CHICAGO (Wednesday, December 11, 2002) - U.S. Soccer announced the finalists for two of its four prestigious year-end Chevy awards, Young Male Athlete of the Year and Young Female Athlete of the Year, which will be voted on by fans starting on Friday (Dec. 13) at www.ussoccer.com. The finalists for the top two U.S. Soccer / Chevy awards, Male Athlete of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year, will be announced tomorrow and can also be voted on starting Friday.
Online votes will be tallied and will be equivalent to 50 percent of the total votes. As in years past, 100 votes will be compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives (from National Team coaches to the National Board of Directors). Ballots will be accepted until Monday, January 6, 2003, at which time the votes will be tallied. U.S. Soccer, in conjunction with Chevrolet, will then announce the winners of the four awards at separate press conferences in January.
“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.”
U.S. Soccer’s Young Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards were created in 1998 to highlight up-and-coming stars within the U.S. National Team system. The finalists have been named on the basis of: a) competing and excelling at the Youth National Team level (as well as the professional or collegiate level) during the calendar year, b) exhibiting decorum on and off the field which reflects well on U.S. Soccer, c) contributing toward the growth, development, credibility and popularization of soccer in the United States, and d) displaying potential to succeed at a high standard in the years to come.
Past winners for the Young Male award include DaMarcus Beasley (2001), Landon Donovan (2000), Ben Olsen (1999) and Josh Wolff (1998). On the women’s side, past winners include Aleisha Cramer (2001), Aly Wagner (2000), Lorrie Fair (1999) and Cindy Parlow (1998).
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. Listed below are the seven finalists for the two youth-focused Chevy awards, with mini-bios including 2002 highlights for each player attached.
Chevy Young MALE Athlete of the Year Candidates
Corey Ashe – F – U-17 MNT
Edson Buddle – F – U-23 MNT / Columbus Crew (MLS)
Bobby Convey – M – U-23, U-20 MNT / D.C. United (MLS)
Alecko Eskandarian – F – U-23 MNT / Univ. of Virginia
Guillermo Gonzalez – F – U-17 MNT
Kelly Gray – D – U-23 MNT / Chicago Fire (MLS)
Eddie Johnson – F – U-20 MNT / Dallas Burn (MLS)
Chevy Young FEMALE Athlete of the Year Candidates
Heather O’Reilly – M/F – WNT, Under-19 WNT
Jill Oakes – D – Under-19 WNT / UCLA
Nandi Pryce – D – Under-21 WNT / UCLA
Cat Reddick – D – WNT, Under-21 WNT / UNC
Hope Solo – GK – WNT, Under-21 WNT / Univ. of Washington
Lindsay Tarpley – F – Under-19 WNT / UNC
Kelly Wilson – F – Under-19 WNT / Univ. of Texas
Candidates for 2002 Young MALE Athlete of the Year
[Listed in alphabetical order]
Corey Ashe – M/F – Under-17 MNT: Scored three goals in the USA’s first two games in Northern Ireland (a 1-1 draw with Scotland and a 2-1 win over Wales), and helped lead the U.S. to a second-place finish at the Ballymena International Tournament in Northern Ireland ... Named tournament MVP for his overall performance … Led the team with 11 assists in 2002, adding 14 goals, good for third on the team … Helped the U.S. win their group in three straight tournaments (Mondial Joao Havelange, Ballymena International Tournament and FISF International Tournament) and advance to the tournament finals in two consecutive tournaments (Ballymena and FISF) … Now in his third semester in U.S. Soccer’s Full-Time Residency Program.
Edson Buddle – F – Under-23 MNT / Columbus Crew (MLS): Is third on the U-23 MNT in scoring in 2002 with two goals and two assists for six points in just 190 minutes of action (just over two full matches), helping the team to a 4-0 record against reserves teams from the English Premier League and First Division … Scored a goal in a pair of 4-1 wins (over Bolton on Aug. 1 and Crew Alexandria on Aug. 5) and assisted on Eskandarian’s game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town on Aug. 3 … Was an overwhelming success as a forward for the Columbus Crew in 2002, finishing second on the team in scoring with nine goals and five assists for 24 points … Appeared in 21 games for the Crew to help them to the post-season and claim the 2002 U.S. Open Cup title.
Bobby Convey – M – Under-23, Under-20 MNT / D.C. United (MLS): Still a teenager at age 19, Convey played for both the Under-23 and the Under-20 Men’s National Teams in 2002 … Captained the U.S. Under-20s during their successful run through qualifying in Charleston in November … Had two assists for the U-23s at the Madeira International Tournament in Portugal in February … Had three assists for the U-20s in 2002, two of which came in the qualifying tournament … With D.C. United, was second on the team in scoring with 13 points, including a team-leading five goals … Also led the team in shots (39) and shots on goal (25).
