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U.S. Soccer Names Finalists for 2002 Chevy Male & Female Athlete of the Year Awards


CHICAGO (Thursday, December 12, 2002) - U.S. Soccer announced today the finalists for its top two year-end Chevy awards, Male Athlete of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year, which will be voted on by fans starting tomorrow (Dec. 13) at www.ussoccer.com.

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 Chevy Male and Female Athletes of the Year awards are the oldest and most prestigious awards of their type, dating back to 1984 for the Men and 1985 for the Women. The finalists for each award were nominated on the basis of: a) competing and excelling at the highest level (both at the National Team level and the professional level) during the calender year, b) exhibiting decorum on and off the field which reflects well on U.S. Soccer, and c) contributing toward the growth, development, credibility and popularization of soccer in the United States.

Past winners of the Male Athlete of the Year award include Earnie Stewart (2001), Chris Armas (2000), Kasey Keller (1999) and Cobi Jones (1998). On the women’s side, three players have won back-to-back Female Athlete of the Year awards. Besides Tiffeny Milbrett’s current two-year streak from 2000 and 2001, living legend Michelle Akers won the award in 1990 and 1991 and world leading scorer Mia Hamm claimed the top prize an unprecedented five consecutive years from 1994-1998.

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 major Chevy awards, with mini-bios including 2002 highlights for each player attached.

Chevy MALE Athlete of the Year Candidates:
Landon Donovan – F – MNT / San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Brad Friedel – GK – MNT / Blackburn Rovers (England)
Brian McBride – F – MNT / Columbus Crew (MLS)
Clint Mathis – F – MNT / MetroStars (MLS)
Cobi Jones – M/F – MNT / Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
Claudio Reyna – M – MNT / Sunderland (England)
Tony Sanneh – D – MNT / FC Nurnberg (Germany)

Chevy FEMALE Athlete of the Year Candidates:
Mia Hamm – F – WNT / Washington Freedom (WUSA)
Shannon MacMillan – M/F – WNT / San Diego Spirit (WUSA)
Tiffeny Milbrett – F – WNT / New York Power (WUSA)
Cindy Parlow – F – WNT / Atlanta Beat (WUSA)
Danielle Slaton – D – WNT / Carolina Courage (WUSA)
Briana Scurry – GK – WNT / Atlanta Beat (WUSA)
Aly Wagner – M – WNT / Santa Clara (NCAA)

Candidates for 2002 MALE Athlete of the Year Award 
[Listed in Alphabetical order]

Landon Donovan – Forward – MNT / San Jose Earthquakes (MLS): The Chevy Young Male Athlete of the Year in 2000, Donovan’s meteoric rise to prominence with the full U.S. Men’s National Team is best demonstrated by the fact that he played more minutes (1,563) and started more matches (17) than any other MNT player in 2002 … After appearing in just eight matches in 2001, the 20-year-old forward appeared in all 20 matches in 2002 … In just his second full year with the MNT, he finished third in scoring with six goals and two assists for 14 points … Scored two goals in the 2002 World Cup, providing the only goal in a 3-1 loss to Poland on June 14 and heading home an insurance goal in the 2-0 defeat of Mexico in the Round of 16 … Also nominated for Best U.S. Goal and Best Game Performance – Player for 2002, with both honors coming from the historic Mexico win … Back home in MLS, the Redlands, Calif., native was third on the team in scoring with seven goals and three assists as he played a large role in helping San Jose to the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Brad Friedel – Goalkeeper – MNT / Blackburn Rovers (England): Emerged as the first choice in goal for the U.S. Men’s National Team just prior to the 2002 World Cup, where he went on to put together a career-best tournament performance and was one of the key reasons that the U.S. advanced to the Quarterfinals ... Started all five World Cup matches, posting a 2-2-1 record and a 1.40 Goals Against Average … Tied a World Cup record by stopping two penalty kicks in the first round of a World Cup, doing so against Korea on June 10 and Poland on June 14 ... Has also enjoyed a career year in the pro ranks as the #1 keeper for Blackburn Rovers, who sit in the middle of the English Premier League table in 10th place thanks to Friedel’s many heroics ... The 31-year-old native of Bay Village, Ohio has started 16 of 17 league games, posting a 6-5-5 record with a 1.00 Goals Against Average and five shutouts at the midway point of the 2002-03 season.

