Morales captures MLS Newcomer of the Year honor

New York, NY ( - Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder Pedro Morales was named the 2014 MLS Newcomer of the Year on Wednesday after helping the Whitecaps secure a place in the Western Conference playoffs.

The 29-year-old joined Vancouver in March as a Designated Player from Spanish side Malaga, and he quickly established himself as a key part of head coach Carl Robinson's side, which secured the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Morales enjoyed a standout first season in Vancouver as he tallied 10 goals and 12 assists, both team highs. The Chilean also took over the captain's armband midway through the season when veteran defender Jay DeMerit announced his retirement.

New England Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones finished second in the voting, while Stefan Ishizaki of the Los Angeles Galaxy was third.

The Newcomer of the Year honors the player who is in his first season in Major League Soccer, but has prior professional experience, making him ineligible for Rookie of the Year honors.