Alecko Eskandarian – F – Under-23 MNT / Univ. of Virginia (NCAA Div. I): Emerged as a scoring force in limited playing time for the Under-23s in 2002 … Leads the team in scoring with five goals and two assists for 12 points in just 388 minutes (just over four full matches) … Scored two of the team’s three goals at the Madeira International Tournament in Portugal in February, including the lone goal in a 1-1 tie with the host country that helped the U.S. finished second among four teams… Scored three goals on the team’s trip to England to play Premier League reserve teams, including the game-winner in both the 4-1 win over Bolton on Aug. 1 and the 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town on Aug. 3 … As a junior, led the University of Virginia and all of Div. I in scoring with 25 goals and four assists for 54 points, including six goals and two assists in six ACC matches …Was recently selected to was selected to the NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region First Team.
Guillermo Gonzalez – F – Under-17 MNT: The Under-17 MNT leading goal scorer in 2002, with 27 goals as of a Dec. 10 … Scored nine goals in his first 21 internationals to lead the U.S. … Tallied a team-leading three international assists … Scored in four straight international matches in March 2002 … Scored 11 goals across 12 games from March 6 – April 20, 2002 … Helped the U.S. win their group in three straight tournaments (Mondial Joao Havelange, Ballymena International Tournament and FISF International Tournament) and advance to the tournament finals in two consecutive tournaments (Ballymena and FISF) … Scored the opening goal in a 2-1 win over England and three days later scored the winner in a 2-1 win over Portugal at the FISF International Tournament … Scored the USA’s only goal in a 2-1 loss to Israel in the final of the Ballymena International Tournament … Now in his third semester in U.S. Soccer’s Full-Time Residency Program.
Kelly Gray – D – Under-23 MNT / Chicago Fire (MLS): Served as the first team captain of the current class of U-23s when the team competed in the Madeira International Tournament in Portugal in February … Played in all three tourney matches … Was one of three finalists for 2002 MLS Rookie of the Year award … Scored two goals and provided five assists for the Fire in 2002 … Although a first-year pro, only Zach Thorton (27) and Carlos Bocanegra (26) appeared in more games for Chicago this year … Was recently part of the Nike Project-40 team that posted a 2-3-1 record against reserves teams from the German Bundesliga and Dutch Honor Division.
Ed Johnson – F – Under-20 MNT / Dallas Burn (MLS): Second on the U.S. Under-20 MNT in scoring in 2002 with six goals and three assists in 16 overall games … Had two goals and one assist in leading the U-20s to a berth in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship … Scored two goals in four games to lead the U.S. to a second-place finish at the prestigious C.O.T.I.F. XIX Torneig Internacional in Spain … Had two goals and one assist in his second year with the Dallas Burn … Appeared in 11 games and made two starts on the year, missing almost half the year with a high ankle sprain.
Candidates for 2002 Young FEMALE Athlete of the Year
[Listed in alphabetical order]
Heather O’Reilly – M/F – WNT, Under-19 WNT: Although still in high school, O’Reilly made a name for herself in 2002 with both the U.S. Under-19 WNT and the full Women’s National Team … Part of the 2002 version of the “Triple-Edged Sword,” she finished 2002 second on the U-19 team in scoring with 21 goals and 13 assists for 55 points in 18 overall matches … In international matches only, she had 17 goals and 11 assists … Finished third on the team in scoring at the 2002 Under-19 Women’s World Championship in Aug./Sept., pumping in four goals and dishing out seven assists as the U.S. won the first title offered at that age level … Was named to the U-19 World Championship All-Tournament Team … Was the USA’s third-leading scorer at the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in Tobago, scoring seven goals with four assists … Appeared in eight matches for the full U.S. WNT, all coming off the bench, including four games at the Algarve Cup in Portugal ... Scored in her first full international goal in a 4-0 win over Italy at the 2002 Nike U.S. Women’s Cup … O’Reilly also made the final roster for the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where she appeared in one match as the U.S. claimed the title and a spot in the 2003 Women’s World Cup … The senior at East Brunswick High school plays club soccer for the PDA Torpedoes in New Jersey.
