Zlatan Ibrahimovic beats Wayne Rooney to MLS Newcomer of the Year award

Major League Soccer announced on Monday that LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has won the league's Newcomer of the Year award for 2018.

The award recognizes the season's most impactful new player who has prior professional experience.

Ibrahimovic made his Galaxy debut on March 31, scoring twice in a come-from-behind 4-3 win over LAFC in the first ever meeting of the Los Angeles clubs. Even after such a strong first impression, the former Sweden international would only get better.

By season's end, he'd compiled 22 goals and 10 assists in 27 appearances. He's just the third ever player to record a 20-goal, 10-assist season in MLS history. And his 32 combined goals and assists is the sixth most in league history.

Ibrahimovic's Newcomer of the Year win was a narrow one. Among votes from his fellow players, club members and the media, the Galaxy No. 9 averaged 36.36 percent of the vote. In second place was D.C. United's Wayne Rooney, who accumulated an average of 32.25 percent of the vote following his impressive arrival in July.

LAFC's Carlos Vela, Minnesota United's Darwin Quintero and the New York Red Bulls' Kaku rounded out the top five vote-getters for the award.

Previous winners of the Newcomer of the Year award read like a who's who of MLS' most impactful players: Atlanta United's Miguel Almiron in 2017, the Seattle Sounders' Nicolas Lodeiro in 2016 and Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco in 2015.