Rookie Rankings: Two left standing as the dust clears in 2012
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Rookie Rankings: Two left standing as dust clears in 2012

One week remains for campaigns to get the word out about their candidates in this season's Rookie of the Year race, and Chicago, D.C. United and Dallas are doing their best to familiarize voters with the plaforms of Austin Berry, Nick DeLeon and Matt Hedges.

Hedges has had a wonderful season, and those videos were certainly clever, but it's essentially a two-man race between former college roommates coming into the final weekend of the 2012 regular season. Berry seems to be leading in the polls, but his fellow Louisville alum DeLeon is making a strong push based on D.C.'s form and climb up the Eastern Conference table.

Who will take it? They'll make their final remarks this weekend in Chicago, when they take the field opposite each other with playoff seeding – and perhaps some personal plaudits – on the line.

For a more detailed look at Major League Soccer's best young talent, check out's 24 Under 24 series.

Who do you think has inside track for Rookie of the Year recognition? Have your say in the comments section below or make your voice heard by voting in the poll to the right!

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

Rank Trending Last Player Comment



Austin Berry

Berry and the Fire finally got their elusive shutout, marching into New York and throwing a wet blanket on the Red Bulls, 2-0, on NBC. Unfortunately, it was sandwiched around a 3-1 loss to the Union and three more points dropped at New England, 1-0. It says here that Berry is still the favorite, but DeLeon is certainly nipping at his heels. In dramatic fashion, the two meet to close the regular season battling for playoff seeding. Could that help tip the scales?



Nick DeLeon

DeLeon popped up to deposit a rebound vs. the Crew, tying the game at 1-1. His finish touch from early in the season may not quite be there – although he's still uncorking shots on goal and drawing fouls at an impressive clip – but DeLeon is finding plenty of ways to be useful for Ben Olsen. He's been a constant presence on the field since DeRo went down, helping United to a 5-0-1 record in that spell and a shot at home-field advantage. Can he find a way to overtake Berry on Saturday? It would take quite a performance.



Matt Hedges

There's no getting Hedges out of the starting lineup at this point, although he and FC Dallas have to be disappointed with the defensive performance last weekend that officially ended their playoff hopes. Seattle were just too much, and Kevin Hartman kept it from being even uglier. Still, Hedges can be extremely proud of what he's accomplished this season. Could Schellas Hyndman have some tough decisions to make this offseason in the center of FCD's defense?



Luis Silva

There's plenty of work to be done in Toronto, and Silva will be one of the players leaned on in coming years to help turn things around. He's met or exceeded all expectations in 2012, and it's tantalizing to think about what he might have been able to accomplish with a little bit more faith from Aron Winter early in the season. TFC's struggles probably kept him from truly being part of the race, but Silva is set up to make a mark in MLS for years to come.



Darren Mattocks

If this list was based on potential alone, Mattocks would be at the top by a wide margin. That's not the case, though. Yes, there have been moments of brilliance from the explosive young Jamaican. But has there been enough sustained impact to overtake Berry, DeLeon, Hedges or Silva? Probably not, as injury disrupted Mattocks' rookie campaign multiple times. He's back from his most recent knock, but can he help Vancouver make the most of their first-ever postseason berth?



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