MLS Rookie Rankings

Let's talk about Philadelphia.

And, no, not this guy.

We're here to discuss Fabian Herbers, who you – and certainly Michael Parkhurst – might remember from this ankle-shattering, physics-defying first MLS goal:

During the last few weeks, Herbers has locked up a starting spot on the right side of the Union's 4-2-3-1, playing at least the first hour of Philly's last six games. And he's used the time to rampage up and down that flank, notably logging an assist in each of his last three.

That brings him up to seven on the season, most recently this nifty little slip to help open Alejandro Bedoya's MLS account. As Matt Doyle noted in brief (No. 7 here), that's the highest total any rookie's put up in six years – and there are three more to play.

Herbers has managed that in just 1,053 minutes, a 0.60 per-90 mark that's not quite Khiry Shelton's league-leading 0.81, but good for fourth among players to log 1,000 minutes this season. (Nicolas Lodeiro is at a silly 0.89 in 810; Steven Gerrard (0.70) and Sacha Kljestan (0.61) round out the top three.) Also impressive considering the 2002 rule change that cut down second assists – Mathis set the record before the chop.

The Union's brain trust of Earnie Stewart and Jim Curtin did a little manuevering at this year's SuperDraft to ensure they not only got their men, but left Herbers with something to prove:

"We were able to pull the trigger and get a guy that we valued very highly," Curtin said at the SuperDraft. "We’re happy to have him on board. He has a good work ethic and he’s a kid who has a goal-scorer’s mentality, so he’ll have a little chip on his shoulder maybe from slipping to six.”

That's a fantastic bit of front-office gamesmanship, one the Union faithful are sure to appreciate more every match.

Here's a look at MLSsoccer.com’s top five rookies of 2016 through Week 29, as voted by … me, following the weekend action:

1. Jordan Morris

Seattle Sounders - Forward

Last ranking: 1

Jordan Morris is out here throwing strikes (high strikes, ha) and scoring still more goals – this weekend's brace has him up to an American-rookie-record 12. Word to Pat Noonan. That'll keep the top spot on lock.

Week 30: Wednesday vs. Chicago Fire | 10:30pm ET; MLS LIVE
Sunday at Vancouver Whitecaps | 8pm ET; FS1 | TSN in Canada

2. Keegan Rosenberry

Philadelphia Union – Defender

Last ranking: 3

Philly limiting in-form East favorite Toronto to a single strike in an away draw earns Keegan Rosenberry a return to the Top 2. This week in #KeeganDoesWork after all: a succesful dribble, two tackles (two lost), four interceptions, seven clearances and five recoveries.

Week 30: Saturday at New York Red Bulls | 7pm ET; MLS LIVE

3. Fabian Herbers

Philadelphia Union - Forward

Last ranking: 5

See above. Week 30: Saturday at New York Red Bulls | 7pm ET; MLS LIVE

4. Alex Muyl

New York Red Bulls - Forward

Last ranking: 4

Alex Muyl continues to show his dedication to claiming all areas of that right wing for New York: two shots (one blocked), three sustained fouls, 2-for-4 successful dribbles, two tackles, three interceptions and six recoveries.

CCL: Tuesday vs. Antigua GFC | 8pm ET; UDN, Facebook.com
Week 30: Saturday vs. Philadelphia Union | 7pm ET; MLS LIVE

5. Jack Harrison

New York City FC - Midfielder

Last ranking: 2

A fun 32 minutes from Jack Harrison out at Yankee Stadium, where he created two chances, ripped a shot, took three successful dribbles and added a clearance. But the abbreviated appearance cost him when the others in this space put in such strong performances from the kick.

Week 30: Friday at Houston | 8pm ET; UniMás | MLS LIVE in Canada

Others to Consider

Julian Buescher, Jonathan Campbell, Tsubasa Endoh, Brandon Vincent, Josh Yaro

Series: 

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