Rookie Rankings: RBNY's Lade earns way back into top five

Connor Lade, Rookie Rankings

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

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.

Two defenders freshen up the Rookie Rankings this week. Raymon Gaddis and Connor Lade earned it, but that doesn't mean we don't still have our eyes on Nick DeLeon and Andrew Wenger. Perform well, and they'll have their spots back. It's as simple as that.

Chicago's Austin Berry moved into his highest ranking this season at No. 2, a jump that's well deserved after helping lead the Fire to another victory. Vancouver's Darren Mattocks dropped, but he appears to be tightening his grip on a starting spot for Martin Rennie. And, of course, the Red Bulls' Ryan Meara remains at the top. For now at least, he's the undisputed king of the Rookie Rankings. It's going to take quite the push from his peers – or a drop in form by the rookie 'keeper – for anyone to catch him.

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

Another week brought two more solid performances from the Red Bulls backstop, even if he didn't have much to do when it came to making saves. Drawing in Vancouver is nothing to be ashamed of, especially since he didn't have a chance of stopping Martín Bonjour's goal. Add in a home win against D.C., and New York have to be thrilled with their week.

2

3

Austin Berry

Conventional wisdom says Arne Friedrich will be back in the Chicago lineup when healthy, but Berry has certainly earned the right to be in the thick of that conversation. After nine straight starts for Frank Klopas, he's settled in the team and put in another good shift against the Crew, even with the Fire down a man.

3

2

Darren Mattocks

Not much to see here. Mattocks was suspended against New York for two of the most foolish yellow cards you're likely to see. He returned to the 'Caps lineup against the Galaxy, but Vancouver rolled over at The Home Depot Center. Now, they've got a week to think about it. We'll see how Mattocks responds.

4

NR

Raymon
Gaddis
 

With Sheanon Williams still nursing an injury, Gaddis is the man at right back for new Union boss John Hackworth. Will he hang onto that spot when Williams returns? Probably not. But that doesn't take away from his contributions over the past nine games or so. Adding an assist vs. SKC was just icing on the cake.

5

NR

Connor Lade

After a brief appearance in these rankings, Lade is back, the result of two effective starts in once week against two of MLS' top sides. Hans Backe has even started experimenting with the rookie at midfield, where he slotted in against D.C. Who knows if he'll stay in the lineup, but for now, the Homegrown signing deserves a look.

  • Last Week: Drew with Vancouver, 1-1 (90 min), Defeated D.C. United, 3-2 (90 min)
  • This Week: Saturday at Toronto (7 pm ET, Galavision)
  • Season Statistics: 1 A (9 GP, 7 GS)
  • ASSIST: Lade sets up Henry
  • MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager: 38 points, $4.4 million (3.2 percent owned)

Also receiving votes: Nick DeLeon, Tony Cascio, Matt Hedges, Andrew Wenger