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A closer look at the MLS Rookie of the Year candidates

DeshornBrownColoradoRapids1-SeattleSounders (ColoradoRapids)


The final weekend of the 2013 MLS regular season is upon us, and with it comes another opportunity for this year’s class of rookies to make an impression.

The 2013 MLS draft class has churned out many impactful professionals, players who in their first seasons have already shown an ability to score timely goals, defend impressively or handle the rigors of being an every-game starter. There has been no shortage of talent this year, and that is why the Rookie of the Year race is as tight as it is.

From the Colorado Rapids duo of Deshorn Brown and Dillon Powers to Seattle Sounders right back DeAndre Yedlin, there have been several standout rookies in 2013. Each of them have made a strong case for themselves, but no one has really been leaps and bounds better than the rest of the pack, which could mean that a tight vote is in store for the award this season.

Here’s a closer look at the 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year candidates:


The Colorado Rapids forward has been an integral part of his club’s surprising success this season. Brown has impressively played in 30 games, contributing with 10 goals and four assists, and led the front line of a team that is playoff-bound despite suffering a slew of injuries. The 22-year-old Brown, who was recently called up by Jamaica due to his strong form at the club level, will be key in Colorado’s postseason push.


Another Rapids player who has lifted a heavy load by starting in 29 of the 30 matches he has appeared in, Powers has shone in midfield for the Rapids. Not only has the 22-year-old rookie chipped in defensively with his bite and hustle, but he also has contributed on the other side of the ball. Powers has scored five goals and assisted on six others, solid numbers considering how he was viewed by some prior to the start of the year.


Big things were expected of the New England Revolution defender after being chosen with the No. 1 overall pick, and it is safe to say that he has lived up them thus far. In 2013, Farrell has demonstrated his versatility, speed and immense potential all while establishing himself as an important part of a New England team that is on the cusp of the playoffs. The 21-year-old fullback has started in each of the 31 matches he has played in this year, and proven a capable defender with an ability to jump into the attack with his speed.


If there is one thing that matches Yedlin’s array of stylish appearances, it is his potential. The Seattle Sounders youngster is as promising a prospect as there is in MLS and he proved that this season with his ability to run up and down the right flank with ease. Yedlin has started in 29 of the 30 games he has played in so far, and he has been more of a threat than his statistics (one goal, two assists) seem to indicate.


The youngest player on this list, the 18-year-old Manneh might be seen as a long shot to win this year’s award but he is deserving of some recognition given his game-changing abilities. Manneh has not been relied up by the Vancouver Whitecaps as heavily as other rookies have by their teams (five starts in 19 appearances) but he still has shown flashes of brilliance , especially in the recent outing that saw him become the youngest player in MLS history to score a hat-trick.


It’s easy to forget that the LA Galaxy attacker is a rookie given just how polished his game already is. The 22-year-old Zardes has been a steady contributor for the star-studded Galaxy this year and come through with four goals and four assists in 26 matches. Zardes might be a darkhorse in this race, but do not be too surprised if he receives a chunk of the overall votes given that he has become a regular for Bruce Arena.


Who do you think should win the MLS Rookie of the Year award? Think this year’s race will come down to the wire? Is there anyone else you would consider for the award?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. As a rapids season ticket holder, I vote powers over brown. Brown looked shaky at the start of the season and seemed to struggle with dribbling at speed – a major part of his game. He’s come a long way since the beginning of the season though. Powers, however, has been solid all season long and has been one of the rapids best players from the start. He has excellent vision, touch, passing, and calmness on the ball. The fact that I think powers has been better than 10-goal-brown is huge praise, but well deserved. Also, blah blah blah yedlin blah hate blah blah blah crazy hair

  2. Can someone explain to me what this post means?

    Dio says:
    October 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM
    Again! Clearly, Rapids fans overstate the YEDLIN is not wearing pastry time? OK? But NOOO. USMNT call up? Klinsmann no hat withstanding, draped in shame, pogs on the floor KNOWS no creativity mastiff. RESULTS are what clearly matches box. Do you?

  3. I’m unsure if my following statement has any weight on choosing the ROTY but it could be argued that the play of Brown and Powers has played a direct role in the Rapids success and resurgence. The Rapids may not be a playoff team without their stellar play. I’m led to believe, due to Seattle’s roster strength, Yedlin’s play week in and week out wasn’t as crucial. Wait… that’s a bad way to put it. Maybe I should say Seattle is less dependent on Yedlin. If he has a bad game it can be masked by a strong roster. Colorado not so much. Brown and Powers cannot have “off nights”. Make no bones about it, Yedlin has been stellar and impressive throughout the season and has shown to be a deserving ROTY candidate. However, I contend if he were out of the lineup Seattle can survive.

