MLS Rookie Of The Year Is
Major League Soccer announced that Atlanta United midfielder Julian Gressel has been named the 2017 Rookie of the Year.
Selected eighth overall in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, Gressel flourished in his first professional season, registering nine assists for a tally that trails only Andy Williams (1998, 12 assists) and Clint Mathis (1998, 10 assists) in MLS all-time rookie rankings.
In addition to recording the third-highest rookie assist total in league history, Gressel solidified himself as an impact player, adding five goals, and helping Atlanta United to a 7-3-2 record in regular season matches where he recorded either a goal or an assist. Gresselâ€™s contributions were crucial to Atlanta becoming the third active MLS expansion team to make the postseason, as the first-year franchise finished its inaugural campaign ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference (55 points, 15-9-10 overall record).
The Providence College product locked up a midfield starting spot for an offense that set a new MLS expansion team record, with Atlantaâ€™s 70 scores ranking second-most in the league this season. The German-born midfielder notched his first professional assist in a 6-1 victory over Minnesota United FC on March 12 at TCF Bank Stadium, and he scored his first professional goal on May 14 against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park to salvage an Atlanta draw. Gresselâ€™s pivotal first goal also sparked his impressive run of two goals and three assists over a four-game span.
The 23-year-old was instrumental in Atlantaâ€™s strong, late-season surge, registering two goals and three assists over a string of five appearances from September 16 to October 13. Overall, Gressel appeared in 32 regular season matches, registering 2,048 minutes over 24 starts. Gresselâ€™s combined total of 14 goals and assists led all rookies in 2017, with the midfielder boosting Atlantaâ€™s results with one game-winning goal and two game-winning assists this season.
The award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media and current MLS players.
All-Time AT&T Rookie of the Year Winners
2017: Julian Gressel â€“ Atlanta United
2016: Jordan Morris â€“ Seattle Sounders FC
2015: Cyle Larin â€“ Orlando City SC
2014: Tesho Akindele â€“ FC Dallas
2013: Dillon Powers â€“ Colorado Rapids
2012: Austin Berry â€“ Chicago Fire
2011: C.J. Sapong â€“ Sporting Kansas City
2010: Andy Najar â€“ D.C. United
2009: Omar Gonzalez â€“ LA Galaxy
2008: Sean Franklin â€“ LA Galaxy
2007: Maurice Edu â€“ Toronto FC
2006: Jonathan Bornstein â€“ Chivas USA
2005: Michael Parkhurst â€“ New England Revolution
2004: Clint Dempsey â€“ New England Revolution
2003: Damani Ralph â€“ Chicago Fire
2002: Kyle Martino â€“ Columbus Crew
2001: Rodrigo Faria â€“ MetroStars
2000: Carlos Bocanegra â€“ Chicago Fire
1999: Jay Heaps â€“ Miami Fusion
1998: Ben Olsen â€“ D.C. United
1997: Mike Duhaney â€“ Tampa Bay Mutiny
1996: Steve Ralston â€“ Tampa Bay Mutiny