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Nick DeLeon, a rookie midfielder from Phoenix, is making a play for a Major League Soccer postseason award.
Credit Major League Soccer club D.C. United for its online and direct mail campaign for a couple of players up for postseason awards.
One of those is midfielder Nick DeLeon, a rookie from Phoenix who played at Thunderbird High School and has five goals in 26 matches (23 starts) this season.
D.C. United has two more regular-season matches and is closing in on the playoffs. DeLeon, 22, also has four assists and is in the top four among MLS rookies in games played, games started, minutes played, goals, assists, shots and shots on goal.
DeLeon was the seventh overall pick in the MLS Superdraft of college players in January. He's one more goal away from a rookie record for DCU, and is already in good company in that category. His five goals as a rookie are as many as former U.S. national team players Freddy Adu and Santino Quaranta had in their first seasons in the nation's capital, and current Honduras national team player Andy Najar also had five as a rookie for D.C. United.
DeLeon scored in his debut match in MLS, just 12 minutes after entering the game as a sub against the LA Galaxy on March 18. He's been a steady presence in the lineup ever since.
Soccer fans and DeLeon fans can see him live on national TV (the NBC Sports Network) on Oct. 27 against the Chicago Fire in the regular-season finale.