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Tim Howard Voted 2014 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year

CHICAGO (Nov. 20, 2014) – Goalkeeper Tim Howard has been voted the 2014 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year, with the announcement taking place earlier today live on ESPN’s SportsCenter. This is Howard’s second time winning AOTY, previously earning the honor in 2008.

The three-time FIFA World Cup veteran becomes the fifth player to win Male Athlete of the Year on multiple occasions, joining defender Marcelo Balboa (1992, 1994), goalkeeper Kasey Keller (1997, 1999 and 2005), forward Landon Donovan (2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010) and forward Clint Dempsey (2007, 2011 and 2012).

“It’s an honor. I know the winners on the list who have come before me, so it’s special to have my name up there,” Howard said on SportsCenter. “The whole ride with the team for about a month and a half, when we got together for training camp and we flew down to Brazil, we had a really good time and that made 2014 so special to me.”

A new voting process took place this year, with votes collected from Men’s National Team players earned a cap in 2014, Men’s National Team and Youth Men’s National Team coaches, Major League Soccer and North American Soccer League head coaches and select former players, administrators and media members.

Howard received 64 percent of the tabulated votes, followed by Jermaine Jones (19 percent) and Kyle Beckerman (11 percent).

This year, Howard became the USA’s all-time leader in career wins with 55 (breaking Keller’s record of 53) and goalkeeper appearances with 104 (breaking Keller’s record of 102). Howard also had a memorable 2014 FIFA World Cup that included a tournament-record 15 saves during the USA’s 2-1 overtime loss to Belgium in the first knockout round on July 1.

The U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year has been awarded since 1984, when midfielder Rick Davis earned the first Athlete of the Year honor.

Also on Thursday, U.S. Soccer unveiled its nominees for 2014 Young Male Athlete of the Year, Young Female Athlete of the Year and Disabled Athlete of the Year. The nominees in each category are:

  • Young Male Athlete of the Year Nominees: Mukwelle Akale, midfielder; Emerson Hyndman, midfielder; Christian Pulisic, midfielder; Haji Wright, forward; DeAndre Yedlin, defender (A Look at the Nominees)
  • Young Female Athlete of the Year Nominees: Morgan Brian, midfielder; Rose Lavelle, midfielder; Samantha Mewis, midfielder; Mallory Pugh, midfielder; Katelyn Rowland, goalkeeper (A Look at the Nominees)
  • Disabled Athlete of the Year Nominees: Meghan Maiwald, Deaf Soccer; Natalie Russo, Power Soccer; Gavin Sibayan, Paralympic Soccer (A Look at the Nominees)

The nominees for U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year will be unveiled in the coming days.

Photo Gallery: Tim Howard - U.S. Soccer 2014 Male Athlete of the Year

Photos from Tim Howard's 2014 season with the U.S. Men's National Team. Howard was voted U.S. Soccer's 2014 Male Athlete of the Year, the second time he has earned U.S. Soccer's most prestigious player award in his international career; he also earned the honor in 2008. 

2014 U.S. Soccer Disabled Athlete of the Year Nominees

Meghan Maiwald, Deaf Soccer
Meghan Maiwald is the starting goalkeeper, co-captain and an eight-year veteran with the U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team. In addition, Maiwald just recently completed her fourth season with the Women’s Premier Soccer League’s California Storm and is currently in her first season as an assistant coach for the women’s soccer team at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. She previously served as an undergraduate assistant for San Jose State University’s women’s soccer team in 2013. The 24-year-old also is the current women’s representative for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and was a 2013 U.S. Soccer Disabled Athlete of the Year finalist and Deaflympics gold medalist. In 2012, Maiwald helped the USA to a Deaf World Cup title, contributing seven shutouts, one assist and only two goals allowed in nine appearances. A two-year Division I student-athlete at SJSU, Maiwald left a mark in the Spartans’ record books, placing second all-time in goals against average, third in solo shutouts and fifth in saves.

Natalie Russo, Power Soccer
An 11-year veteran in soccer, Natalie Russo has most recently continued her U.S. Power Soccer National Team success by being named to the 2015 Team USA roster. A native of Carmel, Indiana, Russo has represented the USA on various occasions internationally, including as part of the U.S. National Team that competed at the first COPA Americas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this past May and brought home the gold medal. She earned the golden boot award, scoring 19 goals in the competition. She also scored 48 goals for her club team, the Circle City Rollers last season over a span of 21 games. 

