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U.S. Soccer Names Finalists for 2004 Chevrolet Athlete of the Year Awards


CHICAGO (Monday, November 22, 2004) -- U.S. Soccer, in conjunction with Chevrolet, announced the finalists for each of the four prestigious Athlete of the Year awards – Male, Female, Young Male and Young Female. With the announcement, voting for the high profile annual awards begins today at ussoccer.com, with fans having the opportunity to make their selections through a sharp new multimedia voter interface once a day through Friday, Dec. 17, 2004.

Online votes for the annual awards will be tallied and equivalent to 50 percent of the total votes. As in years past, the other 50 percent will be represented by 100 votes that will be compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives (from National Team coaches to the National Board of Directors).

In addition to voting for the annual Chevrolet awards, fans can also vote daily for the third annual series of “Best of U.S. Soccer” awards until the Dec. 17 deadline. The 2004 “Best of U.S. Soccer” awards will be decided entirely by online fan votes.

2004 Chevrolet Athlete of the Year Awards

U.S. Soccer’s Chevrolet Male and Female Athletes of the Year awards are the oldest and most prestigious awards of their kind, dating back to 1984 for the Men and 1985 for the Women. The finalists for each award were nominated on the basis of:

a) competing and excelling at the highest level (both at the National Team and professional level) during the calendar year;
b) exhibiting decorum on and off the field which reflects well on U.S. Soccer; and
c) contributing toward the growth, development, credibility and popularization of soccer in the USA.

The five finalists for the two top awards are listed below in alphabetical order:

Male
DaMarcus Beasley, M: Three of his 4 goals in 2004 came in the preliminary round of 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, helping spur the MNT into the semifinal round ... Joined Dutch club PSV Eindhoven in the summer, scoring 5 goals thus far, including two Champions League goals, in 16 overall appearances.

Carlos Bocanegra, D: Had continued success getting into the attack for the MNT, scoring a goal and adding 3 assists in 10 games ... Is a regular starter for Fulham, scoring one goal while helping the team post two shutouts in the first half of the 2004-05 Premiership season.

Landon Donovan, M/F: Led the MNT in scoring with 5 goals and 5 assists for 15 points ... Played in 14 of 15 matches in 2004, captaining the team several times in the absence of Claudio Reyna ... Was second in scoring for San Jose with 6 goals and 10 assists for 22 points.

Kasey Keller, GK: Was the first-choice ‘keeper for the MNT during the preliminary and semifinal rounds of 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, starting 6 matches and recording 3 shutouts … His 4 wins on the year moved him into first all-time in career victories for the MNT with 41.

Claudio Reyna, M: Appeared in 8 matches, dishing out 3 key assists and helping captain the MNT through another successful round of qualifying ... Started the first 6 games of Manchester City's 2004-05 season, but was sidelined due to injury.

Female
Shannon Boxx, M: Scored 7 goals and 4 assists in 31 games from defensive midfield ... Scored her first hat trick in the opening game of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying ... Was MVP of the USA’s Algarve Cup triumph … Captained FIFA World All-Stars in victory over Germany.

Mia Hamm, F: Her final year was one of her best, as she posted 14 goals and 20 assists while playing in 29 matches ... Scored her 150th goal in a 3-1 win over Australia on July 21 ... Started all six games at the 2004 Olympics, scoring two goals and two assists, including the game-winning pass in the USA’s semifinal overtime win over Germany ... Notched four assists, all to Abby Wambach, in a 5-0 win over Ireland on Oct. 23.

Kristine Lilly, M: Fourth on team in scoring with 8 goals and 7 assists in 27 matches ... Started every game at the 2004 Olympics, scoring in three straight games to help team into final … Had assist on Abby Wambach’s gold medal winner in overtime vs. Germany … Is just 10 caps away from 300 ... Scored her 100th career goal in 2004, becoming the fifth player to reach that milestone.

Lindsay Tarpley, M/F: Scored 8 goals and 3 assists as a 20-year-old (only Foudy & Lilly scored more at the age with the WNT) ... Scored on a long-range blast in the USA’s gold medal win over Brazil ... Broke her leg midway through UNC season (having scored 2 goals and 3 assists in 10 matches), but returned for ACC and NCAA postseason tournaments.

