SBI 2012 MLS All-Rookie Best XI

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Teams searching for talent in the 2012 MLS Draft found quite a few quality gems. Several players who were able to step right in and make smooth transitions from college to the pros.

Some high draft picks lived up to their draft hype, like Darren Mattocks and Luis Silva, while some other rookies emerged to surprise and impress, like Connor Lade and Ray Gaddis. Late picks like Andy Rose found important roles on good teams, and the draft even produced a solid starting caliber goalkeeper in Ryan Meara, who was a Rookie of the Year front-runner before missing half the season with a hip injury.

Not making the SBI MLS All-Rookie Best XI doesn’t mean a rookie isn’t going to be a good player. In some cases, like with No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wenger, it was more a case of battling for minutes with veterans. Players like Wenger, Andrew Jean-Baptiste and Ethan Finlay didn’t play as much as some other Top 10 draft picks, but will still be players to watch in future years.

As far as the rookies who enjoyed the most impressive seasons, we present the SBI MLS All-Rookie Best XI:

SBI MLS All-Rookie Best XI

————————Darren Mattocks————————-

Tony Cascio—–Luis Silva——Kelyn Rowe—Nick DeLeon

—————————-Andy Rose—————————–

Connor Lade—Austin Berry—-Matt Hedges—-Ray Gaddis

—————————–Ryan Meara—————————


What do you think of the SBI MLS All-Rookie Best XI? Which rookie in the list did you enjoy watching the most? Which rookie surprised you this year?

Share your thoughts below.

  • RSLfan

    Could you imagine how deep RSL would be if they had been granted the rights to Cascio and DeLeon and not traded away Andy Rose. I hate wondering what might have been…


      • Ives Galarcep

        Calling them true products of that academy is a stretch. They spend a limited amount of time with the Arizona offshoot of the RSL academy, but not what could be considered a sizable amount of time. That is why RSL’s claims to them didn’t wind up holding up, because neither player spent THAT much time with the RSL academy.


      • RSLfan

        For the record, I am not trying to argue they should have been giving them, just wished by some ridiculous good luck it would have happened….


    • Bobb

      That may be true, but you could also say the same about Darren Mattocks (better team plus not burning himself while cooking Jamaican food).


  • Neruda

    I was hoping Sebastian Velasquez from RSL would be on this list since he started the year off with a bang against LA. He didn’t make much of an impact after that due to injury and other reasons I’m not sure of. His technical ball skills are pretty amazing. He made Vancouver defenders look silly right before the season ended with another crazy move to get out of the corner and almost ended up with an assist on the play. Hopefully we’ll see his name more next year.

    This is a good list and DeLeon was amazing this year.


  • JJ

    Antoine Hoppenot deserves at least an honorable mention. That kid is the definition of Super Sub.


  • Jack

    I think with the exceptions of Meara (Northern Ireland i think?) and Mattocks (Jamaica) all of them should have an opportunity to represent the MNT whether it’s Camp Cupcake or WC Qualifiers


  • keith

    I thought Warren Cravelle of the Dynamo should at least have gotten a mention. He is very versatile and played extremely well for a rookie……plays RB,LB,HMF,Wing.


    • The Imperative Voice

      I’m a big Creavalle fan, I think he ought to be the Dynamo’s starting RB or LB and could improve the team’s speed and playoff chances just by being used; but Kinnear doesn’t help him by Cameroning him. Sometimes he doesn’t play, sometimes a DM, sometimes a wing mid, and sometimes a wing back. And some of the appearances you may be thinking of were CCL. He’s only played 11 MLS games, starting 5, playing a little more than 5 games’ worth of minutes.

      This is part of the problem I have with Kinnear, is the veteran pecking order, while producing competitive veteran teams, also weighs them down from using the best XI. Which leads you to questions like, why does Sarkodie start right now and not Creavalle? I know part of Houston’s problem this year is quality forward depth past Bruin (and that is a Ching criticism, he eats a lot of cap for little), and the fact that attackers other than Davis and Boniek have not really stepped up (Carr and Kandji)…….but leaving Creavalle behind Ashe and Sarkodie is self-inflicted, veteran-favoring denseness. Creavalle is a defensive beast who distributes well and has some speed. Using him as a late minutes game-killer is a waste of his talents.

      There is actually a long term trend of players out of position IMO, Cameron all over the place, Holden as a CM when he is an elite winger when healthy (and let’s be real Holden went there so we didn’t actually replace DeRo, and so Kinnear didn’t have to resolve the competition with Mullan, who was inferior in quality but senior in tenure….). I think this particular unit, since it needs help, suffers for not being optimally shuffled out on to the field.


  • Connor

    Not that he deserved to be in the best XI, but Alex Caskey quietly had a pretty good first year in Seattle after spending last year in Charleston. After seeing Lamar Neagle do the same thing last year, does spending a year at a lower division club become a reasonable path for MLS caliber talent?


    • Ives Galarcep

      Having played at Charleston last year makes him no longer a rookie. MLS guidelines are that you’ve never been w/a pro team before.


  • Cal

    A sentimental pick – Kirk Urso. Came out as strong as any rookie at the start of the season. We miss you Kirk -and you’re not forgotten.


  • Tyler

    Fun fact: Gaddis and Hedges played on the same Club team in Indianapolis, Indy Burn Eagles.


  • Pingback: Recapping Ray Gaddis' Rookie Season With the Philadelphia Union | WVU Pros

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