Tesho Akindele is 2014 MLS Rookie of the Year. The league announced that the FC Dallas man had won the award on Monday.
It's not a shock that Akindele won Rookie of the Year, having tallied seven goals and three assists this season. Voting for the award was split between clubs, players and media, and Akindele finished first in voting in all three categories.
Akindele's role with Dallas changed when Mauro Diaz went down injured. Then, he went from little-used substitute to starter, and he shone. Capable of playing as a center forward or out side, Akindele's strength, athleticism and versatility made him a force that opposing defenses had serious trouble dealing with. Even when Diaz returned, Akindele retained his spot in the starting lineups and come the playoffs, he played every single minute, even nabbing a goal.
Akindele was born in Canada, but moved to Colorado when he was nine years old and recently applied for United States citizenship. He reportedly got said citizenship and was going to be named to the U.S. team for their friendlies against Colombia and Ireland earlier this month, but when the roster came out, he was not on it. It is still unclear if he is a citizen yet, and whether he actually turned down a call from Canada so he could play for the U.S., as reported, but he is in the picture to some degree.
If Akindele does pick the U.S., he will likely take part in the Americans' January camp.