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Rookie Rankings: Mattocks' blistering form fuels rapid rise

Rookie Rankings: Mattocks

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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.

It's going to take a massive effort to knock Ryan Meara from the top spot. Of course, that's what we at the Rookie Rankings were saying a few months ago when Nick DeLeon was the clear choice. Fortunes change, that much is clear, and it's no different after Week 15.

The big climber this week is Vancouver's Darren Mattocks, who jumped all the way to No. 2 based on recent form and the promise of more to come – that is, after he returns from a suspension earned against the Rapids this weekend. Hey, nobody said the Jamaican was perfect. Joining Mattocks are Chicago's Austin Berry, Montreal's Andrew Wenger and D.C. United's DeLeon, while the Sounders' Andy Rose makes his debut among the honorable mentions.

Who do you think deserves to be top of the heap? 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

Meara came out on the wrong end of a 3-1 defeat to the Fire, but that's just the second time this season that he's allowed more than two goals. Either way, much of New York's struggles came down to shoddy defending rather than blunders by their rookie 'keeper.

2

NR

Darren Mattocks

Some will say Mattocks' jump from honorable mention to No. 2 is a bit much. Fair enough, but you can't deny you lean forward in anticipation when the Jamaican gets on the ball. Yes, his ejection against the Rapids was as foolish as they come. Still, the Vancouver starlet could very well run away with the rookie scoring title if given the chance.

3

3

Austin Berry

With Corey Gibbs lost indefinitely and Arne Friedrich struggling to stay on the field consistently, Berry has stepped in and done the job for Fire manager Frank Klopas. Against the Red Bulls, he partnered with Jalil Anibaba to stifle one of the league's top attacks. Of course, Thierry Henry wasn't along to make his task significantly more difficult.

4

5

Andrew Wenger

Wenger's only two starts this season came in Montreal's last two games. He scored in both and Montreal tallied six goals over the course of those 180 minutes. With Marco Di Vaio available soon, his chances could decline, but the Duke product has time this week to prove he belongs in the lineup.

5

4

Nick DeLeon

After dominating the early editions of the Rookie Ranking, DeLeon is hanging on by a thread as a result of injury and his peers' improved play. He's back in the mix for United manager Ben Olsen, though, and a few solid games could have the midfielder right back at the top.

Also receiving votes: Raymon Gaddis, Tony Cascio, Andy Rose, Matt Hedges, Kelyn Rowe