CHICAGO (Friday, January 10, 2003) - U.S. Soccer announced the winners of its 2002 Chevy Female and Youth Female Athlete of the Year awards at a press conference today in San Diego, Calif., where the U.S. Women’s National Team is set to kick off the road to the 2003 Women's World Cup with a match against Japan on Sunday (Jan. 12) at Torero Stadium, live at 1 p.m. PT on ESPN.
The top annual award went to U.S. Women’s National Team forward Shannon MacMillan, who was named 2002 Chevy Female Athlete of the Year. As it has done since 1998, U.S. Soccer and Chevy also announced the Young Female Athlete of the Year award, which went to former U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team forward and team captain Lindsay Tarpley.
"We’re honored to once again be involved with the Athlete of the Year awards," said Brian Boyd, Chevrolet brand promotional manager. "This year, each Adult Athlete winner will have their choice of a Chevy TrailBlazer or Chevy Impala. We’ll also donate $1,000 to the U.S. Soccer Foundation in the name of each Young Athlete winner. Chevy has a long history of being there, supporting aspiring athletes and our support of U.S. Soccer is one more example of this."
One of the U.S. Women's National Team's most improved players over the past few years, MacMillan had a breakout scoring year for the U.S. in 2002, leading the high-scoring U.S. team with an impressive 17 goals and three assists for a team-best 37 points. The Escondido, Calif., native started the year with a bang, pouring in three goals and three assists in a 7-0 win over Mexico on Jan. 12, 2002. MacMillan went on to score in six of the team’s first eight matches this year, including scoring seven of the team’s eight total goals at the prestigious 2002 Algarve Cup in Portugal, notching her second hat trick of the year in a 3-2 win over Denmark.
MacMillan, a two-time Olympic medalist and key member of the 1999 Women’s World Cup champion squad, helped the U.S. qualify for China 2003 by scoring four goals (behind only Tiffeny Milbrett’s seven goals and Cindy Parlow’s five goals) at the 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup. With her 17 goals last year, she moved into 6th place on the all-time U.S. scoring list with 52 goals and 43 assists for 147 points in 145 career caps. On the professional level, she led the San Diego Spirit in scoring for the second consecutive year, notching five goals and eight assists for 18 points.
Tarpley served as team captain of the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team that won the first-ever FIFA U-19 World Championship, scoring the historic "golden goal" in sudden death overtime to defeat Canada 1-0 in front of a highly partisan crowd on Sept. 1 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, evoking the words "The skipper has won it!" from the play-by-play announcer doing the world TV feed. Part of the U-19 version of the "Triple-Edged Sword," she led the team in scoring with an incredible 27 goals and 13 assists for 67 points in 23 games, starting them all. In international matches alone, she scored an amazing 21 goals with 14 assists in 17 matches.
The Kalamazoo, Mich., native was second on the team in scoring at the U-19 Women’s World Championship, notching six goals and adding five assists for 17 points, was named to the All-Tournament Team and was awarded the Bronze Boot as the tournament’s third leading scorer. She was also second on the team in scoring at the CONCACAF U-19 Qualifying Tournament in May, tallying seven goals and six assists for 20 points in just three games. At the college level, she had a phenomenal freshman season at UNC, scoring 16 goals with 17 assists for 47 points to lead the team in scoring. She also scored in the semifinal of the NCAA Final Four in a 2-1 loss to Santa Clara and was honored as the ACC Rookie of the Year and was a First-Team All-ACC selection.
This year’s voting process was again highlighted by an opportunity for fans to be involved, which they did in great numbers by logging on to www.ussoccer.com. Thousands of online votes were tallied and were equivalent to 50 percent of the total votes. As in years past, 100 votes were compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives.
U.S. Soccer’s Chevrolet Male and Female Athletes of the Year awards are the oldest and most prestigious awards of their type. The annual award, which has existed since 1984 for the men and 1985 for the women, is based on competing and excelling at the highest level of soccer offered by U.S. Soccer for the calendar year, as well as exhibiting decorum on and off the field that contributes to the growing popularity and credibility of the sport in the United States. The Chevrolet awards are the only year-end soccer awards which honor both male and female athletes.
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.
The following is the complete list of Chevy Athlete of the Year award winners:
All-Time Chevrolet/U.S. Soccer Award Winners
Male Athlete of the Year
Female Athlete of the Year
Perry Van der Beck
Carin Gabarra (Carin Jennings)
To be announced on Jan. 17
Young Male Athlete of the Year
Young Female Athlete of the Year
To be announced on Jan. 17