2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards Day 2 Winners Announced
Dec. 17, 2009
• Fans Can View Videos of the Winners on ussoccer.com
© U.S. Soccer
• Landon Donovan and Carlos Bocanegra Accept Awards for Best Assist and Best Performance: Team
• Final Four Winners to be Unveiled on Friday, Followed by 2009 Athletes of the Year Early Next Week
CHICAGO (Dec. 17, 2009) — The next four winners of the 2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards were announced on Thursday on ussoccer.com, with fan votes deciding the choices for Best Assist, Best Fan Photo, Best Performance: Team and Best Soccer Specialty Store.
The eighth annual installment of the Best of U.S. Soccer Awards was decided entirely by fans, who cast their ballots in 12 different categories from Nov. 23 to Dec. 13 on ussoccer.com.
• Watch the Winners
Fans can watch a special presentation of these four winners, plus the first four winners for Best Clutch Moment, Best Photo, Best Soccer Blog and Best ussoccer.com Video on ussoccer.com, which will showcase all 12 winners. The final four winners for Best Academy Story, Best Goal, Best Performance: Player, and Best Soccer Bar will be announced on Friday, Dec. 18.
Following the unveiling of the 2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards, U.S. Soccer will announce the winners for the 2009 Athlete of the Year Awards on Monday, Dec. 21 and Tuesday, Dec. 22. The four awards include Male, Female, Young Male and Young Female Athletes of the Year. As the oldest and most prestigious awards of their kind, U.S. Soccer’s Athlete of the Year Awards date back to 1984 for the men and 1985 for the women. As in years past, online votes for the annual award were tallied and counted for 50 percent of the total, while the other 50 percent was compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives, including National Team coaches and members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors.
Landon Donovan's 10 assists in 2009 set a new U.S. Soccer record, beating out Cobi Jones' previous high of nine set in 2000. It was only fitting Donovan captured the Best Assist award in balloting, and his pass to set up Charlie Davies' goal in Estadio Azteca netted 21 percent of the vote. In second place was Davies, who set up Donovan for the USA's second goal in the Confederations Cup final against Brazil (18 percent). Jonathan Spector rounded out the top three with a beautiful curling cross for Clint Dempsey to open the scoring in the June 28 final at Ellis Park in Johannesburg (17 percent).
The Confederations Cup was the stage for some of the most memorable moments of 2009 and the tournament in South Africa has been well-represented during the Best of U.S. Soccer Awards. It was no surprise the USA's massive victory against Spain won the Best Performance: Team accolade. The 2-0 victory against the No. 1-ranked team in the world captured 67 percent of the vote and won a landslide victory in the year's most lopsided category. Accepting the award on behalf of the team is captain Carlos Bocanegra.
This year's Best Fan Photo also came from South Africa, with Dan Spealman's “Stars and Stripes Forever” getting the nod. The photo, taken at sunset during the USA's first round match with Brazil at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane/Pretoria, captured 25 percent of the vote. “RFK Gang,” a front row view of the MNT's on-field celebration in the nation's capital came in second (22 percent), while “Marching to Columbus” placed third (16 percent).
In the year's most-voted-on category, Soccer Fanatic of San Diego earned the Best Soccer Specialty Store award, taking 23 percent of the vote to far outpace the closest competitor. Premier Soccer Shop of New Jersey came in second (12 percent) while two-time winner and 2008 champion Angelo's Soccer Corner rounded out the top three (11 percent).
On Friday, Dec. 18 the final four awards will be presented on ussoccer.com for Best Academy Story, Best Goal, Best Performance: Player, and Best Soccer Bar. The 2009 Athlete of the Year Awards will be announced early next week.
2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Results – Assist, Fan Photo, Performance: Team, Soccer Specialty Store
1. Landon Donovan vs. Mexico, Aug. 12 21%
2. Charlie Davies vs. Brazil, June 28 18%
3. Jonathan Spector vs. Brazil, June 28 17%
Best Fan Photo
1. Stars and Stripes Forever 25%
2. RFK Gang 22%
3. Marching to Columbus 16%
Best Performance: Team
1. MNT vs. Spain, June 24 67%
2. WNT vs. Germany, Oct. 29 12%
3. MNT vs. Mexico, Feb. 11 5%
Best Soccer Specialty Store
1. Soccer Fanatic, San Diego, Calif. 23%
2. Premier Soccer Shop, Hoboken, N.J. 12%
3. Angelo's Soccer Corner, Pa. 11%