MLS

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Americans Abroad - Feb. 13-16 Review the top Americans that have taken their talents overseas this year. /foxsoccer/usa/gallery/gallery-americans-abroad-feb-13-16-performances-players-overseas-021614 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021614-SOCCER-hitting-the-mark-PI_20140217014153889_136_102.JPG
Best Snapshots of the Week - Feb 15 - 21 Review FOX Soccer's best images from the world of soccer /foxsoccer/world/gallery/soccer-football-snapshots-of-the-week-february-15-21-images-players-clubs-managers-fans-021514 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/15/021514-SOCCER-Bayern-Munich-Shaqiri-HF-PI-_20140215113846610_136_102.JPG
Best Snapshots of the Week - Feb 9 -15 Review FOX Soccer's best images from the world of soccer /foxsoccer/world/gallery/soccer-football-snapshots-of-the-week-february-9-15-images-players-clubs-managers-fans-021214 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/11/121113-Soccer-Steven-Gerrard-PI-AA_20131211153738813_136_102.JPG
Best Snapshots of the Weekend - Feb. 8-14 Review FOX Soccer's best images from the world of soccer /foxsoccer/premierleague/gallery/soccer-football-snapshots-of-the-week-february-8-14-images-players-clubs-managers-fans-020814 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/08/020814-Soccer-Eden-to-the-top-PI-AA_20140208115908126_136_102.JPG
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MLS 195 8 2010 MLS All-Rookie Team 21484007 Young guns Young+guns MLS

For the second straight year, more than a dozen MLS rookies have stepped in and provided substantial impacts to their teams, with several of the league’s best clubs counting on the services of first-year players who have made smooth transitions from college (or even high school) to the pros.

The recent boost in talent coming through the MLS Draft is a godsend for a league that has seen rapid expansion in recent years, and has only recently begun to reap the benefits of its team's academy programs.

How good is this year’s talent pool? Consider that this year's class had more than a dozen rookies who played in a dozen matches, a number that would have been higher if not for injuries.

Here are Ives Galarcep's picks for the 2010 MLS All-Rookie Team ...

Jeff Zelevansky - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027043730_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027043730_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 2010 MLS All-Rookie Team 21465336 GK Sean Johnson - Chicago Fire GK+Sean+Johnson+-+Chicago+Fire MLS

The 51st player selected in the 2010 draft, Johnson was seen as a long-term project and didn’t figure to have chance to play as a rookie when he was drafted. That all changed after the Fire waived veteran Jon Busch, and newly-crowned starter Andrew Dykstra struggled badly in the role.

Enter Johnson, who was a revelation using his size and surprisingly quick reflexes to make amazing saves and help cover for a struggling Fire defense. He started 13 straight matches for the Fire, posting three shutouts before being sidelined by a shoulder injury. Johnson will enter 2011 as a leading candidate to start.

Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027040018_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027040018_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 2010 MLS All-Rookie Team 21465337 D Tim Ream - New York Red Bulls D+Tim+Ream+-+New+York+Red+Bulls MLS

The only rookie to start every game this season, Ream established himself as the rock in the middle of the New York Red Bulls defense. Ream’s ability to pass well out of the back and read the game well have made him one of the better defenders in MLS, regardless of age.

A rookie of the year front-runner, Ream scored one goal and looks like a safe bet to be called in to the U.S. national team camp come January. He will also be key to New York’s MLS Cup title hopes.

Bob Levey - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027040308_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027040308_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 2010 MLS All-Rookie Team 21465340 D Zach Loyd - FC Dallas D+Zach+Loyd+-+FC+Dallas MLS

An athletic and versatile defender who has seen playing time at fullback and in central defense, Loyd quietly put together one of the better rookie seasons in MLS.

The North Carolina product earned 19 starts and played in 24 total matches, many of which came during FC Dallas‘ 19-match unbeaten streak. The 23-year old makes up for his lack of size (5-foot-9) with speed, strength and tenacity. Loyd is likely to play an important role in FC Dallas’ playoff run.

Tom Pennington - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027040609_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027040609_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 2010 MLS All-Rookie Team 21465341 D Ike Opara - San Jose Earthquakes D+Ike+Opara+-+San+Jose+Earthquakes MLS

Despite only playing in 11 matches this year, Opara showed more than enough to give us a glimpse of future greatness. Only a broken foot prevented Opara from being a serious rookie of the year candidate.


The Wake Forest product scored three goals in his 11 appearances and was already drawing rave reviews for his freakish athleticism and nose for goal before an injury that proved to be a season-ending one. He would certainly have challenged Tim Ream for the title of best rookie defender if not for the setback, and has the tools to develop into one of the league's best defenders.

Brian Bahr - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027040904_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027040904_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 2010 MLS All-Rookie Team 21465342 M Andy Najar - D.C. United M+Andy+Najar+-+D.C.+United MLS

Arguably the most exciting rookie in the 2010 class, Najar emerged as a rising star who D.C. United will be looking to build around after an impressive rookie season. Just 17, Najar registered five goals and an assist on an awful D.C. United team.

A native of Honduras, Najar is already drawing interest from foreign clubs and the Honduran-born winger could also have a decision to make as far as which national team he plays for. Najar could develop into the best young MLS talent since Jozy Altidore.

Ned Dishman - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027041129_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027041129_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 2010 MLS All-Rookie Team 21465344 M Michael Stephens - Los Angeles Galaxy M+Michael+Stephens+-+Los+Angeles+Galaxy MLS

A highly-regarded prospect out of UCLA, Stephens didn’t figure to get a bunch of playing time as a rookie with the Galaxy, but he impressed L.A. coaches enough to earn a starting role. He thrived in the lineup, racking up a goal and eight assists, a league-high for rookies.

