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2005 Best Of U.S. Soccer Award Winners Announced

CHICAGO (December 21, 2005) – U.S. Soccer announced today the 2005 winners of the increasingly popular “Best of U.S. Soccer” awards after a month of fans voting online at Fans had a chance to vote from Nov. 21 to Dec. 16 for all 11 categories once a day.

Best U.S. Atmosphere: U.S. MNT 2, Mexico 0 @ Crew Stadium (Sept. 3)
The 24,685 fans that packed into Columbus Crew Stadium for its World Cup-clinching match against Mexico beat out the U.S.-England crowd in Chicago by just over 300 votes to win Best U.S. Atmosphere. This is the first time the Columbus Crew has been associated with a "Best of…” award since being linked to three in the inaugural awards in 2002 (Best Soccer Stadium, Best Game Promotion and Best Goal).

Best U.S. Atmosphere - Top 3 Voting Results
U.S. MNT 2, Mexico 0 @ Crew Stadium (Sept. 3) 23.9 %
U.S. MNT 1, England 2 @ Soldier Field (May 28) 20.8 %
U.S. WNT 7, Ukraine 0 @ Merlo Field (July 10) 15.6 %

Best Audio Podcast: Bruce Arena Speaks Candidly
“Arena Speaks Candidly,” where Manager Bruce Arena offers insights on the progress of certain players, the process he uses to put together a World Cup roster and the lack of an "American" style of soccer, won Best Audio Podcast with 27 percent of the vote.

Best Audio Podcast - Top 3 Voting Results
Bruce Arena Speaks Candidly - LISTEN 27%
Remembering Guerra Fria - LISTEN 17.4 %
Eddie Lewis in England - LISTEN 17.3 %

Best all_access video: Highlights of USA vs. Mexico (Sept. 3)
The “Highlights and Post-Game Celebration,” a tantalizing collection of game highlights, post-game interviews and celebration shots from the field and the locker room of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s victory over Mexico, was voted Best all_access Video, also a new award this year.

Best all_access Video- Top 3 Voting Results
Highlights of USA vs. Mexico (Sept. 3) 33.9%
Snowball Fight 20.4%
Blood Work 15.4%

Best Picture: Kasey Keller's Superman Save
Best Picture wasn’t even close as Kasey Keller’s “Superman Save” against Costa Rica in their 3-0 shutout during qualifying in Salt Lake City ran away with 28.1 percent of the vote.
Best Picture - Top 3 Voting Results
Kasey Keller's Superman Save 28.1%
Tiffeny Milbrett Soaring to 100 11.3 %
U.S. MNT In Anticipation 9.8 %

Best Performance (Team): U.S. MNT 2, Mexico 0 (Sept. 3)
The U.S. Men’s 2-0 victory over Mexico at Columbus Crew Stadium on Sept. 3, which solidified the USA’s spot in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, easily took home the Best Performance (Team) award, finishing more than 2,000 votes ahead of the second place finisher.
Best Performance (Team) - Top 3 Voting Results
U.S. MNT 2, Mexico 0 (Sept. 3) 37.6%
U.S. WNT 1, Germany 0 (March 15) 16.7%
U-21 WNT 4, Norway 1 (July 26) 14.1%

Best Soccer Store: Chicago Soccer (Chicago, Ill.)
Chicago is represented twice this year as Chicago Soccer steamrolled the competition with 57.6 percent of the vote to win the Best Soccer Store award. Chicago Soccer’s best finish in previous years was in 2003 when it finished in second place.
Best Store - Top 3 Voting Results
Chicago Soccer (Chicago, Ill.) 57.6%
Soccer Post (San Diego, Calif.) 7.2%
Soccer USA (Austin, Texas) 6.4%

Best Performance (Player): Oguchi Onyewu vs. Mexico (Sept. 3)
In the closest margin of victory, Oguchi Onyewu took home the award for Best Performance (Player) with his impressive defensive effort that shut down Mexico’s Jared Borgetti in their qualifying rematch. Onyewu finished with 14.8 percent of the vote, just two percentage points ahead of DaMarcus Beasley (vs. Mexico, Sept. 3) and seven ahead of Kasey Keller (vs. Costa Rica, June 4). At 23 years of age, Onyewu becomes the youngest player to ever win the award, joining Brad Friedel, Abby Wambach and Mia Hamm.
Best Performance (Player) - Top 3 Voting Results
Oguchi Onyewu vs. Mexico (Sept. 3) 14.8%
DaMarcus Beasley vs. Mexico (Sept. 3) 14.6%
Kasey Keller vs. Costa Rica (June 4) 14.1%

Best Goal: Tiffeny Milbrett vs. Ukraine (July 10)
Tiffeny Milbrett’s 100th career goal, a perfect chip over the stranded Ukrainian ‘keeper on July 10, in front of a boisterous hometown crowd, was the fan favorite getting 15.2 percent of the vote, the only nominee to get more than a thousand votes. It’s the third straight time a WNT player has won for Best Goal after the MNT last won in 2002, with Brian McBride’s World Cup header against Portugal.
Best Goal - Top 3 Voting Results
Tiffeny Milbrett vs. Ukraine (July 10) 15.2%
Landon Donovan vs. Costa Rica (June 4) 9.8%
Landon Donovan vs. Cuba (July 7) 9.4%

Best Goal Celebration: DaMarcus Beasley vs. Mexico (Sept. 3)
Beasley’s goal celebration after his game-clinching strike against Mexico was voted Best Goal Celebration, one of four new awards this year. After scoring off a corner kick play, Beasley juked out Onyewu and then Steve Ralston in the six-yard box before being caught by Brian McBride and the rest of the team. 
Best Goal Celebration - Top 3 Voting Results
DaMarcus Beasley vs. Mexico (Sept. 3) 31.4%
Tiffeny Milbrett's 100th Goal (July 10) 18.6%
U.S. MNT Win Gold Cup (July 24) 18%

Best Assist: Landon Donovan vs. Guatemala (March 30)
Landon Donovan’s backheel to Eddie Johnson against Guatemala gave him 23.5 percent of the vote for Best Assist, just beating out Aly Wagner, who finished with 22.1 percent. Just the second year for this category, Donovan becomes the first men’s player to win the award after Mia Hamm won in 2004 for her assist to Heather O’Reilly in the Olympic semifinal.
Best Assist - Top 3 Voting Results
Landon Donovan vs. Guatemala (March 30) 23.5%
Aly Wagner vs. Germany (March 15) 22.1%
Claudio Reyna vs. Mexico (Sept. 3) 17%

Best Soccer Bar: Ginger's Ale House (Chicago, Ill.)
Ginger’s Ale House ran away with the Best Soccer Bar award with 54.9 percent of the total votes, becoming the first three-time winner in any category since the contest began in 2002. Ginger’s, located in Chicago, also won the award in 2003 and 2004, proving to be the top soccer viewing destination in the country.
Best Soccer Bar - Top 3 Voting Results
Ginger's Ale House (Chicago, Ill.) 54.9%
The Globe (Chicago, Ill.) 7.7%
Nevada Smith's (New York, N.Y.) 6.7%