  4. What is amazing is the talent NOT on the list.
    Guys who haven’t broken into the starting lineup and guys who have too. Some are second year players, but still so young. Good times for soccer in this country.

    I am not going to wish anyone a good day, but it is a nice post too.

  5. Please only reply with niceties and agreement. I will start.

    I hope you all are having a nice day. Its great that we can post on this message board about something we like. I also like puppies.

      • It’s nice that we have a ROY candidate that is just one goal away from the all-time record for goals by a rookie. These things don’t happen too often you know.

      • Khannnnn give it a rest buddy. I am sure your a genuine die hard football pundit, but leave it out my man. Your opinion is far off what normal football fans, coaches, players and writers agree with. I am not your wrong, but Yedlin did get an MLS game call up by the commissioner. (not based upon flash and style). Yedlin should be on this list and everytime you disagree, you lose a little respect!

  6. The Yedlin hate from Rapids fans is one of the funniest subplots to come out of this season. You’d think he pooped in their cornflakes.

    • What’s great is people like you who attack people for not supporting your BELIEFS. Your reality isn’t anchored, factually speaking. And everyone that doesn’t agree must be the opposition.

      Funny how you call everyone who doesn’t think Yedlin belongs there a Rapids fan. Because of course you can’t be wrong and everyone who disagrees is a Rapids fan because they could never be right.

      • When you say something as ridiculous as “shouldn’t even be a candidate” I have to assume there’s some kind of bias. Either that or you just have zero idea how to judge talent.

      • I think he was trying to say you SHOULD be a Timber’s fan because you don’t know soccer.

        Yedlin is a very legit candidate, because he has a lot to learn doesn’t mean anything, they are rookies.
        All of them have ways to go.

        Not even worth talking about.

    • Rapids fans should love Yedlin – he basically gifted them three of the five goals that the Rapids scored against the Flounders a few weeks ago.

  7. I don’t follow the Revs, but how long will it be before Farrell is playing centerback? That’s where his international and USMNT future lies, as we are pretty deep at outside back. But I think he could be a star at centerback at the next level.

    • We’re not all that stacked at outside back. I like Brad Evans, but he’s not even a true fullback. Nor is Beasely. Dolo may make it back for the WQ, but he’ll retire internationally after. Chandler is in a state of purgatory and hasn’t inspired a ton of confidence even when he is here. Yedlin is a bright prospect, but can’t be expected to contribute for a while (not to mention may not be as good as Farrell). Lichaj is in a state of international purgatory with Klinsman.

      Anyway, my point is, centerback is in much better shape for the future with Gonzo and Besler than either fullback position.

      • Post 2015 Gold Cup USMNT defense depth (in no particular order) :
        CB: Besler, Gonzalez, Brooks
        RB: Chandler, Lichaj, Yedlin, Ferrell
        LB: F. Johnson, Castillo, Klute, Lichaj
        I’m sure that there are others who I’m forgetting or don’t know about, but this is the likely starting point for the 2018 cycle.

  8. Not that it matters but random (seattle) fans starting a rumor about a nation team call up does not count as an accomplishment. Yedlin is a great prospect but certainly not one of the better defenders in the league (nor the national pool) YET

    Scoring in WCQ does!

    • Agreed on his defensive capabilities, but he’s definitely of the Alves/Carlos/Castillo mold of defenders, where their offensive spark makes up for mediocre defense. (And to pre-empt rage, I’m including Castillo as a style of play comparison with Alves/Carlos, not on an ability level)

  9. Frankly speaking, Deandre Yedlin is not a candidate. You don’t win anything in life based on your ‘potential.’

    And when one of your justifications for his position as a candidate is that some uneducated people on the Internet wanted to see him embarrass himself for the full senior national team–well I’m still trying to figure out why that is included since you readily admit he didn’t actually contribute much of anything given that the one major aspect of potential is his ability to get forward into dangerous positions and make plays.

    That would be the logical fallacy known as ad populum. This site should be doing the opposite of listening to people who call for everyone and anyone to suit up. This is supposed to be professional commentary, no?

    And his stylish appearance is garbage. This is a soccer game, not a fashion show. Make a statement with your play, not your hair.

    • What a preposterous comment. You can disagree with who should win, but saying that he’s “not a candidate” is just ridiculous. It’s fairly clear to me that you’ve watched very few of his games, or you would have talked about his play rather than harping on your interpretation of what a SBI writer said.

      But go Rapids, right?

      • Sorry, no it isn’t.

        This isn’t a popularity contest. And thanks for the lesson in how to attack people with no substance. Your response to my comment? You didn’t understand. I know your type. If someone doesn’t get your “beliefs” it’s because they don’t understand and they naturally fit into whatever construct you’ve created to attack.