A 21-year-old winger also capable of playing in central midfield, Stephens was a steady contributor during the Galaxy’s strong early-season run, and has returned to the starting mix after hitting a bit of a rookie wall this summer. His energy and service from the right wing should help him earn major minutes during the playoffs.

Victor Decolongon - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027041419_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027041419_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 2010 MLS All-Rookie Team 21465345 M Eric Alexander - FC Dallas M+Eric+Alexander+-+FC+Dallas MLS

As a late third-round draft pick, Alexander figured to struggle to make the FC Dallas roster, let alone earn major minutes in a stacked midfield, but the Indiana product did just that. Perhaps even more impressively, he saw his role on the team grow during the heart of FC Dallas’ 19-match unbeaten streak.

Alexander recorded two goals and three assists for FC Dallas, playing in central midfield, where his impressive attacking qualities and high work-rate fit right into the fast-paced Dallas attack.

Tom Pennington - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027041706_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027041706_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 2010 MLS All-Rookie Team 21484000 M Tony Tchani - New York Red Bulls M+Tony+Tchani+-+New+York+Red+Bulls MLS

The most impressive player at the 2010 MLS Player Combine and No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft, Tchani was expected to step in and see major minutes on a rebuilding New York team. It took some time, but Tchani eventually moved into the Red Bulls starting lineup and has impressed with his strength and dominant presence in central midfield.

The 21-year-old Virginia product played in 27 of 30 matches for the Red Bulls, starting in 17. He managed a goal and three assists, and while the arrivals of Rafa Marquez and Mehdi Ballouchy cut into his playing time, Tchani established himself as one of the top long-term midfield prospects in MLS. A native of Cameroon, Tchani has also drawn interest as a potential U.S. national team prospect, though he is not currently eligible to play for the United States.

Mike Stobe - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027042109_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027042109_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 2010 MLS All-Rookie Team 21484001 M Blair Gavin - Chivas USA M+Blair+Gavin+-+Chivas+USA MLS

Through the first half of the MLS season few rookies were enjoying as impressive a campaign as Gavin, who had become a key central midfield starter for Chivas USA. He started in all 16 games he appeared in, recording three goals and an assist.

An Akron product selected with the No. 10 pick in the MLS Draft, Gavin impressed with his passing, work rate and goal-scoring ability. An injury has kept him sidelined since July 31st, but the 21-year-old midfielder has already established himself as one of the key building blocks on a Chivas USA roster expected to undergo a major overhaul.

Jeff Golden - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027042433_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027042433_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 2010 MLS All-Rookie Team 21484002 F Danny Mwanga - Philadelphia Union F+Danny+Mwanga+-+Philadelphia+Union MLS

When the expansion Philadelphia Union begged MLS to get Mwanga signed, it was done believing the Oregon State striker was a special player capable of building a team around. Mwanga has rewarded the Union’s faith by being the top rookie striker in the league.

Mwanga scored a league rookie-high seven goals, adding four assists, impressive numbers considering Philadelphia head coach Peter Nowak brought the 19-year-old along relatively slowly. Mwanga started in 17 matches, playing in 24. A native of Congo, Mwanga has impressed enough to be discussed as a potential U.S. national team forward option. For his part, Mwanga has expressed interest in playing for the United States, though he is not yet eligible.

Jeff Zelevansky - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027042738_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027042738_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 2010 MLS All-Rookie Team 21484004 F Teal Bunbury - Kansas City Wizards F+Teal+Bunbury+-+Kansas+City+Wizards MLS

Bunbury was another rookie who took time to establish himself, but once he did, he became a fixture in the Wizards’ late playoff push.

The Akron product was the No. 4 overall pick in the draft and has shown all the attributes that made him so highly regarded. Bunbury scored five goals and assisted on two others, using his impressive combination of size and speed to trouble defenders and create chances for himself and Wizards teammates. The son of former Canadian national team star Alex Bunbury, Teal still hasn’t chosen whether he will play for the United States or Canada, and the 20-year old’s decision should be key storyline in 2011.


HONORABLE MENTION

Jack McInerney, Shaun Francis, Kyle Nakazawa, Seth Sinovic, Zack Schilawski, Ben Zemanski

Jamie Squire - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027043012_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2010/10/27/abacus_20101027043012_107_80.JPG
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021614-SOCCER-hitting-the-mark-PI_20140217014153889_136_102.JPG Americans Abroad - Feb. 13-16 Review the top Americans that have taken thei... Review the top Americans that have taken their talents overseas this year. Potential World Cup players notch goals over the weekend. Feb 17, 2014 3:10 AM ET 1 1 /foxsoccer/usa/gallery/gallery-americans-abroad-feb-13-16-performances-players-overseas-021614
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/07/120713-30-SOCCER-KC-RSL-OB-PI_20131207183502768_136_102.JPG MLS Cup Final - Sporting KC vs. Real Salt Lake Review the best images from the MLS Cup final... Review the best images from the MLS Cup final between Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake Scroll through the best images from the MLS Cup final between Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake from Sporting Park in Kansas City. Dec 7, 2013 7:05 PM ET 1 1 /foxsoccer/mls/gallery/major-league-soccer-cup-final-sporting-kc-vs-real-salt-lake-sporting-park-images-players-action-120713
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