Jill Oakes – D – Under-19 WNT / UCLA (NCAA Div. I): The 18-year-old Oakes was the defensive stalwart for the U.S. Under-19s all year long, and played a tremendous championship game to help keep Canada scoreless as the USA won first-ever FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship ... She appeared in 20 of the team’s 25 matches, posting five goals and two assists … Her brilliant strike from 23 yards out in the USA’s 4-1 quarterfinal win over Germany on Aug. 25 was perhaps the goal of the tournament … Scored the first goal in the USA’s victory over Costa Rica on May 11 in Tobago at the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament that earned the USA a place in the U-19 World Championship… An extremely skillful central defender who is also a tremendous ball-winner, she was an immediate starter for UCLA as a freshman … She was one of only two freshmen to earn First-Team All-Pac-10 honors this and played in 19 matches in 2002, missing the Bruins' season opener while helping the U-19s to the world title… She was also named to the All-West Region team … Ranked as the No. 1 recruit in the nation by Soccer America last year, Oakes finished the year with three goals and four assists for the Bruins before injuring her knee in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Nandi Pryce – D – Under-21 WNT / UCLA (NCAA Div. I): For Pryce, who has eight career caps with the full national team, 2002 was a comeback year … She recovered fully from a badly broken leg suffered during her freshman year and had banner season for both the U.S. U-21 National Team and for UCLA … She captained the USA to its unprecedented fifth Nordic Cup title in the last six years, playing every minute of all four games, as the U.S. defeated Germany 3-1 to take the title … Playing her third season for UCLA, but first full season not hampered by injury, the 5-foot-11 Pryce dominated the competition, starting 21 of 22 matches while missing one game after being called up for training camp with the full U.S. National Team … She helped the UCLA defense post 12 shutouts, while giving up just 13 goals all season and was named one of 15 finalists for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, given to the player of the year in college soccer … She was also named First-Team All-Pac 10 and to the All-West Region Team.
Cat Reddick – D – WNT, Under-21 WNT / UNC (NCAA Div. I): Reddick had another solid year for the full U.S. Women's National Team in 2002, appearing in 16 of the USA’s 19 matches and notching one assist ... Only three players played more minutes than Reddick for the full National Team in 2002 … She made the final U.S. rosters for both the 2002 Nike U.S. Women’s Cup and 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup and showed her versatility by playing in the center and at right and left back ... Also played in three matches for the Under-21 Women's National Team at the Nordic Cup, missing the first game of the tournament when she played 90 minutes for the full U.S. National Team against Norway on July 21 … She then played every minute of the remaining three games, scoring against Greece and Germany, to help the USA to its unprecedented fifth Nordic Cup title in the past six years ... She played in just 17 of UNC’s 27 games due to national team commitments, but still scored six goals and had five assists … She took a red-eye from the Women’s Gold Cup Final in Los Angeles to play in the ACC Championship game in Florida, then scored 20 seconds after entering the game as a substitute and added another goal from 40 yards out as the Heels claimed the ACC title … Led the Tar Heels to the NCAA Final Four, scoring five goals in the five games preceding the semifinals, and was named First-Team All-ACC and is a sure First-Team All-American choice.
Hope Solo – GK – WNT, Under-21 WNT / Univ. of Washington (NCAA Div. I): Solo played in five matches for the USA in 2002, upping her career total to 12 full international caps ... She arrived late for the 2002 Nordic Cup after training with the full national team in Blaine, Minn., and came in at halftime of the USA’s first game against Finland, but then played every minute in the remaining three and half games, and made several brilliant saves in the championship game against Germany to help the USA to the title … She was 2-1-1 for the full national team in 2002 with a 1.83 goals against average … She was a Second-Team All-Pac 10 selection for the Washington Huskies, making her a four-time all-conference selection … Solo was one of 15 candidates for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy that honors the National College Player of the Year … She made 76 saves for the Huskies and had 1.21 goals against average … She concluded her career as Washington's all-time leader in every goalkeeping category, including shutouts (18), saves (325) and goals against average (1.02).
Lindsay Tarpley – F – Under-19 WNT / UNC (NCAA Div. I): 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 2002 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 only, she scored an amazing 21 goals with 14 assists in 17 matches … 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 … Was 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 … 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…She was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and was a First-Team All-ACC selection.
Kelly Wilson – F – Under-19 WNT / Univ. of Texas (NCAA Div. I): Part of the 2002 version of the “Triple-Edged Sword,” she finished second on the team in scoring with 23 goals and 13 assists for 59 points in only 15 overall matches … Amazingly, she scored all of her 23 goals in 14 U-19 international matches … Led the team in scoring at the 2002 Under-19 Women’s World Championship in Aug./Sept., notching nine goals and adding one assist in five games as the U.S. won the first title offered at that age level … Her nine goals were second most of any player in the tournament, earning her Silver Boot honors … She also earned the Bronze Ball was the third best player in the tournament … Had four multiple-goal games across the team’s undefeated, six-game run to the championship, including a hat trick in the 6-0 quarter-final win over Denmark on Aug. 25 … Also led the team in scoring at the CONCACAF U-19 Qualifying Tournament in Tobago, tallying 10 goals and four assists for an amazing 24 points in just three games … Played in her first three matches for the full women’s national team, all at the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March, where she scored her first international goal in a 2-0 win over England … It was the only goal at the tournament not scored by Shannon MacMillan … After returning from the U-19 World Championship, Wilson scored eight goals and 11 assists for 27 points for the Texas Longhorns during her sophomore year and was named First-Team All-Big 12 as well as the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2002 to follow a freshman campaign in which she garnered conference Rookie of the Year recognition.