Cobi Jones – Midfielder/Forward – MNT / Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS): While he only made seven starts in 2002, Jones was one of the team’s super subs, providing a second-half park in another seven matches during the year … Was a key player off the bench in four of the team’s five World Cup matches, especially in helping seal the 3-2 upset victory over Portugal on June 5 … With 14 caps this year, the 32-year-old midfielder increased his all-time U.S. record total to 159 … Enjoyed a strong 2002 campaign for the Los Angeles Galaxy, serving as captain on the team’s successful run to the 2002 MLS Cup championship and a spot in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final … Helped L.A. to a league-best 16-9-3 record … Scored three goals and dished out 13 assists, serving as the ideal set-up man for 2002 MLS MVP Carlos Ruiz and his record 24 regular season goals … Was second in the league in post-season scoring, adding three goals and four assists for 10 points in six games.

Clint Mathis – Forward – MNT / MetroStars (MLS): It was an up and down year for Mathis, but you can’t argue with the numbers he put up when he was on the field, where he finished as the team’s leading scorer with seven goals and three assists for 17 points … Finally healthy after an injury ended his 2001 season, the 26-year-old forward resumed his scoring pace with the MNT, pouring in five goals in his first four starts, including a two-goal game at Germany on March 27 and the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over Mexico on April 3 ... Although he didn’t see much action in the World Cup, he made the most of his time, giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead versus Korea on June 10 with a precise strike that was nominated for Best U.S. Goal for 2002 ... Was fifth on the MetroStars in scoring with four goals and two assists in 14 matches, helping the team make a late run for the playoffs.

Brian McBride – Forward – MNT / Columbus Crew (MLS): After an injury-plagued 2001 season that saw him limited to just five matches, McBride returned to form and had perhaps his best year ever in 2002 … Finished second on the team in scoring with six goals and three assists for 15 points in 15 matches … Tore up the month of January, scoring four goals (including a hat trick in a 4-0 win over El Salvador on Jan. 27) and leading the U.S. to their first CONCACAF Gold Cup title since 1991, for which he was named Tournament MVP … Scored two crucial goals in the 2002 World Cup, becoming the first U.S. player to score in multiple World Cup tournaments … Scored the third goal on a beautiful diving header to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead over Portugal in June 5 and then struck for the game-winning goal in the 2-0 win over Mexico on June 17, both of which have been nominated for Best U.S. Goal … Scored five goals and added five assists in 14 games for the Crew in 2002, helping them to the playoffs and the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship.

Claudio Reyna – Midfielder – MNT / Sunderland (England): Continued as captain and arguably the most important piece to the U.S. Men’s National Team puzzle in 2002, putting in a rock solid performance at the 2002 World Cup, including key performances in the Round of 16 and Quarterfinal matches (which just so happened to be the team’s two best overall performances on the year) … Started all eight games in which he appeared in 2002 ... Appeared in 11 games for Sunderland before suffering a left knee injury on Oct. 26 that has sidelined him for the remainder of the 2002-03 EPL season … Scored in Sunderland’s 7-0 win over Cambridge in the Worthington Cup on Oct. 1 and was named the club’s Player of the Month for October.

Tony Sanneh – Defender – MNT / FC Nurnberg (Germany): Despite playing in 14 of the 16 qualifiers on the road to the World Cup across 2000 and 2001, Sanneh surprised many by making the right back role his and then going on to perform with such confidence and focus in the 2002 World Cup … Delivered perhaps the best U.S. assist of the year, sending a perfect cross from the right flank that McBride headed home for the unexpected 3-0 lead over Portugal on June 5 (nominated for Best U.S. Goal) … Also nominated for Best Game Performance (Player) for his tenacious, two-way effort in the 1-0 loss to Germany in which he was a force on the flank and on set pieces in the rough-and-tumble battle … Appeared in 11 matches in 2002 … Is a regular starter in the German Bundesliga with FC Nurnberg, starting 14 matches and scoring two goals so far in the 2002-03 season.

