Rookie Rankings: Red Bulls' Meara leads pack through May

Ryan Meara - Rookie Rankings (2)

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Each week during the 2012 season, MLSsoccer.com's editors will cast their votes for the frontrunners, contenders and dark horses for MLS Rookie of the Year. By way of a virtuoso rookie campaign, Sporting Kansas City's C.J. Sapong took home the award in 2011, leaving a new crop of rookies to fight for the top honor handed out to first-year pros in Major League Soccer.

Ryan Meara is on top of the Rookie Rankings, and it looks like that won't change anytime soon. Meara's winning streak may have ended against Chivas USA, but New York is still right where they want to be heading into June.

Joining Meara in the list are rankings stalwarts Tony Cascio, Nick DeLeon and Austin Berry, plus a newcomer in Andrew Wenger. Wenger, along with Darren Mattocks, appears ready to rise up the chart now that one is with his side full time (Wenger) and the other is healthy after a freak accident (Mattocks).

Make your voice heard by voting in the poll to the right!

Only MLS regular-season games reflected on schedule and statistics. All times are Eastern.

Rank Trending Last Player Comment

1

1

Ryan Meara

D.C. United may sit in first in the Eastern Conference as the calendar turns to June, but with Meara at the helm of what has become one of MLS' stingiest defenses, this could be the year New York finally make a regular-season run. And to think, the 21-year-old was a questionable SuperDraft pick back in January.

2

2

Tony Cascio

He hasn't put his name on the box score since the end of April, but Oscar Pareja continues to put his name on the team sheet each week for good reason. The kid is dangerous, and he isn't afraid to track back and contribute defensively. With Colorado thin up front right now, the best is yet to come for Cascio.

3

4

Austin Berry

It seems it is sink or swim with Berry sometimes. And often times all in the same game. He scored his second goal of the season against the Crew, but only after Emilio Rentería sent him to his backside before scoring what was eventually the winner for Columbus.

4

3

Nick DeLeon

After four games watching from the sidelines while rehabbing a hamstring strain, DeLeon made his return against New England in a thrilling victory for the Eastern Conference's newest first place side. He didn't manage to get on the scoresheet for D.C., but his early-season performances suggest it won't be long until he's back there as well.

5

NR

Andrew Wenger

In his first-ever MLS start for Montreal after finishing his studies, Wenger didn't disappoint. His goal – the second of his young career – was well taken, a striker's finish. Even more impressive, though, was the movement that separated himself from his marker. Top stuff from a player that's just getting started.

Also receiving votes: Raymon Gaddis, Sam Garza, Darren Mattocks