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Federico Higuaín Named MLS Newcomer of the Year

November 28, 2012 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Columbus Crew SC News Release

COLUMBUS - Federico Higuaín was named the 2012 MLS Newcomer of the Year, Major League Soccer announced today. Higuaín 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, Higuaín 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 Higuaín. "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 Colón, 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 Higuaín - 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

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