FourFourTwo's midseason picks for MLS' major awards
Rookie of the Year
2015 winner: Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC
The pick: Keegan Rosenberry, Philadelphia
Paul Tenorio made the statistical case for Keegan Rosenberry on Friday, one that complements the play we’ve seen from the former Hoya. From the season’s opening game, when the Georgetown product confirmed his hold on Philadelphia’s right back spot, it was clear the Union had done what’s becoming a rarity: found somebody in the MLS SuperDraft who can step in and be a positive from day one. Through 20 games, Rosenberry is the only Union player to play every minute this season.
Like all defenders, Rosenberry hasn’t been without error, but the fact that he can be compared to “all defenders” is in itself a compliment. You won’t see many dwell on his naiveté, or excuse errors with his inexperience. People know Rosenberry should be judged by a higher standard.
Seattle’s Jordan Morris and NYCFC’s Jack Harrison are going to put up numbers, but there is something to be said about a rookie coming in and holding down a spot in defense from day one. As his all-star selection hints, Rosenberry is a true reason why Philadelphia is competing at the top of the Eastern Conference.
-- Richard Farley (@RichardFarley)
Don't forget: Jordan Morris, Seattle
The rookie who entered the year with the highest expectations has done his best to live up to them. Morris took some time to grow into his role in the pro game, but he found his rhythm a few games into the season and has thrived since, at times trying to lift the anemic Seattle Sounders’ attack onto his back. His seven goals is more than double the next highest Seattle teammate (Clint Dempsey, 3), and he is well ahead of the next-highest rookie on the goal-scoring charts (Jack Harrison, 3).
Morris has been exactly what he was billed to be: a goal-scorer who can create his own chances. While other rookies have had strong seasons, none has been counted on to lead as much this year as Morris has during a year in which the Sounders have played long stretches without Dempsey and struggled to replace Obafemi Martins.
-- Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio)