CHICAGO (Jan. 18, 2017) –The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced today that Alex Morgan is the 2016 CONCACAF Female Player of the Year and Ashlyn Harris is the CONCACAF Female Goalkeeper of the Year as winners in twelve different categories for the annual CONCACAF Awards were revealed.
In an equally-weighted vote among Men’s and Women’s National Team coaches and captains of all the Member Association, media and fans, Morgan captured the award for the second time. Bryan Ruiz of Costa Rica earned the honor for the first time. Harris (Orlando Pride) won the award for the first time.
U.S. midfielder Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), the 2016 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year, finished second in the voting while U.S. forward Crystal Dunn (formerly of the Washington Spirit and now Chelsea Ladies FC) finished third.
A U.S. player has won the CONCACAF Female Player of the Year award every year since its inception in 2013 when Morgan won it for the first time. Abby Wambach won it in 2014 and Carli Lloyd in 2015.
Winners in other categories were: Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year - Keylor Navas (Costa Rica and Real Madrid); Coaches of the Year - Óscar Ramírez (Costa Rica) and Amelia Valverde (Costa Rica); Referees of the Year - César Arturo Ramos (Mexico) and Carol Anne Chenard (Canada); Goal of the Year – Jesús Corona (Mexico), in the 80th minute of the Copa America Centenario match against Venezuela.
In addition, the USA placed six players on the Female Best XI: Harris (Orlando Pride), defenders Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City) and Ali Krieger (formerly of the Washington Spirit and now Orlando Pride), midfielders Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC) and Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), and Morgan (Orlando Pride and Olympique Lyon).
It was the second such honor for Sauerbrunn, Lloyd and Morgan, who were all on the CONCACAF Best XI last year, the first year it was selected.
The CONCACAF Awards are designed to honor the year’s outstanding performers and achievements in confederation-sanctioned competitions involving national teams at all levels and age categories, including FIFA World Cup matches and qualifying for both genders. Performances eligible for recognition also included those achieved in professional club leagues within the CONCACAF Member Associations.Read more
For the first time in 2017 January Camp, U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bruce Arena had the full 31-player roster at his disposal as the MNT welcomed Dax McCarty to the National Training Center on Tuesday.
McCarty had a decent enough excuse for the late arrival: his wedding nuptials. With the Jan. 14 date picked out a year ago, Arena graciously agreed to let the veteran midfielder have a few extra days to get married before returning to his first MNT camp since 2014.
“Obviously with everything that’s happened with the National Team the past few months, Bruce coming in and getting the call from him, it was a huge source of pride,” McCarty said about his invitation. “It was also a little awkward to tell him I had a wedding right in the middle of camp. He was unbelievably accommodating. He just told me to enjoy my wedding and that they’d catch me up as quick as possible. It’s been a crazy whirlwind. I got married on Saturday, flew out Sunday afternoon. My wife was extremely understanding and very supportive – I can’t thank her enough.”
While that huge life event occurred for McCarty this past weekend, another took place for him Monday as the New York Red Bulls traded him to the Chicago Fire. Caught off guard by the transaction, McCarty said he was thankful to be able to channel things towards his first training session with the MNT on Tuesday morning.
“It’s been a pretty crazy 24 hours,” he told ussoccer.com about the trade. “A lot has happened and I’m still digesting it. It came as a big surprise, so emotionally I’m just trying to process everything. The good thing is that I’m out here with the National Team. I get a chance to be back out on the field, do what I love, get fit and prepare for these upcoming games against Serbia and Jamaica.”
With four caps to his credit, McCarty last appeared for the MNT in a 1-1 draw with Chile on Jan. 22, 2011, and is one of a number of players looking to take advantage of the initial camp under Arena.
“Being called back in is a good feeling. It’s a reward for a lot of hard work that I’ve put in and my performances over the past two years. Obviously, all you can ask for is a chance. These opportunities don’t come around often so I’m looking to enjoy it.”
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While he’s had to put his honeymoon on hold to have a chance to impress Arena and his staff in this camp and then prepare for a move to Chicago, McCarty plans to make up the hectic start of 2017 to his new bride.
“I was planning a nice little Caribbean honeymoon, somewhere quick and easy, maybe Jamaica. Now it might be the Maldives or Bora Bora, something a little more pricey. Whatever she wants, she gets,” he said with a smile.Read more
The U.S. Men's National Team completed the first week of 2017 January Camp at the National Training Center. With the full 31-player roster gathered in Carson, Calif., players new and old are focusing on finding their rhythm with head coach Bruce Arena. The players will spend the next few weeks training ahead of a pair of friendly matches vs. Serbia on Jan. 29 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. [TICKETS] and Jamaica on Feb. 3 at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn. [TICKETS].Read more
Photos from the U.S. Women's National Team training sessions on Sunday, Jan. 15 and Monday, Jan. 16 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California. January Camp is in high gear for the WNT, with lots of new faces mixing in with familiar ones as player pool expansion continues to top the list of Jill Ellis' priorities in this new cycle.Read more