CJ Sapong Named 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year

CJ Sapong Named 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On November 8, 2011
  • 2011 MLS Awards, 2011 MLS Season, CJ Sapong, Features

CJ Sapong was named the 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year. (Getty Images)

When voting came out for the end-of-year awards in Major League Soccer – one award was simple to vote on – the Rookie of the Year. MLS announced that Sporting Kansas City forward C.J. Sapong has been named 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year. Sapong appeared in all 34 of Sporting’s regular season games and helped the club to a first-place finish in the Eastern Conference.

“Receiving this honor is very humbling, but it would never have been a possibility without the help of so many people. Our goal at Sporting KansasCity is to do everything as a team, and I am so thankful for my teammates and the coaching staff,” Sapong said. “My parents have been a huge influence in my life and have kept me level-headed, and all of my friends and family back in Virginia and at James Madison, plus all the great Sporting Kansas City fans in make winning the 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year even more special.”

All first-year players in MLS without previous professional experience were eligible for the Rookie of the Year award, voted by media, MLS players, and MLS club management. The other two finalists were D.C. United defender Perry Kitchen and Philadelphia Union midfielder Michael Farfan.

Sapong dominated the voting in all three categories. He took a whopping 34% of the club vote, 41% of the media vote and 30% of the player vote – with a weighted total of 106. Kitchen, the runner-up came in at a weighted total of 34. That is just running away with it folks.

A lot of us media folks weren’t totally high on Sapong at the SuperDraft when Kansas City picked him in the first round, a bit higher than most figured he would actually go. But KC knew what they were doing all along. Kudos to them.