Gavin Sibayan, Paralympic Soccer
Gavin Sibayan, a retired U.S. Army staff sergeant who served in Iraq, played in every game of the 2014 Americas Cup in Canada this past September to help the U.S. Paralympic National Team earn the bronze medal in the tournament. In the third-place match against Canada at the University of Toronto, Sibayan led the USA with two goals as the team went on to win 3-0 and claim its spot on the medal stand. He also helped lead the U.S. PNT to the silver medal at the Barcelona Invitational International this year. A dual-threat at defense or in the midfield, Sibayan has been a part of the National Team since 2012 and represented the USA at the 2012 Paralympic Games, helping the Red, White and Blue to an eighth-place finish. 

2014 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year Nominees

U-18 MNT Midfielder, Mukwelle Akale - Bio
In a rare feat for any player, Akale earned a pair of MVP honors at two international tournaments with the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team in 2014. The former U.S. U-17 Residency player and Minnesota Thunder Academy product was named MVP during the 2014 Copa del Atlantico in February, becoming just the second player from outside Spain or the Canary Islands to receive the award since its inception in 2009. Akale followed up with top player honors at the 21st International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek in the Czech Republic. In the latter tournament, the 17-year-old Akale scored the lone goal during the USA’s 1-0 victory against Ukraine in the championship match on Aug. 23.

U-20, U-23 & MNT Midfielder, Emerson Hyndman - Bio
The 18-year-old Dallas native had a groundbreaking year. He was called in by Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for multiple camps and made his MNT debut during the USA’s 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3. Hyndman has represented both the U-23 and U-20 Men’s National Teams this are, helping both squads in their preparation for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and 2016 Summer Olympics, respectively. He started for the U-23 MNT in its Oct. 14 match against Brazil in Brasilia and earned his first two U-20 MNT caps during the USA’s November trip to Spain for the 2014 U-21 Marbella Tournament, starting against Russia’s U-21s and the Republic of Ireland’s U-20 national team. Hyndman made his English Championship debut with Fulham in mid-August and has earned regular starts as a central midfielder for the club. Hyndman is a former member of the FC Dallas Academy and the grandson of former FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman.

U-17 MNT Midfielder, Christian Pulisic - Bio
Since earning MVP honors during a championship run at the 2013 Nike International Friendlies last December, the 16-year-old playmaker maintained his well-rounded game throughout 2014 with the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team. Prior to the U-17 MNT’s trip to Chile for the 2014 Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins, Pulisic tallied 12 goals and six assists in 16 international matches this year. The PA Classics product had a particularly strong performance at the third Copa Mexico de Naciones in August, leading the USA with six goals, opening with a hat trick against China PR. Pulisic is a former member of the U-17 MNT Residency Program.

U-17 MNT Forward, Haji Wright - Bio
Wright has been the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team’s top scoring presence over the past year. Heading into the 2014 Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins in Chile, Wright led the U-17s with 15 goals in 16 international matches, as well as five assists. For his U-17 MNT tenure, the former LA Galaxy Academy striker has accumulated 21 goals in 20 matches. Wright has three hat tricks this year, including a four-goal game against Montenegro. Additionally, Wright has featured for the U.S. U-18 MNT this year, winning a championship title at the 21st International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek in the Czech Republic in mid-August. Wright is a former member of the U-17 MNT Residency Program.

MNT Defender, DeAndre Yedlin - Bio
Yedlin’s star has risen for the past two years, but it was his performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup that took his game and career to another level. Yedlin earned three caps and provided 115 effective minutes off the bench in both an outside back and midfield role as the U.S. Men’s National Team advanced out of the “Group of Death” in Brazil. Yedlin was one of seven players to make at least 10 appearances for the MNT this year, earning his first start during the USA’s 1-1 draw against Ecuador on Oct. 10. Additionally, the Seattle Sounders FC Academy product earned a transfer to English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur through his play for club and country this year.

