Ralph's rookie season voted the best

another Jamaican international -- recorded 12 assists in 13 games, including a streak of seven games in a row with a helper. But he received just two percent of the overall vote; the 1998 Rookie of the Year winner, Ben Olsen, pulled in five percent.

On the defensive side of the ball, Carlos Bocanegra was the highest vote-getter. He received just more than 200 votes (about six percent of the total) for his superb 2000 season with the Chicago Fire. Bocanegra, like Ralph, is no longer a member of the Fire, his impressive MLS form attracting attention from abroad. The talented left back will return with his new club, Fulham FC of the English Premier League, to take on the MLS All-Stars in the 2005 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game on July 30 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Other former Rookie of the Year winners that received votes include Steve Ralston (Tampa Bay Mutiny, 1996), Mike Duhaney (Mutiny, 1997), Jay Heaps (Miami Fusion, 1999), Rodrigo Faria (MetroStars, 2001) and Kyle Martino (Columbus Crew, 2002).

Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


To report a comment, mouseover or touch the comment and then click/touch the flag icon (Flag).