Ibrahimovic beats Rooney as best MLS Newcomer

CARSON, CA - JULY 29: Zlatan Ibrahimovic #9 of the Los Angeles Galaxy high-fives teammate Chris Pontius #19 at StubHub Center on July 29, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

With 36% of the total votes, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has beaten Wayne Rooney as the MLS Newcomer of the Year Award after his first season at LA Galaxy.

Both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney have made MLS history this season, they both competed fiercely for the Newcomer of the Year Award this Monday and the Swedish striker won the prize.

The competition was already destined to be quite stiff as both European players came in with a bang, they both are considered to be amongst the best players in their respective countries’ history and they were both logically going to still prove their worth despite their age.

In Wayne Rooney’s case, the England international may not be quite as old as Zlatan Ibrahimovic at 33 years old but his age is already important to consider him a veteran of the sport.

But Zlatan’s case is way more interesting, as he just turned 37 last October and proved that age is relative when you are a true legend of the game.

Zlatan began his particular story in the MLS in the most incredible way possible, during the first-ever Los Angeles Derby against LAFC and scoring an absolute screamer from outside of the box that presented him as the obvious contender for this particular award.

On that debut match, Zlatan scored not one but two goals and began a beautiful love story with LA Galaxy.

Zlatan’s feats continued throughout the whole season to reach unimaginable heights, the striker scored a total of 22 goals and provided 10 assists in 27 matches that he played.

One of those goals included his career’s 500th against Toronto FC, which was scored in the most acrobatic manner that honored the style and personality he always showed throughout his career in European football.

These stats and feats were more than enough to get Zlatan the highest percentage of the voting for this award, which was divided into three different areas that were able to cast their vote.

The ones who voted were the players, the clubs, and finally the members of the media. Ibrahimovic beat Wayne Rooney in two of those categories, as a total of 34.99% of the players’ votes went to him and 30.90% for the Englishman.

Manchester City v Manchester United

Remembering the partnership between Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney

Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney played together five years at Manchester United, forming one of the greatest partnerships ever seen in English football.

The media liked Zlatan more than Rooney with a clear margin, as 45.65% of them voted for the Swedish striker, whereas 31.53% voted for Wayne.

The England legend did get more voted from the clubs, with 34.31% for a 28.43% that Zlatan got. All these numbers were taken from the MLS Soccer official website.

Although Wayne Rooney didn’t have an equally prolific season as Zlatan did, it’s clear that both of these players made a massive impact on the football industry in the United States and they can be credited for creating a higher level of popularity for this particular sport that hadn’t been felt since the days of Pele and Johan Cruyff decades ago.

These two major stars should pave the way for other living and still active legends of the game, who will certainly think twice before they decide to leave for another country because they now will have the curiosity to go through a similar process to the one that Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney have experienced this season.

In the not so distant future, we can now think about the possibility of maybe getting the chance to watch Cristiano Ronaldo retire in the MLS when he is about the same age as Zlatan and take the MLS by storm like these two legends of the game have done.

This is only the beginning, as both players have already confirmed that they will return for the next MLS season and they both should gift us with more unforgettable nights in US Soccer.

What do you think about Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney’s impact on American soccer? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here