2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year Nominees

U-23 & WNT Midfielder, Morgan Brian - Bio
Morgan Brian had an excellent year for college and country as she was the youngest player on the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2014. She earned 13 of her 16 career caps this year while making nine starts. She also scored twice for the National Team (upping her career total to three goals), finding the net against Russia and against Haiti during the Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament. Morgan, who also played for the U.S. Under-23s this year, missed eight games for the University of Virginia due to her WNT commitments, but still managed to score seven goals with 10 assists to help lead the Cavaliers to a No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, where in the first round she tied an NCAA single-game record with five assists.

U-20 WNT Midfielder, Rose Lavelle - Bio
One of the top players for the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team, the two-way midfielder was the MVP of the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship in the Cayman Islands, where she helped the USA qualify for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She played every minute of all four World Cup matches for the U.S. and scored her first World Cup goal against China PR during group play. After returning to the University of Wisconsin, she helped the Badgers to an 18-2-2 overall regular-season record and a No. 4 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. She played in all 22 games for Wisconsin, scoring three goals with nine assists, and was named First-Team All-Big Ten. 

U-20 & WNT Midfielder, Samantha Mewis - Bio
The six-foot center midfielder had a spectacular senior season at UCLA, scoring 12 goals with 11 assists during the regular season while leading the Bruins to an 18-0-2 record and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. She was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year while ranking first in all conference scoring categories. She picked up another goal and an assist in UCLA’s NCAA first-round victory. For the USA, after playing in three youth Women’s World Cups over the years, she made her senior team debut at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, playing in two matches with one start while becoming one half of just the second sister tandem (along with Kristie Mewis) in U.S. history to play for the WNT. 

U-17 & U-20 WNT Midfielder, Mallory Pugh - Bio
The 16-year-old Pugh had a busy year, representing both the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team, for which she scored four international goals (and finished her U-17 career with 15 goals in 12 U-17 caps) and the U-20 Women’s National Team at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada. As the USA’s youngest player, she started in all four World Cup matches despite suffering a bad ankle injury in the second match against Brazil. The Real Colorado product is age-eligible for the next two U-20 Women’s World Cup tournaments. 

U-20 WNT Goalkeeper, Katelyn Rowland - Bio
The starting goalkeeper at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada, Rowland allowed just three goals over the four matches, one from the penalty spot, and established herself as one of the top young goalkeepers in the world. She did not allow a goal as the USA rampaged to the title at the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship in the Cayman Islands and finished the year with an 8-1-1 international record and a 0.37 GAA. In her senior season at UCLA, she broke the NCAA record for career shutouts, earning her 53rd in UCLA’s NCAA first-round victory. Rowland also broke her own school records for single-season shutouts (16), consecutive shutouts in a season (7) and consecutive shutout minutes in a season (667). She played all 1,840 minutes and led the Bruins to the best team goals against average (0.196), shutout percentage (0.800) and save percentage (0.913) marks in the nation. She finished the regular season with just four goals allowed and was named the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year.

Academy Product Morris Makes National Team Leap

The U.S. Men’s National Team dropped its final game of the year against the Republic of Ireland at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Yet, with every negative comes a positive, and in the case of Development Academy alum and current Stanford University striker Jordan Morris, the game versus Ireland represented a truly special night.

Morris came in the game during the second-half as a substitution in the 76th minute. The moment marked his debut with the MNT.

“Obviously it wasn't the result we wanted,” Morris said of the game. “But it's something I've been dreaming of since I was a little kid, so it was an unbelievable honor and a great experience.”

Morris, who scored a game-winner for the U.S. U-23 MNT against the Bahamas in August, was named the 2012-13 Development Academy Player of the Year for the U-18 age group while playing for the Seattle Sounders FC Academy. He is the first active college player to be included on a roster under Klinsmann.

“I was super excited,” Morris said of being called into the MNT roster. “Talking to Jurgen, he stresses patience, and I think that that's a thing you've got to learn, especially moving up in the ranks, that there are such good players all over the place, so it's going to be tough to get on the field. I was definitely itching to get on and was going to make the most of it when I did get on. I'm happy it happened. It was really exciting.”

Morris’ Academy ties and his incredible success at Stanford, the 2014 Pac-12 Champions, have allowed him to become one of the new youngsters that Klinsmann is excited to keep challenging on the path toward the next World Cup.  

