New York, NY (Sports Network) - Columbus Crew forward Federico Higuain was named the MLS Newcomer of the Year on Wednesday after making his mark on the club over its final 13 games of the season.
Higuain joined Columbus as a Designated Player midway through the campaign, and he made an immediate impact by scoring five goals and adding seven assists in those 13 games, leading a playoff push for the Crew which came up just a little short.
After beginning his career with River Plate in 2003, Higuain spent time at six other clubs before moving to Columbus, which finished one point back of Houston for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Higuain narrowly edged out San Jose Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez for the award, while Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning finished third in the voting.
The Newcomer of the Year award is given to a player in his first season in MLS, but who has prior professional experience, making him ineligible to win the Rookie of the Year award.