Photo by Scobel Wiggins – UltiPhotos.com

Major League Ultimate has announced that Khalif El-Salaam of the Seattle Rainmakers has been named the Breakout Player of the Year for the 2014 MLU season.

El-Salaam finished the year with 20 goals and 12 assists for the Rainmakers (4-6). His 20 goals rank him ninth in the league and fifth in the Western Conference in goals-scored and his 32 points was tied for 15th overall in the league this season.

These numbers mark a dramatic improvement from last year’s points total of five (3 goals and 2 assist) when El-Salaam played for the Portland Stags. The statistical leap, as well as his ability to make an immediate impact every time he stepped on the field earned him the recognition from coaches, general managers, team writers and league insiders on this year’s awards ballot.

The Breakout Player of the Year award goes to the player who made the biggest improvement from last season to this season, including their role in helping their team achieve its season goals. El-Salaam was a pivotal player on the Seattle O-line and became renown for his decisive scoring cuts and even better end zone celebrations.

Final Ballot:

1. Khalif El-Salaam (Seattle)
2. Eli Friedman (Portland)
3. Patrick Diviney (Philadelphia)
4. Jeremy Norden (Portland)
5. Donnie Clark (Seattle)

Next five receiving votes: Daniel Trytiak (Seattle), Nick Hirannet (Philadelphia), Alan Kolick (D.C.), Morgan Hibbert (Vancouver), Iggy Yz (New York).