The Colorado Rapids had two legitimate claims for MLS Rookie of the Year, so it is no surprise to see the league's hardware for the top rookie make its way to Dick's Sporting Goods Park for the first time.
Former U.S. Under-20 national team and Notre Dame standout Dillon Powers captured the award Monday, besting teammate Deshorn Brown, who finished in second in the voting (which is conducted by media, club personnel and players). Powers was selected 11th overall in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, while Brown was taken sixth overall and led rookies with 10 goals.
Powers had five goals and six assists and was a rock in central midfield for an improved and revamped Colorado side that made the playoffs but was ousted in the Western Conference wildcard round. He made 29 starts and one appearance as a substitute and played 2,457 minutes through the regular season.
Seattle Sounders right back DeAndre Yedlin and LA Galaxy attacker Gyasi Zardes finished third and fourth, respectively, with each coming to the league via the Homegrown Player mechanism. Yedlin was named an MLS All-Star, while Zardes scored four goals and had four assists while complementing the likes of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane. Not among the top four was New England Revolution defender Andrew Farrell, the top overall pick in last January's MLS SuperDraft. Even so, Farrell justified his draft selection with his play, starting 32 games for a vastly improved defensive unit and helping the Revs return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.