The two-time Olympic gold medalist becomes the first player in U.S. Soccer history to win both the Female and Young Female Athlete of the Year awards in her career. This year, Holiday became the 30th Women’s National Team player to reach the 100-cap milestone in her career when she suited in the USA’s 1-1 draw against Canada in Winnipeg on May 8. She now has 110 caps.
“I’m extremely honored and was pleasantly surprised,” said Holiday of winning the award. “Playing for the Women’s National Team is the best job in the world. The players around me make us better every day. Also, FC Kansas City has been phenomenal for me and I’ve really continued to grow there; that’s a testament to my team and my coaches. I’m extremely honored.”
A new voting process took place this year, with votes collected from Women's National Team players who earned a cap in 2014, Women’s and Youth Women’s National Team coaches, National Women’s Soccer League head coaches and select former players, administrators and media members.
Holiday received 43 percent of the tabulated votes, followed by Carli Lloyd (25 percent) and Abby Wambach (18 percent).
Playing mostly in a holding role in the midfield, Holiday has featured in 16 of the USA’s 20 matches so far in 2014, starting 15 with two goals scored and three assists. The Indianapolis native also had an excellent club season, scoring eight goals and tallying seven assists en route to helping guide FC Kansas City to its first National Women’s Soccer League championship. She was named MVP of the Championship Game after assisting on both goals in FCKC’s 2-1 victory against the Seattle Reign and was named to the NWSL Best XI for a second consecutive season.
The U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year has been awarded since 1985, when midfielder Sharon Remer earned the first Female Athlete of the Year honor.
Holiday’s AOTY honor concludes U.S. Soccer’s 2014 awards season. Previously, Men’s National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard won Male Athlete of the Year, while his MNT teammate DeAndre Yedlin was recognized as the Young Male Athlete of the Year. Holiday’s fellow midfielder on the Women’s National Team, Morgan Brian won Young Female Athlete of the Year and and Paralympic National Team midfielder Gavin Sibayan’s Disabled Athlete of the Year honor rounded out the awards.
- Male Athlete of the Year: Tim Howard
- Female Athlete of the Year: Lauren Holiday
- Young Male Athlete of the Year: DeAndre Yedlin
- Young Female Athlete of the Year: Morgan Brian
- Disabled Athlete of the Year Nominees: Gavin Sibayan
Also on Saturday, the U.S. Women’s National Team learned its group opponents for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. The USA will open Group D play against Australia on June 8 in Winnipeg, then face Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg and finish group play on June 16 against Nigeria in Vancouver. Next summer’s Women’s World Cup will be played throughout Canada and will be broadcast on the FOX family of networks.