For the second straight year, a Philadelphia Union player has been passed over for the Rookie of the Year award.
Jack Elliott finished third in voting behind Minnesota United striker Abu Danladi and Atlanta United midfielder Julian Gressel, who received an average of 53.86 percent of the votes from players, media and clubs. Elliott had an average of 7.86 percent of the vote, Danladi 16.22 percent.
Keegan Rosenberry finished second in voting in 2016 in a tighter race, receiving an average of 30.6 percent of the vote while Jordan Morris won the award with 44.95 percent.
Elliott proved to be the steal of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft this season, making 30 starts and finishing third on the team in minutes for a defender with 2,621 minutes after being drafted 77th overall in the fourth round out of West Virginia University.
The 22-year-old from London ranked first among all Union defenders in goals conceded per 90 minutes (1.24), clearances (150), blocks (23), clean sheets (8), and recoveries (127) and ranked second in interceptions (45) and duels won (103). His 150 clearances were seventh among all MLS defenders, and his 23 blocks were tied for eighth.
Gressel led all MLS rookies with five goals and nine assists in 32 appearances and 24 starts for Atlanta United. The 23-year-old from Germany was drafted ninth overall after starring at Providence College.
Finalists for the award included San Jose Earthquakes homegrown Nick Lima, D.C. United homegrown Ian Harkes and Lawrenceville, N.J. native Jake Nerwinski, a defender for Vancouver Whitecaps.
Only first-year professionals are eligible for the award. The list of eligible rookies on the MLS website includes just 51 players but was last updated in March and didn’t include Union rookie midfielder Adam Najem.