SBI MLS Rookie of the Year: Dillon Powers

DillonPowersColoradoRapids1-LAGalaxy (Youtube)

By DAN KARELL

An argument can be made that the 2013 MLS Rookie class is the strongest in league history, but there was only one player who showed his consistency week in and week out during the course of the season.

Notre Dame product Dillon Powers made 29 starts in 30 games for the Colorado Rapids, establishing himself as a rock-solid central midfielder with the ability to defend and distribute, as well as attack and take corner kicks at the professional level.

Powers unfortunately missed the final four games of the Rapids’ season due to concussion symptoms, including their knockout round defeat to the Seattle Sounders in the playoffs. However, the 22-year-old scored five goals and added six assists on his way to being voted 2013 SBI MLS Rookie of the Year.

Powers beat out a strong field of contenders for the honor. Here is a rundown of the runners-up:

DESHORN BROWN

Like his teammate Powers, Brown proved over the course of the season to be the best rookie forward in the league. The 22-year-old made 31 appearances with 24 starts this season for the Rapids and finished the year with a rookie-high 10 goals and four assists. Brown’s contributions earned him his first caps with the Jamaican national team in October.

DEANDRE YEDLIN

The only member of the 2013 SBI Rookie of the Year finalists not to be taken in the MLS SuperDraft, the Seattle Sounders first ever homegrown signing had himself an impressive first season. Showcasing his speedy runs forward down the right wing as well as a high work rate, Yedlin played 35 times in the regular season in MLS and the CONCACAF Champions League, scoring two goals to go with two assists.

ANDREW FARRELL

The No. 1 pick of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft shouldn’t feel hard done by not winning the award, as he had a very solid season filling a need in the back line for the New England Revolution. Along with A. J. Soares, Jose Goncalves, and Chris Tierney, Farrell played 34 times in the league and U.S. Open Cup combined, helping lead the Revolution back into the MLS playoffs for the first time in four years.

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There were plenty of other impressive rookies this season, including Gyasi Zardes, Kekuta Manneh, and Shane O’Neill, but the three players above and Powers stood out from the rest of the group as voted by the SBI staff.

What did you think of our selection? Which rookie stood out to you the most in 2013?

Share your thoughts below.

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20 Responses to SBI MLS Rookie of the Year: Dillon Powers

  1. atd says:

    It’s Farrell for me, but hard to argue with Powers (or any of the finalists, really).

  2. Landon Klinsman says:

    He won’t be in MLS for too long.

  3. SBI TroII says:

    Powers and Brown pretty much ran away with this award. Both players are deserving so no complaints here. Rapids look to have a bright future with a top young talent at each level of the team: GK: Irwin, DEF: Klute & O’Neill, MID: Powers, FWD: Brown.

    • Andrew says:

      I wouldn’t say they ran away with it. This year’s rookie class was an impressive one. Farrell, Yedlin, Osorio, and O’Neill all deserve to be in the Rookie of the Year conversation. In most seasons, someone like Gyasi Zardes or Carlos Alvarez would have done enough to be a contender, but not in 2013.

  4. Jzop says:

    Wrong! Yedlin’s hair clearly won rookie of the year.

  5. homerica7 says:

    Based upon how poorly the Rapids played in the playoff game against Seattle, and how Brown was pretty silent that whole game, to me, that highlights the importance of Powers to the Rapids. We looked pretty bad for the rest of the season once he got that concussion.

  6. jloome says:

    Once again, not sure how Jonathan Osorio isn’t in the conversation.

  7. Hogatroge says:

    It’s somewhat of a shame, though, that all of these rookies are ~22 years old. I realize that’s standard for American football, but (as has been said before) most 22 year olds have 3 professional season under their belt by this point, not just 1.

    Still, I think Powers was a solid choice. Wonder if he would have been as good had he come to MLS 2 years ago on a GA deal.

    • Hogatroge says:

      *most 22 year olds worldwide, that is

    • Lost in Space says:

      While I agree in part….players in the US tend to get a later start to their Pro Careers, this crop of players has been impressive. If Powers, Ferrell & Yedlin can continue to progress would not be surprised to see all 3 in contention for the USMNT after 2014.
      A couple of them may even be called into the Camp-Cup-Cake in January.
      BTW Yedlin is 20….so he’s got time to advance & improve into a real quality RB if he puts in the effort.

    • Beto says:

      I hear your gripe but if you look at that Brown, Powers, Ferrell (22 year old NCAA products were a step ahead of Mennah, Osario, Zardes, O’Neill, Yedlin (sub20) it looks more optimistic. 5 years from now will be interesting which subcategory of this ROY class archived more…

      • Beto says:

        One thing is true the younger group is better of at their age than the older group was at that age…

  8. fischy says:

    Hopefully, Powers’ career won’t be limited by concussion problems.

    • fischy says:

      Steven Goff in the Washington Post this weekend had a great article on how Briana Scurry life and career were wrecked by concussion.

  9. Beto says:

    My vote was with DeShorn as he carried the team so far through the season and battled Torres, Sanchez, Buddle, Harris, Cascio, Hill, Mwanga, etc for PT but i will admit that the Rapids really took a dive as soon as we lost Powers and his ability to control the game. If I may Brown:Altidore as Powers:Bradley

    Powers was the most valuable Rookie, Brown had the best rookie season, Mennah & Yedlin have the most potential, no doubt that Ferrell, Osario, Zardes, O’Neill all will continue to improve, –great class