As MLS prepares to enter the final month of the regular season, the competition for end-of-year awards is as much in the conversation as the chase to get into the playoffs. Two of the Rapids young stars are eligible for Rookie of the Year, and both are at the top of the list for that award: Dillon Powers and Deshorn Brown.
- INFOGRAPHIC: TeamDillon and TeamDeshorn
Voting for the award will start in late October, with representatives from MLS front offices, players and coaches, and media members all having votes. We want to help draw attention to our rookies, who are (according to many, both inside and outside our club) the best two candidates in the league. We’ll be taking to twitter with #TeamDillon and #TeamDeshorn hashtags, and hope Rapids fans will join in on the conversation and make their opinions heard. Plus, we can remind those media members with votes about who the top players really are!
Here’s the case for both #TeamDillon and #TeamDeshorn:
Powers, the 11th overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, seems to be the league’s frontrunner for the award. He leads all rookies in minutes played, just ahead of New England’s Andrew Farrell, and his five assists are also top among first-year professionals in MLS. He’s added four goals, including a ridiculous strike against the Portland Timbers at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park early in the season, which is tied for third among rookies. However, what has impressed most observers around the league is the poise and maturity that Powers has displayed on the field, playing an important attacking midfield role and sparking the Rapids’ offense throughout the season.
- Know Your Rapids: Q&A with Dillon Powers
While Powers has often been the linking player or the creator, Deshorn Brown has made a big impression for his ability to get chances for Colorado. The rookie leader in goals (seven), Brown has a total of 86 shots, which ties him for fourth in MLS and puts him in a top six group that includes Marco Di Vaio (97), Camilo Sanvezzo (97), Mike Magee (93), Chris Wondolowski (86) and Thierry Henry (82). Brown’s speed and ability to get in the right spot has made him the Rapids’ leading scorer and one of the most impressive young players in the league.
- Know Your Rapids: Q&A with Deshorn Brown
When MLSsoccer.com’s 24 Under 24 feature came out, it seemed that the media voting put a great deal of weight on the “intangibles” that they included in the judging – things like “marketability” and “quotability.” Powers was an inscrutable 23rd on the list, while Brown came in at number 20. However, Rookie of the Year has to deal with actual performance – and the Rapids duo can only be at the top of everyone’s lists. Soccer America, for one, has noticed the impressive performances from all of the Rapids’ youngsters.
So who would be your pick for Rookie of the Year? Get the conversation started online, and make your voice heard using hashtags #TeamDillon and #TeamDeshorn!