Final Four Category Winners Announced for 2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards
â€¢ Fans Can View Videos of the Winners for Best Goal, Best Performance: Player, Best Soccer Bar and Best Academy Story on ussoccer.com
â€¢ Landon Donovan Accepts Award for Best Goal and Tim Howard Takes Accolade for Best Performance: Player
â€¢ 2009 Athletes of the Year to be Announced Early Next Week
CHICAGO (Dec. 18, 2009) â€” The final four winners of the 2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards were announced Friday on ussoccer.com, with fan votes deciding the choices for Best Goal, Best Performance: Player, Best Academy Story and Best Soccer Bar.
The eighth installment of the annual Best of U.S. Soccer Awards was decided entirely by fans, who cast their ballots in 12 different categories from Nov. 23 to Dec. 13 on ussoccer.com.
â€¢ Watch the Winners
Fans can watch video of the winners in allÂ 12 categories on ussoccer.com. The previous eight award winners were announcedÂ Wednesday andÂ Thursday of this week.
U.S. Soccer will announce the winners for the 2009 Athlete of the Year Awards early next week. The four awards include Male, Female, Young Male and Young Female Athletes of the Year. As the oldest and most prestigious awards of their kind, U.S. Soccerâ€™s Athlete of the Year Awards date back to 1984 for the men and 1985 for the women. As in years past, online votes for the annual award were tallied and counted for 50 percent of the total, while the other 50 percent was compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives, including National Team coaches and members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors.
After taking the 2008 Best Performance: Player award with his goalkeeping masterclass against Argentina, Tim Howard became the category's first back-to-back winner by claiming the 2009 award as well. Howard was top of the 2009 Best Performance: Player category thanks to his memorable game against Spain in the Confederations Cup semifinal.
Howard's eight saves on June 24 beat out the competition to capture the Best Performance: Player award with 37 percent of the vote. Michael Bradley's two-goal game against Mexico on Feb. 11 took second place (16 percent) while Landon Donovan's game against Spain came third (14 percent).
In the Best Goal category Donovan's emphatic finish after a full-field counterattack in the Confederations Cup Final against Brazil captured 25 percent of the vote. Charlie Davies' swift move through the heart of the Mexico defense at Estadio Azteca took second with 21 percent and Natasha Kai's skillful move and half-volley placed third with nine percent.
The U.S. Soccer Development Academy makes its second appearance in the year-end awards schedule, with Best Academy Story one of the 12 featured categories on this year's ballot. Former Academy player Bill Hamid made history when he signed for the D.C. United professional team. Hamid's story collected 21 percent of the vote, while Cal Odyssey's memorable run to the championship (18 percent) and Dillon Powers' selection to the U-20 World Cup roster (17 percent) made up the rest of the top three.
For the first time since the inaugural Best of U.S. Soccer Awards in 2002, the Best Soccer Bar award went to an establishment outside of Chicago. Fado's Irish Pub in Seattle became the first bar west of the Windy City to win the prize. In the closest race on the 2009 ballot, Fado's 16 perecent of the vote was enough for it to edge past two-time defending champion The Globe of Chicago (14 percent). Nevada Smith's in New York City came in third (13 percent).
The 2009 Athlete of the Year Awards will be announced early next week.
2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Results â€“ Academy Story, Goal, Performance: Player, Soccer Bar
Best Academy Story
1. Bill Hamid Goes Pro 21%
2. Cal Odyssey Advance to Championship 18%
3. Dillon Powers Chosen for YNT 17%
1. Landon Donovan vs. Brazil, June 28 25%
2. Charlie Davies vs. Mexico, Feb. 11 21%
3. Natasha Kai vs. Iceland, March 6 9%
Best Performance: Player
1. Tim Howard vs. Spain. June 24 37%
2. Michael Bradley vs. Mexico, Feb. 11 16%
3. Landon Donovan vs. Spain, June 24 14%
Best Soccer Bar
1. Fado's Irish Pub, Seattle 16%
2. The Globe, Chicago 14%
3. Nevada Smith's, New York City 13%