“We’re happy for some that made kind of their starts today,” said Klinsmann of the fresh faces that played against Ireland. “Whether it’s Jordan Morris or Bill Hamid from the start in goal, those are the experiences they need, the younger ones, so we’ll take it.”

Also excited to see new faces get their first taste of what it means to play in the National Team is veteran forward Jozy Altidore, who despite only being 25 years old, is one of the players Klinsmann hopes can share some advice and help this new group be successful.

”I remember my first cap and how special it was for me, what I took with it, along in my career. I'm honored that I get to see now a lot of these guys come through and have that same experience.”

U.S. U-16 BNT Earns 5-4 Victory against Paris Saint-Germain

CLAIREFONTAINE, France (Nov. 19, 2014) – The U.S. Under-16 Boys’ National Team, in the midst of its weeklong camp in France, defeated Paris Saint-Germain 5-4. Midfielder Nicholas Taitague scored two goals in the final three minutes, including the 90th-minute game-winner.

In the final minute, Jeanpaul Marin stole the ball from PSG in the midfield and slipped the ball through PSG’s defense to Taitague. With PSG’s goalkeeper rushing off of his line, Taitague took one touch to the right to elude him and finished with a low shot that found the back of the net.

USA forwards Marty Raygoza and Andrew Carleton added a goal each, and the U.S. benefited from an own goal in the 53rd minute.

The U.S. U-16 BNT faces France’s U-16 national team on Thursday, Nov. 20.

The U-16 BNT roster is comprised of mostly 1999-born players and was formed to provide the younger age group of U-17s with an opportunity for additional competition and training. U.S. Soccer technical advisor and former U.S. U-17 MNT assistant coach Clint Peay is overseeing the camp.

Across the Academy – Nov. 19, 2014

ACADEMY/YNT SPOTLIGHT:
Academy U-14 West Regional Wraps Up at NTC: The Development Academy’s final regional event for the U-14 age group took place over the Nov. 15-16 weekend at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California. The event included three competitive games for the respective clubs over that stretch. Additionally, ussoccer.com spoke with Academy midfielders Roberto Hategan of the San Juan Soccer Club and Carlos Anguiano of Chivas USA to chat about the event, training with the U.S. Under-14 Boys’ National Team and more.

Also on ussoccer.com:

Academy Winter Showcase Schedule to be Released Friday: The 2014 Development Academy Winter Showcase will be held from Nov. 29-Dec. 3 at Lakewood Ranch, Florida. The schedule featuring all U-16 and U-18 Academy teams will be released on Friday. The Winter Showcase runs Nov. 29 and 30 and Dec. 2 for U-18 teams and Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and 3 for U-16 teams. An Academy Select U-16 match (1998- and 1999-born players) will be held Monday, Dec. 1. This event runs in conjunction with the 2014 Nike International Friendlies, when the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team faces England (Nov. 28), Australia (Nov. 30) and Brazil (Dec. 2).

For the latest Development Academy news, follow us on Twitter @ussoccer_acad and Instagram, or like us on Facebook. Share your Academy news, comments, photos, links and more using the #OpportunityKnocks hashtag.

Development Academy

ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Weekend of Nov. 15-16):

  • West Conference: The LA Galaxy U-15s edged Arsenal FC 3-2 on Saturday in a matchup of the top two teams in the Southwest Division. Sam Hefter scored two goals and Ethan Zubak also chipped in a goal for the Galaxy, who improved to 6-1-3 (2.10 points per game). Christian Gutierrez and Alejandro Lara each scored a goal for Arsenal, which is second in the division at 8-3-2 (2.00 points per game).
  • Central Conference: In the upper table of the Mid-America Division, Sockers FC’s U-18s earned a wild 3-2 victory against the Chicago Fire in a match that featured three goals in the final six minutes. Sockers FC appeared to be on its way to a victory carrying a 2-0 lead with goals from Jelani Pieters and Frank Bak. But the Fire’s Ryan Sierakowski and Collin Fernandez tallied back-to-back in the 85th and 86th minutes to tie the score at 2-2. In the 89th minute, Pieters scored his second goal of the match to help Sockers FC retake the lead and earn a much-needed three points, improving to 4-2-3 (1.67 points per game) this season. Sockers FC is even in points per game with the fourth-place Fire (5-2-5; 1.67 points per game) in the division.
  • East Conference: The New England Revolution U-16 team traveled to Montreal on Sunday and earned a 1-0 victory. Alex Clarke, making his debut, came off the bench to score the game’s only goal in the 78th minute. The Revolution is in second place in the Northeast Division at 6-1-3 (2.10 points per game). The New England Revolution U-18s also played the Montreal Impact to a scoreless draw. Montreal is atop the Northeast Division at 8-0-2, and the Revolution U-18s moved to 3-5-2.

