WVH Watch List: Rookie of the Year

WVH Watch List: Rookie of the Year

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 22, 2008

A month or so in and I believe its a good enough time as ever to begin putting together lists for certain year-end awards in Major League Soccer. Last week I sort of started this with the Rookies and today I will continue so. I am hoping to start making this a weekly edition to this site.

As always feel free to chime in with who you think is starting to emerge as a top rookie this season.

I will start with the list of players I put out last week. They are ones that either played or started (in bold) in week one. I also added a couple more guys to keep a look out that didn’t play in week one due to injury that could end up winning this award.

Stephen King (Chicago)
Patrick Nyarko (Chicago)
Justin Braun (Chivas USA)
Ciaran O’Brien (Colorado)
Andy Iro (Columbus)
Dan Stratford (DC)
Brek Shea (Dallas)
Geoff Cameron (Houston)
Roger Espinoza (KC)
Jonathan Leathers (KC)
Chance Myers (KC)
Ely Allen (LA)
Sean Franklin (LA)
Michael Gavin (LA)
Brandon McDonald (LA)
Kheli Dube (NE)
Danleigh Boreman (NY)
Eric Brunner (NY)
Luke Sassano (NY)
Tony Beltran (RSL)
Shea Salines (SJ)
Brian Edwards (Toronto)
Julius James (Toronto)
Pat Phelan (Toronto)

Now you may wonder why I struck a line through some players already here. Simple, those guys are decent but aren’t quiet making the impact early on to get my attention for this award.

I know a couple of those guys that have a strike through their name haven’t played yet like Nyarko in Chicago. He is currently working his way up the reserves with the Fire right now. He may change my mind if he gets a starting role and begins scoring goals this summer. But until then I don’t think he will be mentioned in any Rookie of the Year discussions. He decided to finish the semester at Virginia Tech (and I think get his degree but I could be wrong on that) so that is why he hasn’t played much yet overall. Nothing wrong with that but it did set him back a bit in this discussion.

So this all leaves us with: Justin Braun (Chivas USA), Andy Iro (Columbus), Brek Shea (Dallas), Geoff Cameron (Houston), Jonathan Leathers (KC), Chance Myers (KC), Sean Franklin (LA), Kheli Dube (NE), Danleigh Boreman (NY), Luke Sassano (NY), Shea Salines (SJ), Julius James (Toronto)

Now guys like Myers, Shea, and James haven’t made a whole lot of impact just yet on their clubs this season but I think over time we will see just how good these three really are. James and Myers are probably the two to watch out for the most here out of all of these names.

Shea will soon see more minutes in Dallas as the season goes on and while he won’t start anytime soon he could still prove to be a top rookie. I think after a while he will get put off this shortlist and be like most of the rookies above that have their name struck out here but for now he is on my watch list based mostly on his potential that I’ve seen firsthand.

One guy to really keep an eye out for though is New England’s Kheli Dube. He’s seen a lot of action already this season and will continue to do so as the summer approaches. Injuries have played a part in why Dube has played so much so far but he has really impressed me in this short time.

A couple other dark horses have to be LA’s Sean Franklin, San Jose’s Shea Salines, and Chivas’s Justin Braun. All have looked pretty good so far this season.

There is still a long way to go with this but a few guys are starting to leave an impression with me here.