Ibrahimovic beats out Rooney to win MLS Newcomer of the Year

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Both stars lived up to weighty expectations, with the Swede managing to take home the award over his former Manchester United teammate

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been named the Major League Soccer Newcomer of the Year, narrowly edging out former Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney for the award.

The Galaxy striker had a marvelous debut season with the team, scoring 22 goals and adding 10 assists in just 27 games for the club.

Ibrahimovic's season in Los Angeles also featured him netting his 500th career goal – one that has been nominated for MLS Goal of the Season.

Though Ibrahimovic had an excellent debut campaign, it was not enough to get the Galaxy into the postseason after a final day defeat to the Houston Dynamo.

The striker has been linked to a move back to Europe in recent weeks, with a return to AC Milan chiefly among them.

However, Ibrahimovic has another year on his contract and has already shot down rumors of a loan while discussing new terms with the MLS side.

The Swede becomes the first LA Galaxy player to win Newcomer of the Year, having barely edged out Rooney for the award.

Wayne Rooney D.C. United MLS 2018

Ibrahimovic took a 36.36 percent average of the vote, ahead of the D.C. United striker’s 32.25%.

The winner is determined by the highest average among three groups of voters – players, media and MLS technical staff. Ibrahimovic finished first among players and media, but Rooney was top among the MLS staff.

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Rooney featured in 20 games after joining DCU in the middle of the season but had a massive impact on the team, scoring 12 goals, adding seven assists and being one of the big keys in a late-season surge that netted a playoff spot.

Carlos Vela, who managed 14 goals and 13 assists as the starman for Los Angeles FC in the club’s first season in MLS, finished third.

Minnesota United’s Darwin Quintero, New York Red Bulls’ Kaku, Vela’s LAFC teammate Diego Rossi and Sporting Kansas City’s Johnny Russell rounded out the top seven.

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