First Three Winners of U.S. Soccer's 2007 'Best Of' Awards Announced
CHICAGO (December 17, 2007) – U.S. Soccer announced on Monday the first three winners of the 2007 “Best of U.S. Soccer” awards after three weeks of fans voting online at ussoccer.com. Fans can watch a special presentation of the first three winners for Best Store, Best Performance (Team) and Best all_access Video on ussoccer.com’s Studio 90, which will showcase all 11 category winners over three days.
The sixth annual installment of the awards were presented this year by Soccer America, the No. 1 soccer magazine in the United States, and fans had a chance to vote from Nov. 14 to Dec. 7 for all 11 categories.
On the heels of the 2007 “Best of” awards series, U.S. Soccer will announce on Thursday, Dec. 20, the winners of the 2007 Athlete of the Year Awards, which include Male, Female, Young Male and Young Female. 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 equivalent to 50 percent of the total votes, while the other 50 percent was compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives, including National Team coaches and the National Board of Directors.
For the sixth straight time, a new establishment was named Best Store as Soccer 4 All received the most votes. Soccer 4 All, located in Houston, Texas, was a first-time nominee but ran away with the award by earning almost a quarter of the votes. With 24 percent of the vote, Soccer 4 All was able to hold off Angelo’s Soccer Corner (15.6) and Altitude Authentics (14.6).
The U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-1 victory against Mexico in the Gold Cup Final on June 24 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., won the award for Best Performance (Team). With 25 percent of the vote, the come-from-behind victory was chosen over the U.S. Women’s National Team’s third-place clinching victory against Norway in the Women’s World Cup (19.7) and the Under-20 MNT’s 2-1 upset victory against Brazil in the FIFA U-20 World Cup this summer in Canada. This is the fourth time the U.S. Men have won this category and the second time the performance was against Mexico, as the USA’s 2-0 victory over their rival that clinched their berth in the 2006 FIFA World Cup was the top vote earner in 2005.
Despite a close race during the first half of the voting process, the Abby Wambach Back 4 Quiz pulled away in the final week to easily win the award for Best all_access Video. Part of ussoccer.com’s Studio 90 coverage of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Wambach was put through the popular Back 4 Quiz and almost became the first to answer all four questions correctly. She then turned the tables on the host by presenting him with a Back 4 Quiz question of her own.
On Tuesday, Dec. 18, the next four awards will be presented for Best Assist, Best Goal (Women), Best Fan Atmosphere and Best Photo, while on Wednesday, Dec. 19 fans will find out the winners for Best Bar, Best Blog, Best Goal (Men) and Best Performance (Player).
2007 Best of U.S. Soccer Results
Best all_access video
|1. Abby Wambach Back 4 Quiz||
|2. Gold Cup Title||
|3. Mr. Conrad’s Training Camp||
Best Performance (Team)
|1. U.S. MNT 2, Mexico 1 (June 24)||
|2. U.S. WNT 4, Norway 1 (Sept. 30)||
|3. U-20 MNT 2, Brazil 1 (July 6)||
Best Soccer Store
|1. Soccer 4 All (Houston, Texas)||
|2. Angelo’s Soccer Corner (Pennsylvania)||
|3. Altitude Authentics (Commerce City, Colo.)||