CHICAGO (March 11, 2002) – Central defender Greg Dalby, captain of the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team, has been named the 2002 Gatorade National High School Boys Soccer Player of the Year. The Poway High School (Calif.) student will graduate this spring after only three years of high school and attend the University of Notre Dame next fall.
Honoring the nation’s elite high school athletes for 18 years, Gatorade® Thirst Quencher, in partnership with Scholastic Coach & Athletic Director magazine, made the announcement today at a press event held at Poway High School. The award, which recognizes athletic achievement and overall character, distinguishes Dalby as the nation’s best high school male soccer player.
Dalby joins a long list of current U.S. Soccer players who have been named high school player of the year, including Jordan Harvey (2001), Ned Grabavoy (2000), Alecko Eskandarian (1999) and Claudio Reyna (1990).
Dalby has been a fixture within the U.S. Youth National Teams program since 2001, when he began play with the U.S. Under-16s. He was named an alternate to the USA’ FIFA Under-17 World Championship squad in September 2001, and played two matches with the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team at the end of 2001.
Dalby started all 13 matches he played for the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team in 2002, solidifying a defense that only allowed three goals in their final seven matches. He was also called into the Under-18s first training camp of 2003.
Through 14 games for Poway High School this season, Dalby has notched seven goals and six assists. The three-year starter is an All-League and All-California Interscholastic Federation performer, a three-time adidas All-American and a Parade All-America selection for 2002. In addition, he maintains a 3.6 GPA and is a member of the varsity club and church group.
Along with his accomplishments at Poway and with the U.S. Youth National Teams, Dalby has been a member of the highly successful San Diego Surf soccer club for four years.
Last summer Dalby announced he would skip his senior year of high school and accept a scholarship from Notre Dame.
"Greg is without question the best central defender in the country," said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. "The most striking part of his game is his calm demeanor and composure on the field, especially when the game is on the line. He is one of the most accomplished high school players in this year’s recruiting class."
The 2002 Gatorade National High School Boys Soccer Player of the Year selection was made by the Gatorade National Advisory Board, comprised of 10 sportswriters and sport-specific experts, who collected nominations from all over the country. Dalby was selected from more than 341,000 male high school soccer players nationwide.