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U.S. Soccer Announces First Four Winners of 2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards


• Winners for Best Clutch Moment, Best Photo, Best Soccer Blog and Best ussoccer.com Video Revealed
• Fans Can View Videos of the Winners on ussoccer.com
• Eight More Winners to be Unveiled on Thursday and Friday, Followed by 2009 Athletes of the Year Early Next Week

CHICAGO (Dec. 16, 2009) — U.S. Soccer has announced the first four winners of the 2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards following the conclusion of nearly three weeks of fan voting on ussoccer.com. Fans can view videos on ussoccer.com, where the winners for Best Clutch Moment, Best Photo, Best Soccer Blog and Best ussoccer.com Video are revealed. Eight more winners will be revealed Thursday and Friday.

The eighth annual installment of the Best of U.S. Soccer Awards was decided entirely by fans, who cast their ballots from Nov. 23 to Dec. 13 on ussoccer.com.

Following the unveiling of the 2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards, U.S. Soccer will announce the winners for the 2009 Athlete of the Year Awards on Monday, Dec. 21 and Tuesday, Dec. 22. 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. Soccer’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.

In a year of big games, high drama and nailbiting finishes, Best Clutch Moment pitted 10 of the most exciting moments with National Team players who came through when it mattered most. The award went to the U.S. Defense for its resolute defending against the No. 1 ranked team in the world, Spain, during the FIFA Confederations Cup semifinals.

Accepting the award on behalf of the team is U.S. Men's National Team defender Jonathan Spector, who played 90 minutes at right back for Bob Bradley's team during the win. With 24 percent of the vote, the U.S. defense outpaced Jonathan Bornstein's last-gasp header against Costa Rica at RFK Stadium (22 percent) and Abby Wambach's 100th goal for the Women's National Team (14 percent)

Best Photo went to”Spain Slips,” which captured Clint Dempsey scoring the second goal in the USA' 2-0 victory against Spain. The winning photograph took in 17 percent of the vote beating out Celebration Road (15 percent) and Hometown Hero (14 percent).

Introduced in 2007, “Best Soccer Blog” is one of the newest categories in the Best of U.S. Soccer Awards lineup. In three years the award has become one of the most popular on ussoccer.com and this year was no exception, with the award featuring the third-most total votes on the ballot. ”Soccer by Ives,” led by Editor-in-chief Ives Galarcep of New Jersey, won for the second consecutive year, garnering an impressive 33 percent of the vote. Soccer Insider, the 2007 winner, placed second with 16 percent while ussoccer.com's own WNT Blog came in third (14 percent).

Behind the Scenes of the U.S. Men's National Team's 2-2 draw with Costa Rica on Oct. 14 took the title for “Best ussoccer.com Video.” The inside look at the USA's dramatic last day qualifer earned 17 percent of the vote, with Behind the Scenes with Jonathan Spector (16 percent) and Behind the Scenes, Oct. 10 (15 percent) rounding out the top three.

The next four awards for Best Assist, Best Fan Photo, Best Goal, Best Performance: Team, and Best Soccer Specialty Store will be presented on Thursday, Dec. 17 on ussoccer.com. The remainder of the 2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards will be handed out on Friday, Dec. 18 and the 2009 Athlete of the Year Awards will be announced early next week.

2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Results – Clutch Moment, Photo, Soccer Blog, ussoccer.com Video

Best Clutch Moment

  1. U.S. Defense vs. Spain, June                 24 24%
  2. Jonathan Bornstein's Goal, Oct. 14         22%
  3. Abby Wambach's 100th Goal, July 19    14%

Best Photo

  1. Spain Slips                                          17%
  2. Celebration Road                                 15%
  3. Hometown Hero                                  14%

Best Soccer Blog

  1. Soccer By Ives                                     33%
  2. Soccer Insider                                     16%
  3. WNT Blog                                           14%

Best ussoccer.com Video

  1. Behind the Scenes, Oct. 14                      17%
  2. Behind the Scenes with Jonathan Spector  16%
  3. Behind the Scenes, Oct. 10                      15%

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