COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Colorado Rapids forward Andre Shinyashiki is the 2019 MLS Rookie of the Year, the league announced Tuesday.
Shinyashiki was one of three finalists for the award, a list that included midfielders Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union) and Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United).
“It’s such an honor,” Shinyashiki said, via the club’s website. “Going against guys that are such high quality, like Hassani and Aaronson, and for me to win the award, not necessarily over them but together, is good because those guys are very quality players and to come out on top and win is amazing and a dream come true.”
The Brazilian tallied seven goals and three assists in 31 appearances (18 starts for Colorado) in his rookie campaign. Colorado selected Shinyashiki fifth overall in the 2019 SuperDraft, moving up in the draft to select the University of Denver product.
“We couldn’t be more proud of Andre’s achievement,” Rapids executive VP & GM Padraig Smith said in a statement. “It’s a testament not just to his natural talent, but also to his strong work ethic and mentality. He was a key figure in our club’s turnaround this year and we’re excited to see him build on this year’s performances and become a key contributor for us in 2020 and beyond.”
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Words cant describe this feeling. Just wanted to thank everyone that has helped me along the way. From my youth club Pequeninos do Jockey, to Montverde Academy and the University of Denver, all the way to the Colorado Rapids, my family and friends, thank you for everything, wouldnt have happened without your support. #justgettingstarted
Shinyashiki becomes the first Rapids’ player to win the league’s Rookie of the Year award since midfielder Dillon Powers won it in 2013 as a co-finalist with teammate Deshorn Brown. He becomes only the fifth non-MLS domestic player (USA & Canada) to win it and the second Brazilian to win the award since Rodrigo Faria with the Metrostars in 2001.