Rookie Rankings: Was Patrick Mullins' big month for New England enough to shoot him to top?

Patrick Mullins (Rookie Rankings)

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USA Today Sports

Once a month throughout the 2014 MLS season, MLSsoccer.com will take stock of the performances of rookie players, looking at which first-year professionals are making the biggest impact for their team and in the league.

The May Rookie Rankings reflect all games up to and including the end of Week 13 on June 1.


The Rookie Rankings are back, and for the first time this year, Chicago's Harrison Shipp has been displaced at the top.

Not to worry, Fire fans, Shipp was only outshone this month by one of the best rookie scoring streaks the league has seen, thanks to Patrick Mullins of the New England Revolution.

Speaking of goals, they have been hard to come by for rookies this year, but FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele – hailing from Division II Colorado School of Mines – did manage to join the small club, earning him his first nod in the rankings.

And rounding this month's rankings out are one new face and one "old face." Nick Hagglund is the only defender on the list right now after stepping up for the Toronto defense when needed as that team tries to make itself a playoff contender. Sporting KC's Alex Martinez gets another nod after we saw Peter Vermes turn increasingly to him as an option off the bench and in the XI in a turbulent month for the club.

Unfortunately, as we had to do with Tommy McNamara last month, we must acknowledge Houston Dynamo forward Mark Sherrod, who surely would have shot up this list with two goals and an assist in May, only to suffer a season-ending injury on May 21 against D.C. United.

Only MLS regular-season games reflected on schedule and statistics.

Rank Trending Last Player Comment

1

N/A

Patrick Mullins

After starting the Revs' very first game of the year, Mullins dropped off the face of the Earth (or rather, the lineup card) before reappearing on May 3. He promptly scored a goal in each of his next four games, more than doing his part as New England established themselves as a team to be feared.

  • Last Month: 5/3 at Toronto (2-1 win, 90 min, 1 G), 5/11 vs. Seattle (5-0 win, 90 min, 1 G), 5/17 at Philadelphia (5-3 win, 90 min, 1 G), 5/24 vs. D.C. United (2-1 win, 90 min, 1 G), 5/31 at Montreal (2-0 loss, 90 min)
  • This Month: Sunday 6/8 vs. New York (5 pm ET, MLS Live), 6/28 vs. Philadelphia
  • Season Statistics: 4 G (6 GP, 6 GS)
  • MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager: 31 points, $5.1 million (7.8 percent owned)

2

2

Harry Shipp

It's hard to drop Shipp here – he was absolutely electric in Chicago's goal-filled win over New York and has retained his spot in the Fire starting XI. But his up and down play outside of the New York game combined with Mullins' tear mean he has to do just a little bit more to regain the top spot.

  • Last Month: 5/3 vs. RSL (3-2 loss, 90 min), 5/10 at New York (5-4 win, 89 min, 3 G, 1 A), 5/18 vs. Sporting KC (2-1 win, 90 min), 5/24 at Columbus (2-0 loss, 90 min), 6/1 vs. LA Galaxy (1-1 tie, 90 min)
  • This Month: 6/4 at Colorado (0-0 draw, 28 min), Saturday 6/7 vs. Seattle (8:30 pm ET, MLS Live)
  • Season Statistics: 3 G, 4 A (11 GP, 11 GS)
  • MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager: 67 points, $6.5 million (18.9 percent owned)
3

N/A

Tesho Akindele

FCD's seemingly annual injury crisis has been Akindele's gain. He came on strong late in May, starting three out of the team's last four games of the month and becoming the fifth rookie in MLS to net in 2014 after Shipp, Mullins, Sherrod and McNamara. 

  • Last Month: 5/4 vs. New York (1-0 loss, 11 min), 5/7 at Seattle (2-1 loss, unused sub), 5/10 at San Jose (2-1 loss, 89 min), 5/17 vs. Chivas USA (1-1 tie, 5 min), 5/21 at LA (2-1 loss, 81 min, 1 G), 5/24 at Real Salt Lake (0-0 draw, 82 min), 5/31 vs. San Jose (2-1 loss, 90 min)
  • This Month: Saturday 6/7 vs. Colorado (8:30 pm ET, MLS Live), 6/11 at Portland, 6/28 at Columbus
  • Season Statistics: 1 G (7 GP, 4 GS)
  • MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager: 17 points, $4.3 million (2.1 percent owned)

4

N/A

Nick Hagglund

Hagglund, a first-round pick (No. 10 overall) out of Xavier, has helped keep a clean sheet in two of the four games he's started this year, including one against Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls on May 17. He has also picked up valuable experience in the Canadian Championship and will continue to do so as the Reds work their way through a busy summer schedule.

  • Last Month: 5/3 vs. New England (2-1 loss, unused sub), 5/17 vs. New York (2-0 win, 90 min), 5/23 at Sporting KC (2-2 draw, 90 min, 1 A), 5/31 vs. Columbus (3-2 win, 90 min)
  • This Month: Saturday 6/7 vs. San Jose (4 pm ET, MLS Live), 6/27 at New York 
  • Season Statistics: 1 A (5 GP, 4 GS)
  • MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager: 24 points, $4.6 million (4.2 percent owned)

5

5

Alex Martinez

It was an extremely trying month for Sporting KC, with seven games and a rash of absences, but Martinez managed to parlay a few sub appearances early on into a starting place for the final three games of May. Look for Martinez to continue growing in the SKC midfield, especially with Uri Rosell off to Europe.

  • Last Month: 5/4 vs. Columbus (2-0 win, 12 min), 5/10 at Montreal (3-0 win, did not dress) 5/14 vs. Philadelphia (2-1 loss, unused sub), 5/18 at Chicago (2-1 loss, 90 min), 5/23 vs. Toronto (2-2 draw, 85 minutes), 5/27 vs. New York (1-1 draw, 75 min), 5/31 at D.C. United (1-0 loss, 66 min)
  • This Month:
  • Season Statistics: 318 minutes (8 GP, 3 GS)
  • MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager: 12 points, $4.1 million (8.2 percent owned)

Other rookies to watch: Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids), Daniel Lovitz (Toronto FC), JJ Koval (San Jose Earthquakes), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact), Chris Duvall (New York Red Bulls)