WVH Rookie Watch: Midway Point

WVH Rookie Watch: Midway Point

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On July 6, 2010
  • 4 Comments
  • 2010 Rookie Watch, Andy Najar, Blair Gavin, Danny Mwanga, Ike Opara, Michael Stephens, Tim Ream, Zach Schilawski

LA's Michael Stephens leads the rookie class right now. (Getty Images)

For several clubs this is the midway point of the season. The rest are one or two games away from being halfway home for the year with one exception in Philadelphia who are three games away from that mark.

The last month and a half since my last update have seen some shifts in the rookie watch list as a few guys are really positioning themselves as real Rookie of the Year candidates.

As the summer rolls on I may update this more as we really see who those candidates are and who won’t be. I have a strong feeling about a few of these guys while a few others I’ve lost a bit of interest in here lately. This can all change so don’t get too upset if your club’s top rookie isn’t listed or isn’t talked about in the highest of praise today.

Below is my order in how I see the rookie race shaping up as of today:

1. Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy) – While Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle were out doing their South African duties, it was Stephens who helped the Galaxy faithful stay happy by not allowing the club to miss a beat in their absence. He has seven assists right now which is pretty sick for a rookie. Right now if the season ended he would be my top vote getter for this award, hands down.

2. Danny Mwanga (Philadelphia Union) – Five goals so far this season and they’ve all been quality. For a club that lacks a punch up top its Mwanga who is finally showing up and becoming a serious scoring threat for the Union. He’s not turning into a Nik Besagno or Chance Myers here folks.

3. Andy Najar (D.C. United) – The academy star continues to shine. D.C. is all the better with him on the pitch which is really impressive to see from him.

4. Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes) – One of my favorites of this class is Opara. He is the biggest reason in my mind why San Jose is in the thick of things this season.

5. Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls) – He was the best rookie for the first part of the season but he’s dipped down in play for me lately since my last update. If New York can stay in contention it will help his chances but some guys have moved past him here.

6. Blair Gavin (Chivas USA) – He’s really the only thing left for Chivas in the midfield now that Sacha Kljestan is gone. Thankfully his future looks brighter than his team’s season.

7. Zach Schilawski (New England) – His play along with his club has dipped drastically in recent weeks.

Feel like I missed on someone, let’s hear it below.

  • Kmjvet

    Well Steve Beitashour would be right up there if Yallop had a clue that he needs to play only R back and not right midfield.

  • He was on my previous lists but you're right if Yallop played him in the right spot we'd see him here still.

  • JFord09

    Tony Tchani has been steadily getting more play time for the Red Bulls. He didn't play much at the beginning of the season, but he has been doing well at controlling the midfield when called upon to do so and could have a strong finish to the season.

  • I agree, he's been one I've been waiting on here for this list. But I think you're right he should have a strong finish to the year if his playing time keeps up.