Candidates for 2002 FEMALE Athlete of the Year Award 
[Listed in Alphabetical order]

Mia Hamm – Forward – WNT / Washington (D.C.) Freedom (WUSA): Although injured for the first half of the year, Mia made a dynamic comeback and posted incredible numbers for her limited time on the field … Despite appearing in just nine matches for less than 500 minutes, she finished fourth on the team in scoring with seven goals and five assists for 19 points ... Scored the game-winning “golden goal” in the USA’s 2-1 overtime win over Canada at the 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, which was the fifth consecutive regional title for the U.S women ... Scored five goals for the USA in the month of September alone, notching a hat trick along with three assists to fuel a 8-2 rout of Scotland, and adding two goals in a 5-1 win over Russia in the first game of the 2002 Nike U.S. Women’s Cup … Was later named Tournament MVP for leading the U.S. to a record eighth consecutive U.S. Women’s Cup title … Increased her world-record goal total to a whopping 136 scores in 228 matches ... Was second in scoring for the Washington Freedom with eight goals and six assists for 22 points while only playing in 11 games as she helped lead the Freedom to the WUSA final … Was recently nominated for 2002 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award, which she won last year ... Won an unprecedented five consecutive Chevy Female Athlete of the Year Awards from 1994-98.

Shannon MacMillan – Forward – WNT / San Diego Spirit (WUSA): 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 ... Led the high-scoring U.S. team with an impressive 17 goals and three assists for 37 points ... Mac scored in six of the team’s first eight matches this year, kicking off the year with a hat trick and three assists against Mexico on Jan. 12 … Scored seven of the team’s eight goals at the prestigious 2002 Algarve Cup in Portugal, including her second hat trick of the year in a 3-2 win over Denmark … Scored four goals in the 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, second to only Milbrett (7) and Parlow (5) … Moved into 6th place on the all-time scoring lists with 52 goals and 43 assists for 147 points in 145 career caps … Led the San Diego Spirit in scoring for the second consecutive year, notching five goals and eight assists for 18 points.

Tiffeny Milbrett – Forward – WNT / New York Power (WUSA): After establishing herself as one of the top players in the world over the past few years, Milbrett started the year slow but exploded toward the end to play a major role in the U.S. qualifying for the 2003 Women’s World Cup … Finished tied for second on the team in scoring with nine goals to go along with six assists for 24 points … Seven of those nine goals came in the 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, for which she was named Tournament MVP … Tied a WNT record with five goals in one game, including a natural hat trick in the first nine minutes, in a 9-0 win over Panama on Nov. 2, for which she is nominated for Best Game Performance (Player) … Scored the first goal in the 2-1 overtime win over Canada in the Women’s Gold Cup final, which is nominated for Best U.S. Goal … Led the New York Power in scoring for the second consecutive year and was eighth in the league in points with 28 on 10 goals and eight assists ... Became the third U.S. women’s player to win consecutive U.S. Soccer / Chevy Female Athlete of the Year awards when she was honored last year and in 2000.

Cindy Parlow – Forward – WNT / Atlanta Beat (WUSA): Parlow continues to be a force and key target player in the U.S. Women’s National Team attack … She finished 2002 tied for second on the team in scoring with 11 goals and two assists for 24 points … At just 24 years of age, Parlow has already run her caps and goals total to 115 and 57, moving her into sixth place on the all-time goal-scoring list … Scored six goals across four consecutive games, sandwiched by two-goal games on July 21 (a 4-0 win over Norway) and Oct. 2 (a 4-0 win over Australia) … Scored a total of five goals in the 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, including a hat trick in the 7-0 semi-final win over Costa Rica that earned the U.S. a berth in the 2003 Women’s World Cup … Was third on the Atlanta Beat in scoring with five goals and four assists for 14 points.

Briana Scurry – Goalkeeper – WNT / Atlanta Beat (WUSA): After almost a two-year absence from the Women’s National Team, Scurry has returned to the fold to make a claim for starting spot in goal for the 2003 Women’s World Cup … Made her triumphant return in a 4-0 win over Norway in front of a hometown crowd in Blaine, Minnesota on July 21 … Allowed just two goals in eight matches in 2002, recording three shutouts and a 0.30 Goals Against Average on the year … Posted an undefeated record of 7-0-0 in 2002, upping her all-time record win total to 86 … Was the team’s first-choice ‘keeper in both the 2002 Nike U.S. Women’s Cup … With eight appearances in 2002, increased her all-time record cap total to 111 … Led the Atlanta Beat to the playoffs for the second consecutive year … Had a 9-8-1 record and 1.33 GAA for the Beat, as well as six shutouts … Was first in the WUSA in catch-punches with 95 and fifth in saves with 80.

