft Concordia College
2002 Martino, KyleKyle Martino Midfielder  United States Columbus Crew 8 2002 MLS SuperDraft Virginia
2003 Ralph, DamaniDamani Ralph Forward  Jamaica Chicago Fire 18 2003 MLS SuperDraft Connecticut
2004 Dempsey, ClintClint Dempsey Midfielder  United States New England Revolution 8 2004 MLS SuperDraft Furman
2005 Parkhurst, MichaelMichael Parkhurst Defender  United States New England Revolution 9 2005 MLS SuperDraft Wake Forest
2006 Bornstein, JonathanJonathan Bornstein Defender  United States Chivas USA 37 2006 MLS SuperDraft UCLA
2007 Edu, MauriceMaurice Edu Midfielder  United States Toronto FC 1 2007 MLS SuperDraft Maryland
2008 Franklin, SeanSean Franklin Defender  United States Los Angeles Galaxy 4 2008 MLS SuperDraft Cal State Northridge
2009 Gonzalez, OmarOmar Gonzalez Defender  United States Los Angeles Galaxy 3 2009 MLS SuperDraft Maryland
2010 Najar, AndyAndy Najar Midfielder  Honduras D.C. United N/A D.C. United Academy N/A
2011 Sapong, C. J.C. J. Sapong Forward  United States Sporting Kansas City 10 2011 MLS SuperDraft James Madison
2012 Berry, AustinAustin Berry Defender  United States Chicago Fire 9 2012 MLS SuperDraft Louisville
2013 Powers, DillonDillon Powers Midfielder  United States Colorado Rapids 11 2013 MLS SuperDraft Notre Dame
2014 Akindele, TeshoTesho Akindele Forward  Canada FC Dallas 6 2014 MLS SuperDraft Colorado School of Mines

Wins by playing position[edit]

Position Number of
Defender 8
Midfielder 7
Forward 4
Goalkeeper 0

Wins by nationality[edit]

Nationality Number of
 United States 15
 Brazil 1
 Canada 1
 Honduras 1
 Jamaica 1

Wins by team[edit]

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