2005 Athlete of the Year Award Winners Bios
CHICAGO (December 22, 2005) – For their excellence at the highest levels of the sport, U.S. Soccer named U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Kasey Keller as the 2005 Male Athlete of the Year and U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Kristine Lilly as the 2005 Female Athlete of the Year. Under-20 MNT midfielder Benny Feilhaber and WNT defender Lori Chalupny won the Young Male and Young Female Awards, respectively.
Dec. 22, 2005
2005 Male Athlete of the Year: Kasey Keller
Keller was nothing short of giant in the goal for the U.S. in 2005, his calming leadership presence equaled only by his impressive collection of world-caliber saves. With a total of eight shutouts in 13 games, he led the U.S. on a shutout run of 639 minutes that spanned seven World Cup qualifiers. He recorded five shutouts in seven qualifiers on the year, adding another record to a resume that already includes all-time U.S. bests for wins (50), shutouts (44), and World Cup qualifying appearances (31).
While others got their names on the scoresheet, it was Keller who came up with two huge saves to keep Costa Rica off the board on June 4 in Salt Lake City. Four days later against Panama, he one-upped his own performance by making a string of three miraculous saves in succession that preserved the USA’s shutout road win while instantly becoming a part of U.S. goalkeeping lore.
After playing every minute of every game for two years at Tottenham Hotspur, he made the jump to Borussia Moenchengladbach where he was largely credited for saving their season and their place in the Bundesliga.
2005 MNT Stats
2005 Female Athlete of the Year: Kristine Lilly
The USA’s captain had another remarkably productive and consistent year as she pumped up her world-record cap total to 299.
Lilly scored four times with two assists, including two goals in a huge 4-0 win against Denmark at the 2005 Algarve Cup that sent the USA to the championship game. Lilly also scored against Ukraine and Mexico, upping her career international goals total to 1104.
"Kristine Lilly made an extremely positive impact on the field in 2005 and she had an outstanding Algarve Cup Tournament last March," said U.S. head coach Greg Ryan. "Her experience helped settle our young team which won the championship over an outstanding and veteran German team. I attribute much of our success in that tournament to Kristine's play."
She started all eight matches in which she played and was on the field for all but 34 minutes. As she has her entire career, Lilly showed her amazing versatility, playing outside left midfielder, forward and attacking midfield at different times during the year as first year head coach Greg Ryan took a look at many new players.
2005 WNT Stats
2005 Young Male Athlete of the Year: Benny Feilhaber
Coming into the youth national team picture just one year ago, Feilhaber, 20, has made one of the quickest jumps from being a relative unknown to receiving a call from Bruce Arena.
Getting brought into the Under-20 Men’s National Team one month before qualifying for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, the former UCLA Bruin walk-on beat out some young professionals to start in the midfield and subsequently wowed with his dynamic play.
During the FIFA World Youth Championship, Feilhaber was undoubtedly the best U.S. player on the field, and helped the team surprise the world by winning their group which included Argentina, Germany and Egypt. His performance caught the eye of numerous European clubs before he finally settled on Hamburger SV in the German Bundesliga.
Four months later, Feilhaber received his first MNT call-up and packed his bags for Scotland where he was on the bench for a 1-1 draw on Nov. 12.
2005 U-20 MNT Stats
2005 Young Female Athlete of the Year: Lori Chalupny
With just two starts for the full Women’s National Team coming into the year, the 21-year-old Chalupny started six games for the full WNT in 2005, including all four at the prestigious Algarve Cup, where she played left back for the first time in her soccer career.
A midfielder by trade, Chalupny’s defending and attacking play against some of the world’s top teams and players might have foreshadowed the USA’s left back of the future. She scored her second career goal for the WNT against Canada on June 26, opening the scoring with a fantastic volley in the 2-0 win.
Chalupny also played a key role for the U.S. Under-21 WNT that won the Nordic Cup for the unprecedented seventh time in a row. She started six matches for the U-21s in 2005, scoring two goals, including a world-class strike from distance against Norway in the 4-1 Nordic Cup championship game win.
One of the top college players in the country, she helped lead the University of North Carolina to a 17-1-0 record heading into the ACC Tournament while scoring eight goals and four assists during her senior year. Since the award started in 1998, a Tar Heels has won the Young Female award six of eight times.
2005 U-21 WNT Stats
2005 WNT Stats
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