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SBI Rookie of the Week: Nick DeLeon

NickDeLeon (Getty)

D.C. United's stirring comeback win against New England on Saturday helped boost Ben Olsen's club up the Eastern Conference standings, and also helped strengthen Nick DeLeon's already impressive Rookie of the Year candidacy.

It is only six weeks into the season, but DeLeon has been the most impressive rookie in the league and his two-assist effort in United's 2-1 victory against New England magnified that fact. It also helped make DeLeon the clear-cut choice for SBI MLS Rookie of the Week.

DeLeon beat out a good collection of rookies who did well in MLS Week 6, including Philadelphia fullback Ray Gaddis and Columbus midfielder Kirk Urso.

What did you think of DeLeon's performance? Has he been the most impressive rookie you've seen all year? Surprised with how well Gaddis played?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. DeLeon has been very impressive so far. In fact, he and Cruz have put Pontius and Najar on the bench. Now that Pontius is getting fit, he’ll find a spot. But DeLeon has claimed a starting spot at least until he hits the rookie “wall.”

  2. DeLeon clearly had a rep as a good attacking player. But a couple of things have really impressed me (having now seen in him a couple of matches):
    –work rate: one of the 2-3 hardest working players on the team.
    –willingness to track back and defend and also fight to win balls.
    –some nice combination play work with other players and very unselfish.
    Combine that with some serious skills with the ball on the ground and speed and size and you’ve got an attractive player.

    Note: my understanding is that he was originally a LEFT BACK in college. I think he has shown more possibility for that position than the Bobby Convey experiment ever did.

  3. If he is dumb enough to run off to T&T, good riddance. Otherwise there is no rush, he should get a January camp invite just like CJ Sapong did this past year. Same goes for Kelyn Rowe and Luis Gil.

  4. That and I would probably argue that his pace isn’t his strong suit, and we all know that speed is really what propels you to the international level…

  5. I suppose some of that is because no one wants to see him get a call from T&T for the WC qualifiers. At least, Klinsi should take a look at him, to let him know the USA is serious about his potential.

  6. His corner kicks — and there were a lot of them — were all good. Even the one that seemed long would have been great if anyone had been making a run at the far post. I look forward to seeing develop on free kicks, too.

  7. It’s funny some people are already calling for him to be capped for the USMNT. HE hasn’t proven anything yet to even be considered over other players for the May camp. Let him prove himself for a season before calling for a cap for the USMNT. Lets see what he is like at the end of the year first.

  8. Way too soon. Guys work their butts off to get invites to camps. And then work hard there to get caps in friendlies. Antigua and Barbuda is a Qualifier, and the 18 guys that make that selection are going to be among the most proven players in the pool.

    The idea that we just hand out caps of this importance based on a few MLS or European reserve appearances is one of the most frustrating parts of USA fan culture. What is wrong with letting DeLeon earn his chances through consistent hard work and January Camp appearances? It is better for him and better for the USMNT

  9. I thought he was good on Sat – definitely the better rookie vrs Rowe – though I’m not sure it was a performance that needs to be spotlighted? He had one hockey assist and the other came from a nice pass into Pontius, who scored on a beautiful shot as he was poorly defended.

  10. Definitely not ready for USMNT yet. Perhaps in January he could get a look if he continues to play at a high level. He was actually quite close to playing for T&T in Olympic Qualifying but they have had some issues lately (not paying players or something of that nature) and he decided against it.

  11. Does this kid have what it takes to contribute at a US national team level? I wiki’d him real quick and he’s only 21. His father was a national teamer for Trinidad and Tobago so I wonder who he will choose if he proves he is a USA caliber player. Either way I think we see him in CONCACAF play – If not for USA someday, he’s surely a shoe-in for Trinidad and Tobago


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