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Atlanta midfielder Julian Gressel named Rookie of the Year

Atlanta United defender Julian Gressel (24) scores past Orlando City SC goalkeeper Joseph Bendik (1) in the first half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Atlanta. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) Atlanta midfielder Julian Gressel has been named Major League Soccer's Rookie of the Year.

Gressel, 23, appeared in 32 matches with 24 starts, and had nine assists, third-most for a rookie in league history. He also had five goals.

Atlanta United, playing its first season in MLS, went 15-9-10 this season and finished fourth in the Eastern Conference. United was the first expansion team to make the playoffs since 1998.

"It's a great honor, not just for me but I think for the whole club," he said. "It's been a tremendous year for me personally and now you add a trophy to it - it's kind of a cool thing."

The eighth overall selection in the MLS SuperDraft, Gressel had 30 goals and 26 assists over four seasons at Providence College.

MLS team technical staffs, members of the media and current MLS players voted for the award.

Updated November 8, 2017

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