Jozy Altidore, Forward
Jozy Altidore had a career year with the U.S. MNT in 2013, setting both personal and National Team records in the process. The powerful striker started 13 of the 14 games he appeared in for the USA, featuring in all but one of the team’s 10 Hexagonal matches and being named captain by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the team’s final 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match against Panama. Altidore has scored a career-high eight goals in 2013, making him joint top scorer for the U.S. with Landon Donovan, while also adding two assists. He set a U.S. MNT record by scoring a goal in five consecutive matches from (June 2-Aug. 14) and moved past 60 international caps while just recently reaching 24 years of age. Altidore also challenged himself at club level by earning a move from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar to Sunderland of the English Premier League.
DaMarcus Beasley, Defender
DaMarcus Beasley revived his National Team career in 2013 by reinventing himself as the team’s first-choice left back. Beasley started all 17 matches in which he has featured for the U.S. this year, helping the team earn nine of its 11 total clean sheets. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named the former midfielder captain for the USA’s undefeated run to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup crown, during which, Beasley played all but one match. With his start against Belgium, Beasley became the 13th player in MNT history to earn 100 caps. He now holds sole possession of fifth on the all-time U.S. caps list with 114 appearances, just ahead of Claudio Reyna and 13 behind Marcelo Balboa.
Michael Bradley, Midfielder
Michael Bradley underlined his importance as the hub of the U.S. midfield by playing the full 90 minutes in the team’s first six Hexagonal matches, as well as in important international friendlies against Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany and Scotland. A six-year veteran of the National Team, Bradley reached 82 caps this year, which ties him for 22nd all-time appearances leaders for the MNT. Despite injuring his ankle before the USA’s World Cup Qualifier against Costa Rica in July, Bradley bounced back to contribute at the international level and with his club Roma, helping the Italian side set a European record of 10 straight wins to open a domestic season.
Clint Dempsey, Forward
Handed the captaincy of the U.S. National Team by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in March, Clint Dempsey played nearly every minute of all 10 matches he’s appeared in this season, scoring six goals and adding two assists. He started off the year red hot, scoring five goals in his first five matches with the National Team, including a brace in a historic 4-2 win against Germany and the game-winner in a 1-0 World Cup Qualifying win over Costa Rica. Dempsey played in the first eight Hexagonal matches for the U.S., and assisted on Landon Donovan’s goal that punctuated the USA’s 2-0 win against archrival Mexico in Columbus which punched the National Team’s ticket to Brazil for next summer’s FIFA World Cup. At club level, Dempsey made a much heralded return to Major League Soccer, signing with Seattle Sounders FC from England’s Tottenham Hotspur. He is a three-time recipient of the award, including the past two years running.
Tim Howard, Goalkeeper
Goalkeeper Tim Howard compiled a 7-3-1 record in 2013 and was nominated for Male Athlete of the Year for sixth time in seven years. Howard is one win away from tying Kasey Keller for most wins for a goalkeeper (53) in MNT history and, after collecting five clean sheets in 2013, sits alone in second place on the USA’s all-time shutouts list with 34. Howard has worn the captain’s armband on four occasions for the MNT in 2013 and started all 12 matches to reach 96 total caps, second-most all-time for a U.S. goalkeeper.