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Every Vote Counts as Fans Can Go Online to Select U.S. Soccer's Chevrolet Athlete of the Year Awards

CHICAGO (Monday, December 18, 2000) - Voting for U.S. Soccer's 2000 Chevrolet Athlete of the Year awards begins today, highlighted by a first ever opportunity for fans to be involved in the voting process, which they can do by logging on to and voting for one or all of the four annual awards. The four prestigious annual awards are the following: Male Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year, Young Male Athlete of the Year and Young Female Athlete of the Year. The Chevrolet Awards are the only year-end soccer awards which honor both male and female athletes.

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, U.S. Soccer representatives (from National Team coaches to select department heads) and the National Board of Directors.

Ballots will be accepted until Saturday, January 20, 2001, at which time the votes will be counted and re-counted for verification. U.S. Soccer, in conjunction with Chevrolet, will then announce the winners of the four awards at a press conference in February.

"We're honored to once again be involved with the Athlete of the Year awards," said Brian Boyd, Chevrolet brand promotional manager. "This year, we'll present one Chevrolet Cavalier to each Adult Athlete winner and donate $1,000 to the U.S. Soccer Foundation in the name of each Young Athlete winner. Chevrolet 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 Chevrolet Male and Female Athletes of the Year awards are the oldest and most prestigious awards of their type. The annual award, which has existed since 1984 for the men and 1985 for the women, 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, goalkeeper Kasey Keller and midfielder Michelle Akers were selected as U.S. Soccer's 1999 Chevrolet Male and Female Athletes of the Year. U.S. Under-23 National Team midfielder and ?99 MLS Cup MVP Ben Olsen and U.S. Women's National Team midfielder Lorrie Fair were the 1999 recipients of U.S. Soccer's Chevrolet Young Athlete of the Year award. The young player award was initiated in 1998 to highlight upcoming stars within U.S. Soccer.

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. Chevrolet recently extended its relationship with U.S. Soccer through 2004.

With the 2000 Olympics, the busiest women's national team calendar ever, and a successful semi-final round of World Cup qualifying for the men, the candidates for the 2000 awards are many. Bios on each of the suggested candidates are also available.

All-Time Chevrolet/U.S. Soccer Award Winners
Male Athlete of the Year
Female Athlete of the Year
1984Rick Davisnot awarded
1985Perry Van der BeckSharon Remer
1986Paul CaligiuriApril Heinrichs
1987Brent GouletCarin Jennings
1988Peter VermesJoy Biefeld
1989Mike WindischmannApril Heinrichs
1990Tab RamosMichelle Akers-Stahl
1991Hugo PerezMichelle Akers-Stahl
1992Marcelo BalboaCarin Gabarra (Carin Jennings)
1993Thomas DooleyKristine Lilly
1994Marcelo BalboaMia Hamm
1995Alexi LalasMia Hamm
1996Eric WynaldaMia Hamm
1997Kasey KellerMia Hamm
1998Cobi JonesMia Hamm
1999Kasey KellerMichelle Akers
Young Male Athlete of the Year
Young Female Athlete of the Year
1998Josh WolffCindy Parlow
1999Ben OlsenLorrie Fair

* Ballot for 2000 Chevrolet Athletes of the Year