Academy Honors:

  • Academy Player of the Week: Juventus Sport Club’s Marc Joshua was named Academy Player of the Week after scoring two goals to lead the U-16 team to a 3-2 victory against Crossfire Premier on Sunday, Nov. 16. Joshua leads Juventus with nine goals in 11 games this season as the team moved to 4-3-4 on the season in fourth place in the Northwest Division.
  • Academy Referee of the Week: Samantha Martinez, a Grade 8 referee from southern California, was named Academy Referee of the Week for her work during the U-14 match between Merced Atlas and the Santa Barbara Soccer Club. This is Martinez’s first season in the Academy. She has also worked as an assistant referee for the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team this year.

For all Development Academy results, standings and more, visit academy.demosphere.com or click on the following links:

ON USSOCCER.COM:
U-20 MNT Goes 2-1-0 at Marbella Tournament: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team capped off its three-game trip, posting a 2-1-0 record at the 2014 U-21 International National Teams Football Tournament in Marbella, Spain. The USA dropped a 1-0 decision to Canada in Tuesday’s finale. Prior to that game, former Concorde Fire forward Dembakwi Yomba scored the lone goal as the U.S. shut out Ireland 1-0 on Saturday and preceded by a thrilling 4-3 win against Russia’s U-21s on Nov. 12.

U-17 MNT Opens Three-Game Tournament in Chile: The U.S. U-17 MNT is in the midst of a three-game Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins tournament in Chile, opening with a 2-2 draw against host Chile on Tuesday. PA Classics product Christian Pulisic had a goal and an assist. Richie Williams’ 20-player roster features 13 current Academy players and 19 who have ties to the Academy. The U-17 MNT faces Brazil on Thursday and Qatar on Saturday before focusing on the 2014 Nike International Friendlies one week later.

UPCOMING ACADEMY SCHEDULE:

  • The Nov. 22-23 Academy weekend, the 12th of the 2014-15 season, features 48 games – 22 at the U-14 age group and a combined 26 games at the U-16 and U-18 age groups.
  • 2014-15 Academy Schedule page

OTHER LINKS:

MNT vs. Trinidad & Tobago: Highlights - Nov. 19, 1989

On Nov. 19, 1989, the U.S. MNT improbably defeated Trinidad & Tobago behind Paul Caligiuri's first-half goal. The victory in the final match of the cycle was the clincher for the USA's first World Cup berth since 1950.

So That's What You've Been Doing: Former MNT Defender Paul Caligiuri

On November 19, 1989, Paul Caligiuri was keeping track of the time left in the game against Trinidad and Tobago after scoring in the 30th minute. Each time the clocked counted down one minute, the United States was one minute closer to attending the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, the first World Cup in 40 years for the American squad.

A different U.S. team than the one Caligiuri was on will be starting a similar countdown in that same city on Feb. 9, working their way towards a fifth consecutive World Cup.

Just over 15 years later, Coach Caligiuri, head of the men’s and women’s soccer programs at California Polytechnic University at Pomona, is keeping track of a lot more than game-time, although he certainly hasn’t been counting the years.

“When you asked me the question, I almost freaked,” said Caligiuri about the 15 years that have passed since ‘the goal heard around the world.’ “It’s been a long time but it seems like yesterday. I can literally still see the play and still feel the moment. I’m fortunate enough to still keep in touch with the guys on that team on a regular basis. It’s been a fun ride.”