Danielle Slaton – Defender – WNT / Carolina Courage (WUSA): At just 22 years old, Slaton has cemented her spot on the U.S. back line and could be a starter at left back or in the central defense for years to come … After missing all of 2001 with a knee injury, Slaton returned to the WNT to appear in 11 matches in 2002 … Has already accumulated 35 career caps for the USA … In just her first year in the WUSA, she earned 2002 Defender of the Year honors and was also one of three finalists for the Rookie of the Year award … As this year’s top draft pick, she helped the Carolina Courage complete a worst-to-first turnaround by winning the regular season title and claiming the 2002 WUSA title over the Washington Freedom … Although a defender, she was fourth on the team in scoring with four goals and shots on goal with 24 … Was an automatic starter in her first year as a pro, appearing in 18 of the team’s 21 games.

Aly Wagner – Midfielder – WNT / Santa Clara (NCAA Div. I): After missing 2001 with a series of leg injuries, Wagner has finally found a regular spot on the U.S. Women’s National Team … Has emerged as arguably the best playmaker on the U.S. Women’s National Team, leading the team with 11 assists … Also scored three goals in 2002, finishing fifth on the team in scoring with 17 points … Like Slaton, she has over 30 caps (32) by the age of 22 … Led Santa Clara to the NCAA Div. 1 title game for the second consecutive year, but the Lady Broncos fell short in their back-to-back championship bid … As a senior, she scored nine goals and had nine assists while playing in just 18 of her team’s 26 games due to national team duty… Is expected to be the top pick in the 2003 WUSA Draft … Won the 2000 Chevy Young Female Athlete of the Year award.

U.S. Soccer’s Chevy Athletes of the Year Award History: U.S. Soccer’s Chevy Male and Female Athletes of the Year awards are the oldest and most prestigious awards of their type, dating back to 1984 for the Men and 1985 for the Women.  The annual award is based on competing and excelling at the highest level of soccer offered by U.S. Soccer for the calendar year, exhibiting decorum on and off the field which reflects well on U.S. Soccer, and contributing toward soccer’s popularization, acceptance and credibility in the United States.

For their excellence both on and off the field, midfielder Earnie Stewart and forward Tiffeny Milbrett were selected as U.S. Soccer’s 2001 Chevy Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively.  Stewart led the U.S. Men’s National Team in scoring with five goals and guided the squad through a difficult, but ultimately successful final round of World Cup qualifying. Milbrett became the third player (Mia Hamm and Michelle Akers are the two others) to win the award in consecutive years after leading the U.S. Women National Team in scoring and pouring in 16 goals and three assists for the New York Power on her way to MVP honors in the first year of the WUSA.

U.S. Soccer created Young Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards in 1998 to highlight up-and-coming stars within the U.S. National Team system, with forward standouts Josh Wolff and Cindy Parlow grabbing the inaugural awards.

U.S. Men’s National Team and Under-20 MNT midfielder DaMarcus Beasley and U.S. Women’s National Team and U-21 WNT midfielder Aleisha Cramer were the 2001 recipients of U.S. Soccer’s Chevy Young Athlete of the Year award for their outstanding performance in pulling double duty for both the full National Team and their respective Youth National Teams.

The following is the complete list of Chevy Athlete of the Year award winners:

All-Time Chevrolet/U.S. Soccer Award Winners

Year

Male Athlete of the Year

Female Athlete of the Year

1984

Rick Davis

not awarded

1985

Perry Van der Beck

Sharon Remer

1986

Paul Caligiuri

April Heinrichs

1987

Brent Goulet

Carin Jennings

1988

Peter Vermes

Joy Biefeld

1989

Mike Windischmann

April Heinrichs

1990

Tab Ramos

Michelle Akers-Stahl

1991

Hugo Perez

Michelle Akers-Stahl

1992

Marcelo Balboa

Carin Gabarra (Carin Jennings)

1993

Thomas Dooley

Kristine Lilly

1994

Marcelo Balboa

Mia Hamm

1995

Alexi Lalas

Mia Hamm

1996

Eric Wynalda

Mia Hamm

1997

Kasey Keller

Mia Hamm

1998

Cobi Jones

Mia Hamm

1999

Kasey Keller

Michelle Akers

2000

Chris Armas

Tiffeny Milbrett

2001

Earnie Stewart

Tiffeny Milbrett

Year

Young Male Athlete of the Year

Young Female Athlete of the Year

1998

Josh Wolff

Cindy Parlow

1999

Ben Olsen

Lorrie Fair

2000

Landon Donovan

Aly Wagner

2001

DaMarcus Beasley

Aleisha Cramer


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