Most of the buzz around MLS' 2010 Rookie of the Year centered around Tim Ream and Danny Mwanga. A surprise announcement today that the award went to 17-year old DC United rising star Andy Najar. Najar is undoubtedly an emerging talent in Major League Soccer and possibly even for the Honduran or US National Team (depending on which country he decides to play for). He has huge upside, but my take on rookie of the year is to give it to the player who in his first year made the biggest impact for his club. And that player, without a doubt, is Tim Ream.
Ream started every game for the team that finished 1st place in the Eastern Conference. And he didn't enter an established back line - the Red Bulls were terrible in 2009 and switched Ream's counterpart at Centerback halfway through the season (an aging Mike Petke was replaced by Carlos Mendes). Chris Albright took some time getting back into form and Roy Miller loves to play up the left wing. Tim Ream was the one consistent piece of the defense and impressed even USMNT coach Bob Bradley with his vision and skill on the ball (a call-up during the January camp for Ream is likely).
Andy Najar could in the next season or two break out into a legitimate star and command a sizable transfer fee to a European club. But he was not the best 1st year player this season.