Two days after Sporting Kansas City's season came to a soul-crushing end in the Eastern Conference Championship, there was a touch of silver lining today for the team when forward CJ Sapong was named MLS Rookie of the Year. Sporting drafted Sapong out of James Madison University in the MLS SuperDraft in January. At the time, Sporting took some criticism for adding another offensive player when they appeared thin on defense.
ESPN's Jeff Carlisle wrote, "Sapong ... had a good combine. Big, strong, decent with his back to goal. That said, I'm having a hard time seeing how this guy gets on the field."
Turns out, he had no trouble getting playing time. He was the only team member to play in all 34 games, and he contributed five goals and five assists, including a goal 43 seconds into his first game, setting an MLS record for fastest first career goal.