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Finalists Named for First Three 'Best of U.S. Soccer 2003' Annual Awards; Voting Starts on Nov. 10


CHICAGO (November 4, 2003) — Following the successful establishment of last year’s inaugural series of ten awards, U.S. Soccer has unveiled 11 awards that will honor the standout performances of the calendar year in American soccer and make up the second annual “Best of U.S. Soccer” Series.

With the help of U.S. National Team coaches Bruce Arena and April Heinrichs, U.S. Soccer has selected the finalists for these second-year awards. Now it’s up to fans to make their voice heard with a vote in one or all of these unique categories over the next month at ussoccer.com, where they’ll have a chance to win a variety of special prizes from PHILIPS Electronics. Online voting for the awards will begin on Monday (Nov. 10) and continue through Tuesday, Dec. 9.

For the first time, fans were tapped to choose the finalists for select “Best of U.S. Soccer” awards, with online votes at ussoccer.com across the month of October determining the 10 nominees for Best Soccer Bar and Best Soccer Store.

The 2002 winners of both awards highlight the respective lists of finalists. Joining Summers Restaurant (Arlington, Va.) up for Best Soccer Bar are first-time nominees The Bitter End (Portland, Ore.), Gingers Ale House (Chicago, Ill.), Nathan Hale’s Bar & Grill (New York City), and Shakespeare’s Pub (San Diego, Calif.). Last year’s winner Soccer Unlimited (Indianapolis, Ind.) is one of six stores that return as nominees for Best Soccer Store this time around.

Best U.S. Soccer Story is a new award for 2003 and promises to be a top award year in and year out, recognizing the most positive story from the American soccer world for the year. This year’s finalists include everything from the emergence of Freddy Adu as an international youth superstar, to U.S. MNT goalkeeper Tim Howard signing with Manchester United, to three nominees representing perhaps the biggest story of 2003—the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

As the voting for 2003 “Best of U.S. Soccer” awards series concludes, U.S. Soccer will announce the seven suggested candidates for each of the four annual Chevy Athlete of the Year awards: Young Female, Young Male, Female and Male.

As the oldest and most prestigious award of their kind, U.S. Soccer’s Chevy Athlete of the Year awards date back to 1984 for the men and 1985 for the women, with the winners of the two major awards receiving vehicles from Chevrolet.  For the fourth straight year, fan votes (along with a media vote) will decide the winner. Online voting will begin at ussoccer.com in December and run through early January.

The announcement of finalists for each of the 2003 Best of U.S. Soccer awards will be staggered across this week according to the schedule listed below:

2003 Best of U.S. Soccer Award Schedule
Tue., Nov. 4          Best U.S. Soccer Story
                               Best Soccer Bar
                               Best Soccer Store
Wed., Nov. 5        Best Soccer Stadium   
                               Best Soccer Fans
                               Best U.S. Crowd   
Thu., Nov. 6          Best Soccer Promotion
                               Best U.S. Goal—Full National Team   
                               Best U.S. Goal—Youth National Team
Fri., Nov. 7            Best U.S. Performance (Player)
                               Best U.S. Performance (Team)

BEST U.S. SOCCER STORY
This award recognizes the most positive and/or most-talked-about story within American soccer for the calendar year, with choices in newspaper headline style in chronological order:

1) FIFA Women's World Cup Moves From China to USA
2) The Home Depot Center and National Training Center Opening in Carson
3) U.S. MNT Goalkeeper Tim Howard Signs with Manchester United; Man-U Mania Sweeps U.S. on Summer Tour
4) The Emergence of 14-year-old Talent Freddy Adu; Adu Notches Hat Trick in First Game of FIFA U-17 WC
5) Shannon MacMillan Comes Back from ACL Surgery to Make U.S. Women’s World Cup Team
6) The Emergence of Shannon Boxx, Cat Reddick and Abby Wambach at USA 2003
7) Sarachan Refuels Fire, Claims Open Cup and Regular Season Crowns

BEST SOCCER BAR
This award goes to the best soccer-focused or soccer-friendly bar in the United States. You know the place: it’s where you go to watch the U.S. Men’s National Team play an away World Cup qualifier. It’s the place that opens on Saturday at 8 a.m. just so you and your gang can watch the day’s English Premier League offerings. Below are the 10 finalists in alphabetical order as selected by fan voting at ussoccer.com during the month of October:

1) The Bitter End (Portland, Ore.)
2) Britannia Arms Pub (two locations in San Jose)
3) Fox and Hound British-American Pub (Oakland Park, Fla.)
4) George & Dragon Pub (Seattle, Wash.)
5) Ginger's Ale House (Chicago, Ill.)
6) McGann’s Pub (Boston, Mass.)
7) Nathan Hale's Bar & Grill (New York City)
8) Nevada Smith’s (New York City)
9) Shakespeare's Pub (San Diego, Calif.)
10) Summers Restaurant (Arlington, Va.)

BEST SOCCER STORE
This award honors the best all-around store to buy all things soccer, from the newest Nike Mercurials to gear for your Saturday league to the red-hot U.S. Women’s World Cup Team jersey. Here are the 10 finalists in alphabetical order as selected by fan voting at ussoccer.com during the month of October:

1) Chicago Soccer (Chicago, Ill.)
2) Gotshalk’s Soccer (Boston, Mass.)
3) The Onion Bag (New York City)
4) Soccer Post (six locations in New Jersey)
5) Soccer Pro (two locations in San Francisco Bay area)
6) The Soccer Shack (Rochester, N.Y.)
7) The Soccer Store (Boca Raton, Fla.)
8) Soccer Unlimited (three locations in Indianapolis, Ind.)
9) Soccer West (four locations in Seattle, Wash.)
10) Soccer World (three locations in Austin, Texas) 
 
 

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