SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Jalil Anibaba

Anibaba (Getty Images)

For much of his rookie season, Chicago Fire defender Jalil Anibaba has gone about his business putting in work on the back line, but during his regular-season finale, Anibaba made sure to show off his offensive arsenal as well.

Anibaba scored the first two goals of his MLS career in the opening 30 minutes against Columbus with a pair of headers from inside the box to earn the final SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors of the season.

The Fire went on to beat Columbus, 3-2, and while the club came up short in its late push for the playoffs, it has the pieces in place — Anibaba included — to make a return to the postseason in 2012.

Among the other rookies that Anibaba beat out for the final weekly honor were San Jose's Rafael Baca and D.C.'s Perry Kitchen.

What did you think of Anibaba's performance? How would you rate his rookie season? What did you make of this year's rookie class?

Share your thoughts below.

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4 Responses to SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Jalil Anibaba

  1. Modibo says:

    Well chosen. Anibaba has matured, and moving into a central position has helped his play.

  2. t says:

    Definitely one of the, if not the best, rookie defenders this year. Ended up being a consistent starter in a somewhat revolving door backline for the Fire, even beating out the oft injured Mikulic for the cb position late season. Solid player I’m hoping to see only become better at cb next year.

  3. Milkman says:

    Would love for Anibaba to get a call from Klinnsy sometime soon. Don’t really watch the Fire play, but I’ve seen highlights several times now of him- Guys a stud, and we all know just how much the USMNT need more depth in the backline…

  4. Kar says:

    Anibaba has a huge upside – great pickup for the Fire in the center and versital enough to play outside when needed.

    Still prone to an occasional gaff (witness his gift to Columbus for their second goal). What really impressed me in the finale was watching him put that error behind him quickly and play a key role in the last Fire goal with the pass cutoff / early distribution.