NEW YORK – Injuries may have disrupted Mauro Rosales’ MLS Cup quest, but they didn’t keep the Argentine winger from being the second Sounder honored in quick succession.
MLS announced on Tuesday that Rosales was voted the 2011 MLS Newcomer of the Year, finishing ahead of fellow finalists Luke Rodgers (New York Red Bulls) and Eric Hassli (Vancouver Whitecaps). Rosales, who signed with the Sounders in March after leaving River Plate in Argentina, scored five goals and distributed 13 assists in just 22 starts (26 appearances) this season.
|Player||% of Club Votes||% of Media Votes||% of Player Votes||Weighted Total|
|Mauro Rosales (SEA)||28.42||35.98||20.75||85.15|
|Luke Rodgers (NY)||12.63||10.05||11.95||34.63|
|Eric Hassli (VAN)||13.68||5.82||11.95||31.45|
|Faryd Mondragón (PHI)||9.47||11.11||5.66||26.25|
|Omar Bravo (SKC)||7.37||8.99||5.66||22.02|
Until a knee injury kept him out of action for parts of September and most of October, Rosales was considered a potential MVP candidate, as his slick passing and ability in and around the box facilitated Seattle's potent attack. The Sounders scored 56 goals in 2011, good for best in MLS, and finished with the league’s second-best record as well despite losing Steve Zakuani early in the season.
Rosales, 30, started his professional career at Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina before moving to Europe to play for Ajax in the the Netherlands and eventually returned to Buenos Aires to play for River.
He scored 39 goals in 234 league matches for the three clubs and has been capped 10 times (one goal) by Argentina, winning a gold-medal at the 2004 Olympic Games as well as a winner’s medal at the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He was also on the 2004 Copa América squad that finished the tournament as runners-up.
The Newcomer of the Year honors the player who is in his first season in Major League Soccer, but has prior professional experience, making him ineligible for Rookie of the Year honors. The award was voted on by players, coaches and general managers, and media.
Real Salt Lake’s Álvaro Saborío was MLS Newcomer of the Year in 2010. Seattle's Fredy Montero won in 2009.
WATCH: Rosales' Newcomer of the Year highlight reel