SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Andrew Jean-Baptiste

One of the bits of silver lining in the Portland Timbers’ disappointing 2012 campaign has been the chance for the team to give some younger players a look, and Andrew Jean-Baptiste made the most of that opportunity last weekend.

The 2012 MLS First Round draft pick had not started a match since April, but he ended his rookie season on a strong note. His work in central defense helped limit the San Jose Earthquake’s high-powered offense to one penalty kick goal in a 1-1 draw on Saturday. Jean-Baptiste’s performance earned him SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors.

The UConn product beat out a field of candidates that included Nick DeLeon, Austin Berry, Connor Lade and Ray Gaddis.

What did you think of Jean-Baptiste’s performance? Which MLS rookie impressed you the most last week?

Share your thoughts below.

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8 Responses to SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Andrew Jean-Baptiste

  1. Greg says:

    Well deserved. His distribution out of the back was very good as well sparking a lot of counterattack on his long switching balls.

  2. BAJ says:

    Was on loan with USLpro side the Blues earlier this year. As a Blues fan I hope we get some Timber loans again next season. Him and Dike were a great help would have liked to have each longer.

    • Joe says:

      And you guys helped out Dike immensely…night and day from pre loan to current form. He earned another year and should be safe from the freshly unsheated samurai sword that will be cutting large swaths inn Rose City this offseason. I will be surprised if there are more than 11 guys returning. And I am serious. If anybody needs an atrocious GM, I have a bridge named Gavin Wilkinson to sell you.

      • Mike says:

        True that. GM talent evaluation was a sham, That said, Dike still has no first touch and is not a realistic starter for the Timbers to compete at the top level of MLS. The sword is coming, the problem is there is very little trade value on the Timbers roster.

        • Mitch says:

          Dike showed the potential to compete. Add in a healthy Boyd, a healthy Valencia, and a matured Mwanga and the striking corps looks pretty deep moving into next season.

          • Max says:

            I don’t think there will be any room for Dike since Valencia plays pretty much the same role. Boyd, Valencia, Mwanga, Rincon, Richards, Fucito. Plus we have the top prospect in the country for Academy players in 2014 with Rubio Rubin.

            Imo, sell high on Dike and get rid of Fucito.

    • Brian says:

      I agree completely, I appreciate the relationship the Timbers and Blues created and hope they continue it in the future. Dike and AJB came back from LA and stepped up for the team. Portland needs to continue sending young players down there to gain experience in a competitive environment instead of keeping them in town for the silly reserve league games MLS plays.

  3. joe says:

    He’s one of the best young defenders in MLS. Honestly, I think Portland could’ve played a 3 man back-line this season. Too bad the coaching staff is so in the (4-4-2 box) in their thinking. They just complicated things instead of keeping it simple and playing a system you have the players for. Trying to fit square pegs into round holes is a never ending job. That’s what we’ve had the last two seasons.

    AJB really impressed when he got a chance to play this whole season. Look for him to make a much bigger mark next year. Once all the CB’s are healthy, Portland will have Horst, AJB, Danzo, Brunner, Mosquerra and the young Kawulak. Most of this talent was wasted on the bench for two seasons.
    Why not play a 3 man back-line with either wingbacks or defensive outside mids to cover the outside?? I’d like to see Horst, Brunner and Mosco start with AJB, Kawulak and Danzo backing up. Looking forward to the new coach. Hopefully, GW and MP will not micro-manage the coach to death again. Wonder what Spenny is doing these days?