CARSON, Calif. (November 12, 2018) – Major League Soccer today announced LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been awarded the 2018 MLS Newcomer of the Year award. Ibrahimovic becomes the first Galaxy player to win the award and was also named to the 2018 MLS Best XI squad.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic named MLS Newcomer of the Year
Ibrahimovic took MLS by storm, scoring a brace in his first cap, a substitute appearance in the first ever El Trafico against Los Angeles FC. After going down 3-0, the Galaxy stormed back to win the match 4-3 with Ibrahimovic scoring the last two goals, including scoring a 40-yard golazo that broke the Internet.
In total, Ibrahimovic recorded 22 goals and 10 assists in 27 games played, nearly lifting a struggling Galaxy side to a birth in the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Swedish forward was challenged in the final voting tally by only D.C. United forward Wayne Rooney, who collected 32.25% of the total vote to Ibrahimovic’s 36.36%.
The MLS Newcomer of the Year has been awarded every season since 2007. Ibrahimovic joins a list of excellent players who have positively impacted their teams on and off the field.
Should Zlatan return to the Galaxy in 2019, he will undoubtedly be the most important player at the club and one of the stars of the league. He is under contract for next season but with rumors of interest from various European clubs and some questions surrounding the LA Galaxy off-season, the club needs to create a situation where they can contend to keep Ibrahimovic’s interest in staying.
MLS Newcomer of the Year Winners:
2018: Zlatan Ibrahimović – LA Galaxy
2017: Miguel Almirón – Atlanta United
2016: Nicolás Lodeiro – Seattle Sounders FC
2015: Sebastian Giovinco – Toronto FC
2014: Pedro Morales – Vancouver Whitecaps FC
2013: Diego Valeri – Portland Timbers
2012: Federico Higuaín – Columbus Crew SC
2011: Mauro Rosales – Seattle Sounders FC
2010: Álvaro Saborío – Real Salt Lake
2009: Fredy Montero – Seattle Sounders FC
2008: Darren Huckerby – San Jose Earthquakes
2007: Luciano Emílio – D.C. United