        Case in point. I am not a Rapids fan. But you had nothing else to go on so you tell me I am a Rapids fan.

        He isn’t a candidate. He’s done nothing of note. He’s a flashy hair piece that gets hyped because he operates like a basic wingback. Look at those great runs! They never amount to anything, but LOOK AT THEM!!!!

      • He’s done nothing of note? Stepping in as a rookie and being one of the consensus top 5 right backs in MLS is doing nothing?

        But yeah, you’re right, the number one thing we should judge outside backs on is their goals/assists. Nothing else about their game matters.

        It seems odd that Sigi would jettison a Swedish international outside back because he was enamored with his rookie’s hair style, but you said it so it must be true!

      • I was responding to the criteria set forth in the article above. And I indiciated.

        And consensus by who? You? Certainly not the league.


        I mean these are just the players that are undeniably better right backs.

      • bahahahahahahahaha ok, now I know this is a practical joke. There’s not a single player (aside from maybe Farrell) that wouldn’t get traded straight up in a heart beat.

        Marcus Holgerson a better right back…lol you have a stand up future ahead of you.

        (oh and btw, WhoScored vehemently disagrees with you, but forget stasticial data, right?)

      • You should probably also contact and ask for the credentials of the coach, scout, and technical director that all had him in their top 5 players under the age of 24. There’s apparently a shit ton of coaches out there who can’t see past hairstyle.

      • KHANNNNNN,

        I am sure you were the same person saying we needed to give Freddy Adu another shot, when the USMNT was fluttering. Give everyone a break, Yedlin should be a candidate and you know it. Bitterness is probably not the worst taste you have had in your mouth.

      • Again! Clearly, Rapids fans overstate the YEDLIN is not wearing pastry time? OK? But NOOO. USMNT call up? Klinsmann no hat withstanding, draped in shame, pogs on the floor KNOWS no creativity mastiff. RESULTS are what clearly matches box. Do you?

      • This is the best comment I’ve ever read. I think this sums up the race for ROY perfectly.

        (BTW my hypothetical vote is Brown)

    • Brown or Powers should win it but your hate for Yedlin is laughable. He has been an exciting player in the league this year and is clearly a candidate, although his candidacy has definitely taken a hit with some recent performances. There have been numerous games this year where he was the best offensive threat Seattle had coming down that flank, I’ll be interested to see how he progresses next year.

    • Yea! Ives and all those other “experts” are only enamored with Yedlin because of his hair! They don’t know anything about soccer! Ives is just an echo chamber! Let’s all go to your site because clearly you are the expert, and aren’t swayed by a man with a fancy do. (You must have a site, no?)

  10. The ROY race was over ten seconds into the Colorado-Seattle game a couple weeks ago when Brown schooled Yedlin, Alonso and Hurtado.

    Powers is going to finish the season on a low note with concussion problem while DeShorn will keep scoring into the playoffs.

    • Was it over when Brown and Powers did nothing in their first two matchups and Yedlin scored a goal? Everyone seems to forget those games.

      • That’s funny.

        Deshorn Brown wasn’t with the team when Seattle and Colorado first played.

        But go ahead and flail about throwing lies around because you’re wrong.

      • You seem to know a hell of a lot about the Rapids gameday 18 for a guy who isn’t a Rapids fan.

        You definitely got me though. Powers doing nothing in two and Brown doing nothing in one instead of two totally invalidates my point that neither did anything in the first two game—-ohhh wait.

      • So you got caught lying and are now trying to argue something differently.

        In fact, it’s hilarious you try to REASSERT in an argument that was based on something that never happened, which indicates that you just made it up in the first place.

        And yeah, it took me 30 seconds on MLS Soccer to check the result for the game. Huge Rapids fan.

      • Got caught lying? I thought Brown had played in the first game. I made a mistake. I’ll go perform seppuku to regain some honor.

      • brown didn’t do anything in the 1st matchup, a 1-0 Seattle win courtesy of a Martins goal, because he was out injured. Let me correct you on Powers: he was pretty decent, narrowly missed two shots from distance, and very clean with his possession and distribution. On the 2nd matchup, a 1-1 draw, the game was pretty mundane with both sides not having a ton of success. DeAndre aside from his goal, a headed rebound off his original shot that was incredibly saved by Irwin, didn’t have that great of a match. But it’s all forgotten with a goal, right?? Powers and Brown likewise were pretty average. However, the 3rd matchup of the season Brown and Powers were absolutely sensational and Yedlin was horrific. Hard to argue that. I not advocating Yedlin, Powers, or Brown as ROTY. All three have shown to be worthy candidates. I just wanted to refresh you on the 3 matches as your memory seems to have been lost.

      • And I’m not so sure I’d say he had an “average game”…he was the highest rated player on the field…

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