This year’s rookie class vying for the award includes San Jose Earthquakes defender Fatai Alashe. The Michigan State product tied for the rookie lead in games started (27) with Chicago Fire midfielder Matt Polster, while featuring in the second most games played (28). Alashe’s 1.8 tackles per game led all MLS rookies (minimum of 15 appearances). Alashe was a member of the USA U-23 team that took third place at the 2015 Toulon Tournament and was also included in the US U-23 Olympic Qualifying campaign.
Chicago Fire midfielder Matt Polster recorded the most games played by a rookie this season (30), while also notching a rookie-high 2,422 minutes played. After proving himself as an MLS starter for the Fire, Polster earned a first ever national team call-up, representing the United States in U-23 Olympic Qualifying, where he started all five matches for the U.S.