November 28, 2012 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Columbus Crew SC
COLUMBUS - Federico HiguaĆn was named the 2012 MLS Newcomer of the Year, Major League Soccer announced today. HiguaĆn bested San Jose\'s Victor Bernardez and Seattle\'s Michael Gspurning to receive the award.
Signed as the third Designated Player in club history on July 27, HiguaĆn arrived in Columbus in mid-August and proceeded to make an immediate impact on the team. He recorded three goals and six assists in his first five MLS matches, ending the season with a total of 13 appearances, five goals and seven assists
"I'm very honored to receive the Newcomer of the Year Award," said HiguaĆn. "I would like to thank all the people who voted, the players from other clubs, the MLS clubs' coaching staffs and front offices and the media. I only played 13 games this season and I hope next season to do better. I know I have to work hard on my preparation and I hope to play the full season with the same intensity I played with in these 13 games."
The Argentinean forward began his career at famed club River Plate in 2003 before eventually landing at fellow Argentine side ColĆ³n, where he spent two seasons prior to signing with the Crew. Higuain comes from a renowned soccer family as his father, Jorge, played for several of the top clubs in Argentina and his younger brother, Gonzalo, is one of the premier forwards for Real Madrid and Argentina's national team.
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 media, MLS players and MLS club management based on regular season performance. The other two finalists were San Jose Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez and Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. Below is a breakdown of the voting for the top five candidates:
Player (Club) % of Club Votes % of Media Votes % of Player Votes Weighted Total
Federico Higuain (CLB) 17.24 30.77 10.99 59.00
Victor Bernardez (SJ) 18.97 9.23 23.08 51.28
Michael Gspurning (SEA) 15.52 10.77 5.49 31.78
Young-Pyo Lee (VAN) 6.90 4.61 14.29 25.80
Boniek Garcia 12.10 4.61 7.69 24.40
MLS Newcomer of the Year Winners:
2012: Federico HiguaĆn - Columbus Crew
2011: Mauro Rosales - Seattle Sounders FC
2010: Alvaro Saborio - Real Salt Lake
2009: Fredy Montero - Seattle Sounders FC
2008: Darren Huckerby - San Jose Earthquakes
2007: Luciano Emilio - D.C. United