Atlanta’s Julian Gressel voted MLS Rookie of the Year

Atlanta United midfielder Julian Gressel, left gets a shot on goal off under pressure from Seattle Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

NEW YORK — Atlanta midfielder Julian Gressel has been voted Major League Soccer’s Rookie of the Year.

The 23-year-old German, selected with the eighth overall draft pick this year after playing at Providence, had five goals and nine assists in 32 league games, the third-most assists for a rookie behind 12 by Andy Williams and 10 by Clint Mathis, both in 1998.

He received an average of 54 per cent of the vote in balloting by players, media and club management that was announced Wednesday.

Minnesota forward Abu Danladi, a 22-year-old from Ghana, was second with 8 per cent after scoring eight goals in 27 games. San Jose defender Nick Lima was third with 4 per cent, followed by D.C. United midfielder Ian Harkes — the son of former U.S. captain John Harkes — with 3 per cent.

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