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Josh Wolff and Cindy Parlow Named Inaugural Chevrolet/U.S. Soccer Youth Players of the Year


RICHMOND, Va. (Friday, December 11, 1998) -

U.S. Under-23 National Team forward Josh Wolff and U.S. Women's National Team and Under-21 forward Cindy Parlow are the 1998 recipients of the inaugural Chevrolet/U.S. Soccer Youth Player of the Year awards. The annual awards, which have been instigated to highlight up-and-coming stars within U.S. Soccer, were presented at a press conference in Richmond, Va., prior to the NCAA Division I Men's Final Four Soccer Tournament.

"The Chevrolet/U.S. Soccer Youth Player of the Year award is a great aspect of the Chevrolet/U.S. Soccer relationship," said Bill Ames, Chevrolet's National Merchandising Manager. "Like U.S. Soccer, Chevrolet is dedicated to quality and performance: two traits which are exhibited in players like Josh Wolff and Cindy Parlow, who are the true embodiment of U.S. Soccer's future success at the international level. Chevrolet is proud to highlight their contributions to the sport."

Wolff is a central figure on the U.S. Under-23 National Team, which currently has its sights set on the 2000 Olympics in Australia. Although he only appeared in four games for the Under-23s in 1998, Wolff burst onto the U.S. soccer scene with the Chicago Fire of MLS by scoring 8 goals in 14 games for the double champions (MLS Cup '98 and 1998 U.S. Open Cup winners). Most of those goals came as a second-half substitute for the Fire and earned him crowd favorite status for his frequent late-game heroics.

Prior to his breakthrough with the Fire, the 21-year-old from Stone Mountain, Ga., scored 12 goals in 18 games to lead the Project-40 A-League squad in scoring. For his efforts in 1998, Wolff was rewarded with a call-up to the U.S. National Team training camp in early November, where he was the youngest player on the roster.

"This is obviously a terrific honor," said Wolff. "This has been an exciting year for me, and being the first person to win the Chevrolet Youth Player of the Year award really caps it off."

For Cindy Parlow, awards have become a way of life. Recently honored for the second consecutive year as the Missouri Athletic Club Collegiate Player of the Year, Parlow was the obvious choice for the female Chevrolet/U.S. Soccer Youth Player of the Year award.

Parlow is not only a standout with the U.S. Women's Under-21 National Team, where last August she led the team to a hard-fought second place finish in the prestigious Nordic Cup in Holland (scoring two of the USA's four goals), but also a star on the senior team. Still just 20 years old, the University of North Carolina star already has 17 goals in 42 full national team appearances, including three last year.

"I've played in a lot of games, but I'm still a young player on the Women's National Team, so it's nice to be singled out by the U.S. Soccer family for an award like this," said Parlow. "But, clearly the focus for the entire team for the next six months is the 1999 Women's World Cup. Everyone has one award we are shooting for: to be world champions again."

Criteria for the Chevrolet/U.S. Soccer Youth Player of the Year award was broken into four categories:

(a) competing at an exceptional youth national team level during the previous calendar year;
(b) exhibiting decorum on and off the field which reflects well on U.S. Soccer;
(c) contributing toward the growth, development and popularization of soccer in the United States; and
(d) exhibiting potential to succeed at high standard in years to come.

Voting for the award was representative of U.S. Soccer's General Secretariat, including department heads from within the Federation's headquarters, as well as current U.S. National Team head coaches and the chairman of the National Team's Committee.

1998 Chevrolet/U.S. Soccer Male and Female Athletes of the Year Coming The annual Chevrolet/U.S. Soccer Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards will be announced in the coming weeks by U.S. Soccer. The 15-year-old award was first awarded to U.S. Soccer's premier athletes back in 1984 and is the oldest award of its type. Mia Hamm has won the award four consecutive times for her exquisite play with the U.S. Women's National Team, while Kasey Keller became the first goalkeeper to garner the men's award in 1997. For more information on the formal 1998 announcement, please contact U.S. Soccer's Communication Department.

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 to be announced to be announced
Year Male Youth Player of the Year Female Youth Player of the Year
1998 Josh Wolff Cindy Parlow

1998 Chevrolet/U.S. Soccer Youth Players of the Year

JOSH WOLFF
Forward
Ht: 5-9 Wt.: 160
Born: Feb. 15, 1977; Stone Mountain, Ga.
College: University of South Carolina
Experience: Chicago Fire, MLS 1998

Project-40, A-League 1998
U.S. Under-23s 1997-1998
U.S. World Univ. Team 1997
U.S. Under-20s 1996-1997
U.S. Under-18s 1995

USA: Current member of the U-23 National Team player pool, with his sights set on the 2000 Olympics in Australia ... Participated in the 1997 World Youth Championship with the U.S. Under-20 team, helping the team to an impressive third place finish in the 16-team international tournament in Italy ... Scored 2 goals and 5 assists in six games in the tournament, where he led the U.S. in assists and points (9) ... With the U-20s, he has 21 career international caps and five goals ... Made his U.S. debut with the Under-18 National Team in 1995 ...

Professional: Among the A-League's leading scorers this year while playing with the U.S. Pro-40 Select team, where he scored 12 goals and 25 points in 18 games ... Tallied 8 goals and 3 assists for the Fire in '98 ... Became a second-half hero and fan favorite for his late-game heroics all season long ...

College: One of the top forwards on the University of South Carolina team, scoring 21 goals in 43 games from 1995-1997 ... Missed half of his freshman season with a broken collarbone, but still scored six goals and was named to Soccer America's All-Freshman team ...

Personal: Georgia State High School Player of the Year, where he captained Parkview High to the state title his sophomore and junior seasons.


CINDY PARLOW
Forward
Ht: 5-11 Wt.: 145
Born: May 8, 1978; Memphis, Tenn.
College: University of North Carolina
Experience: UNC 1995-1998

U.S. Women's Team 1996-1998
U.S. Women's Under-21s 1996-1998

USA: Has starred the last two years for both the full U.S. Women's National Team and the Under-21 National Team ... Scored 3 goals in 13 games in 1998 for the full team, and now has 17 goals in 42 games at the age of 20 ... Was a part of the Under-21 National Team that won the Nordic Cup in 1997 in Denmark and finished second in the 1998 event in Holland ... Scored two of the USA's four goals in the 1998 Nordic Cup, and also led the team with two goals in the 1997 event ...

College: Won her second consecutive Missouri Athletic Club Award as the nation's outstanding collegiate female soccer player in 1998 ... She joins Mia Hamm as the awards only two-time winner ... Despite a nagging hamstring injury, she led the University of North Carolina with 21 goals and 52 points, earning Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year honors and leading the Tar Heels to the NCAA championship game ... Finished with 68 goals and 52 assists in 101 games for UNC ...

Personal: Does volunteer work with children at pre-school for underprivileged kids in the Chapel Hill area ... Left high school in three years to begin her college career early.

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