Easily the hardest decision SB Nation's soccer editors had to make for their midseason awards was Rookie of the Year. No rookie has really stood out during the first half of the season, but two players have at least impressed enough people to be the front-runners: CJ Sapong and Joao Plata.
Our editors narrowly picked Sapong, probably buoyed by his recent form which has seen him score two goals in Sporting Kansas City's last five games.
Here's what our editors had to say about the pick:
Chris "UZ" White, Burgundy Wave: Highly derided when he was picked 'too high' in the MLS draft earlier in the year - yet another reason why the phrase 'forget everything you pretend to know about a draft the second it starts' is pretty much always true - Sapong out of JMU has been a star for Sporting Kansas City through a very tough start to their season. Three goals and three assists has him tied for the team lead for both as of this writing. He also has the cool distinction of being the first non-cow to score at Livestrong Sporting Park.
Joey Samuel, Brotherly Game: Kansas City certainly knew what they were doing when they took him out of James Madison, despite the pick surprising most of us. He's been so good that he's essentially sent Teal Bunbury, tapped to be the future center forward of the USMNT, to the bench.