NEW YORK – Major League Soccer announced Monday that Los Angeles Football Club forward Diego Rossi has been named its young player of the year, honoring the Uruguay National Team star as the top player in the league age 22 and under.

The 22-year-old Rossi won the award after a breakout year for LAFC in which he led the league with 14 goals to become the youngest player in MLS history to win the Golden Boot. Rossi finished the season with 14 goals and four assists across 19 matches, with his 18 combined goals and assists tied for the second-most in the league.

This marked the fifth individual award for Rossi this season, as he also captured the regular season Golden Boot and a trio of honors at the MLS is Back Tournament including the Golden Boot, young player of the tournament and being named to the tournament Best XI.

Rossi finished the season with a career-high goals-per-game average of .737 and fueled the top offense in the league. LAFC scored a league-leading 47 goals in the regular, with its 2.14 goals-per-game average standing as the seventh-most in league history.

In its inaugural season, the award honors the top player in the league age 22 and under. For the 2020 season, any player born on or before Jan. 1, 1998 was eligible for the award.

The award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media and current MLS players.


Young Player of the Year Player % Club % Media % Final %
Diego Rossi (LAFC) 21.16% 30.70% 35.44% 29.10%
Brenden Aaronson (PHI) 29.00% 37.72% 19.89% 28.87%
Daryl Dike (ORL) 12.38% 9.65% 10.34% 10.79%
Ayo Akinola (TOR) 7.99% 6.14% 6.12% 6.75%
Mark McKenzie (PHI) 5.33% 7.02% 7.81% 6.72%
Brian Rodríguez (LAFC) 3.13% 2.63% 3.38% 3.05%
Cole Bassett (COL) 1.88% 1.75% 3.38% 2.34%

All-Time MLS Young Player of the Year / Rookie of the Year Winners
Young Player of the Year
2020: Diego Rossi – Los Angeles Football Club

Rookie of the Year
2019: Andre Shinyashiki – Colorado Rapids
2018: Corey Baird – Real Salt Lake
2017: Julian Gressel – Atlanta United
2016: Jordan Morris – Seattle Sounders FC
2015: Cyle Larin – Orlando City SC
2014: Tesho Akindele – FC Dallas
2013: Dillon Powers – Colorado Rapids
2012: Austin Berry – Chicago Fire
2011: C.J. Sapong – Sporting Kansas City
2010: Andy Najar – D.C. United
2009: Omar Gonzalez – LA Galaxy
2008: Sean Franklin – LA Galaxy
2007: Maurice Edu – Toronto FC
2006: Jonathan Bornstein – Chivas USA
2005: Michael Parkhurst – New England Revolution
2004: Clint Dempsey – New England Revolution
2003: Damani Ralph – Chicago Fire
2002: Kyle Martino – Columbus Crew
2001: Rodrigo Faria – MetroStars
2000: Carlos Bocanegra – Chicago Fire
1999: Jay Heaps – Miami Fusion
1998: Ben Olsen – D.C. United
1997: Mike Duhaney – Tampa Bay Mutiny
1996: Steve Ralston – Tampa Bay Mutiny

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at