Abby Wambach, F: Unstoppable in 2004, she led the WNT with 29 goals and 13 assists for 69 points, the second highest total in WNT history ... Her output increased her goal-scoring ratio to an incredible 43 goals in 54 games ... Led the U.S. with 4 goals at the Olympics, including the gold medal winner in OT against Brazil ... Became only the fourth player in WNT history to score five goals in a game (in a 5-0 win over Ireland on Oct. 23).

U.S. Soccer and Chevrolet created the Young Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards in 1998 to highlight up-and-coming stars within the U.S. Youth National Team system.  The Young Male and Young Female winners are honored with $1,000 donated to the U.S. Soccer Foundation in their name.

Young Male
Alecko Eskandarian, F: Led the U-23 MNT with 4 goals in 4 games in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, including a hat trick in a 4-3 win over Honduras ... Had a stellar second season in MLS, finishing seventh in the league with 10 goals ... Led MLS in playoff scoring and was MVP of MLS Cup victory.

Eddie Gaven, M: Made his debut for the full MNT at age 17, playing 9 minutes in a 1-1 tie with Poland on July 11 ... Appeared in four matches for the U-23 MNT in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying ... Had a coming-of-age MLS season, playing in 29 games and finishing third on MetroStars in scoring with 7 goals and 7 assists.

Ed Johnson, F: Scored 5 goals across 61 minutes in his first three MNT caps, becoming just the second player in MNT history to accomplish such a feat ... His hat trick in a 21-minute span of a 6-0 World Cup qualifying win over Panama on Oct. 13 marked the first by a sub in MNT history ... Appeared in 4 matches for the U-23 MNT in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying ... Tied for MLS lead with 12 goals and added 3 assist in 26 games for Dallas.

Jonathan Spector, D: Rose rapidly at Manchester United, making a number of first team appearances to start the 2004-05 EPL season (including a Champions League start in 3-0 win vs. Dinamo Bucharest) ... Earned Man of the Match honors for Man U. in a 0-0 draw with Everton … Named the MUFC Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year ... Made two appearances for the U-20 MNT and made his full MNT debut in the team's World Cup qualifier on Nov. 17.

Danny Szetela, M: Played in 4 matches for the U-20 MNT  ... Was allocated to the Crew midway through the MLS season in a league-wide allocation draft ... Appeared in 8 games, scoring one assist as a rookie, helping the Crew on their unbeaten run to close out the season.

Young Female
Lori Chalupny, M: Scored her first goal for the WNT, a long-range bomb in a 3-0 win over Mexico … Was a member of the USA's 2004 Olympic Residency Camp ... Helped the U-21 WNT to a sixth straight Nordic Cup title, opening the scoring in a 3-0 win over Sweden in the championship game ... Helped UNC go undefeated in regular season with 18-0-2 mark, scoring 6 goals and 3 assists ... Named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy.

Ashlyn Harris, GK: One of the best young goalkeepers in the world, she captained the U.S. U-19 WNT to the FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship in Thailand ... Posted a 6-2-2 record in 2004 with five shutouts for U-19s ... Has a career record of 23-4-2 in 33 U-19 internationals dating back to 2001 ... Delayed her enrollment as a freshman at the University of North Carolina to compete at the world championship.

Natasha Kai, F: First-ever player from Hawaii to make an impact in the WNT program, scoring 3 goals and 2 assists at the 2004 Nordic Cup in Denmark, including 2 goals in a 3-0 win over Germany ... Led the U-21s in scoring in 2004 with 12 goals in 17 games ... Led the University of Hawaii in scoring with 12 goals and 6 assists during her junior season … Named as a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist.

Heather O'Reilly, F: The youngest player on the 2004 Olympic Team, she came off the bench in 11 matches for the WNT scoring a goal and 2 assists ... Her overtime winner against Germany was one of the most important in WNT history, sending the U.S. to the Olympic final ... Traveled to China with the U-21s during WNT residency, scoring against the China U-21s in a 2-0 win ... Finished second in scoring for the undefeated North Carolina Tar Heels with 12 goals and 7 assists in 18 games … Named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy.

Angie Woznuk, F: The crafty attacking midfielder is second on the U-19 WNT in scoring with six goals and one assist in 10 international matches ... A member of the USA's 2002 U-19 world champions, she helped the USA qualify for the 2004 FIFA Under-19 World Championship with a hat trick against Mexico ... Red-shirted her sophomore season at the Univ. of Portland to compete at the world championship.

Chevrolet, the largest division of General Motors Corporation, has been a proud sponsor of U.S. Soccer, the U.S. Youth Soccer Association and state soccer associations since 1997.


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