These days, Caligiuri isn’t as focused on his own goals as much as those of the 53 men’s and women’s soccer players at Cal Poly Pomona, where he has coached both programs for three years. Since his now famous goal in 1989 led the U.S. into Italia ‘90, opening the floodgates for the development of the sport in the United States, Caligiuri’s role has changed from imposing defender to coach.

After his third season as coach of Division II school Cal Poly Pomona, Caligiuri has the chance to teach another generation of players. Players who may be too young to remember watching his famous goal, but who have certainly been influenced by it. He has also had a chance to learn from his job, everything from how to budget for two programs, schedule games and make travel arrangements, to how to control his emotions going from one practice or game with guys to another one with girls. He has also mastered the art of tracking players’ grades and make sure the team is bonding well and playing well.

“When you’re dealing with two programs, it’s really challenging,” Caligiuri said. “Time management has been the biggest area of challenge to maximize in providing the best quality to the student athletes.”

Time management during the season includes showing up to work at 9 a.m. after dropping his two daughters, Ashley and Kayley, off at school, preparing for the day’s practices and upcoming games, arranging travel, actually going to the two teams’ practices and then going home to his daughters. It also includes double headers at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on game days as well as time he sets aside to make himself available to whoever would like to learn a little bit from his experience.

“I played youth soccer here and in Germany (and) professionally here and in Germany,” Caligiuri said. “I spent 15 years in the national team program, and I like people to know that I am accessible. The world of soccer is small and we’re all very much in tune with what’s going on. As part of the soccer family, I’m here to help in any way I can.”

The past three seasons have been challenging, but rewarding as well. Caligiuri’s women’s team is an Academic All-American and went from having the eighth highest grade point average among Pomona athletics to having the highest. The men’s team is ranked third among Cal Poly Pomona Men’s athletics, one thousandth of a point behind the second place team. Both teams boast GPAs over 3.0. There’s also the personal growth he has experienced.

“I think it is (rewarding), particularly in the areas I’ve had to improve on,” Caligiuri said. “It’s a matter of enjoying learning and I’ve enjoyed the process. I have to hire assistant coaches and graduate assistants. There’s a lot of delegating and I’ve learned a lot of those professional skills I didn’t need as a soccer player. Now I feel I’m more rounded and capable of running a corporation if I had to. If I was ever to go to a different level or stage in my career, I’d be up for the challenge.”

Caligiuri, who played for 15 years with the U.S. Men’s National Team, as well as playing professionally in Germany and in the U.S., was inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y. last summer, along with Michelle Akers and Eric Wynalda. Some would argue that Caligiuri’s goal launched the rebirth of American soccer. It sent the U.S. to its first World Cup in 40 years, giving a number of young players valuable experience for the 1994 World Cup at home in the U.S. as well.

After 1994 came the 1996 launch of Major League Soccer, a domestic league that has showcased the likes of Brian McBride, Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Ed Johnson, and helped many of them move on to Europe. Others, such as Claudio Reyna and Steve Cherundolo, established themselves overseas, where Caligiuri was the first American-born player to play in the German Bundesliga. Now, well more than 100 American players earn their keep among the different ranks in countries such as England, Germany, Holland, France and Norway.

But the floodgates didn’t just open for the players. Caligiuri’s goal had an impact on soccer fans in the U.S. as well. According to Caligiuri, today there is a growing fan base and a lot more games available on TV due to changes in how the sport is perceived in the U.S. since 1990, after four consecutive World Cup appearances. More people are watching, more people are playing and more people in general have accepted the sport as “American” versus “European” or “South-of-the-Border.”

While some credit those changes to the growth of the sport in general, there are those who can count back 15 years to one particular goal and one particular win.

“The relevance of that victory (against Trinidad and Tobago) seems to grow every day,” said Caligiuri, who is frequently asked about his Nov. 19, 1989 goal. “It’s kind of cool to leave my imprint.”

Results

Date Matchup Result Venue Attendance Goal Scorers
December 9, 2013 U-17 MNT vs Portugal Under-17 Men 1-2 L Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla. 500 Wright
December 11, 2013 U-17 MNT vs England Under-17 Men 5-1 W Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla. 1,200 Gallardo(3), Wright(2)
December 13, 2013 U-17 MNT vs Brazil Under-17 Men 4-1 W Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla. 0 Wright(2), Gallardo, Pulisic
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