Countdown: 19

Countdown to 2018 Home Opener: Rookie of the Year Runner-Ups

In the past two seasons, Philadelphia Union defenders haven’t been strangers to some big end of the year recognition.

In 2016, Union defender Keegan Rosenberry was a runner-up to Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris for Major League Soccer's Rookie of the Year Award. Nonetheless, Rosenberry had an exceptional rookie season after being drafted third-overall in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft.

The Ronks, PA native played every minute in the Union's 2016 regular season, recording 3,060 minutes, which made him the only player in MLS to do so that year. 

Rosenberry helped Philadelphia earn six clean sheets, as well as netting two goals and two assists in his rookie campaign.

Despite falling second to the award, Rosenberry was able to win the MLS Individual Fair Play Award for not picking up a single yellow card in any of the games played that season.

In addition to Rosenberry, Union defender Jack Elliott proves that you can find talent in all rounds of the MLS SuperDraft.

Elliott was chosen in the fourth round, with the 77th-overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. The product out of West Virginia University made 30 appearances last season in his rookie campaign, starting in 29 of those contests.

Elliott was also a staple on the backline when he started in each match during the club’s record four-game shutout streak.

August was quite the month for Elliott, as he was able to record a goal and an assist. He scored his first MLS goal on Aug. 19 against San Jose Earthquakes and tacked on his first assist a week later against Atlanta United. Elliott would ultimately finish as a finalist for the 2017 Rookie of the Year Award. 

With 2017 in the rearview mirror, Elliott and Rosenberry look to make 2018 a year to remember. Fans can catch the two as the Union kicks off their 2018 campaign with a home opener against New England Revolution, presented by Oliver Heating and Cooling, on March 3. Tickets for the match can be found here.

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