Major League Soccer today announced the creation of the AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year award, an honor that will recognize the top young player in the league age 22 and under at the end of each season. Voting for 2020 End of Year Awards including Young Player of the Year will run from Oct. 29 through Nov. 9 with finalists to be announced on Nov. 11.
The AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year award will celebrate the rising stars within MLS and serve as a reflection of the diverse and up-and-coming talent in the league. Any player who meets the age requirement, whether it be a Homegrown Player developed in MLS academies, an MLS SuperDraft pick, or a young player who arrived in the league via the international transfer market will be eligible for the award. For 2020, any player born on or after Jan.1, 1998 is eligible, while players born on or before Dec. 31, 1997 are ineligible.
Beginning this season, the AT&T Young Player of the Year award replaces the Rookie of the Year award, which previously honored the top first-year pro player in MLS.
“The AT&T Young Player of the Year award reflects the commitment of MLS to develop world class players by recognizing the elite young stars within our league. This honor will highlight the amazing talent developed in MLS academies, which year-after-year produce internationally coveted stars,” MLS Executive Vice President, Player Relations and Competition Todd Durbin said. “With our clubs increasingly signing elite young international standouts and the continued quality of players in the MLS SuperDraft, there has never been more young talent to celebrate in our league.”
End of Year Awards will be determined through voting between Oct. 29-Nov. 9 from three groups:
- Current MLS players
- MLS clubs (Coaches, Technical Directors/General Managers)
- Select media members representing local and national outlets who consistently covered the 2020 MLS regular season
Additionally, MLS will recognize the top plays of the season with the AT&T MLS Goal of the Year and MLS Save of the Year presented by Allstate, with voting for both awards set to run from Nov. 12-18 on MLSsoccer.com.
Sporting KC Nominees: 2020 MLS End of Year Awards
- Landon Donovan MLS MVP: Alan Pulido and Johnny Russell
- AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year: Gianluca Busio and Jaylin Lindsey
- Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: Tim Melia
- MLS Defender of the Year: Roberto Puncec and Graham Zusi
- MLS Comeback Player of the Year: Jaylin Lindsey and Winston Reid
- MLS Newcomer of the Year: Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido
- MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year: Khiry Shelton
- Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year: Peter Vermes
CLICK HERE for a full list of nominees for each award.
MLS will honor the top stars and moments with the following awards in 2020:
2020 MLS End of Year Awards
- MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi
- Landon Donovan MLS MVP
- MLS Best XI built by The Home Depot
- AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year
- Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year
- MLS Defender of the Year
- MLS Comeback Player of the Year
- MLS Newcomer of the Year
- AT&T MLS Goal of the Year
- MLS Save of the Year presented by Allstate
- MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year
- Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year
- MLS Referee of the Year
- MLS Assistant Referee of the Year
- MLS Fair Play Award – Individual & Team