Player of the Year Award
The U.S. Soccer Player of the Year award is the highest honor awarded to soccer players in the United States. The Male and Female Player of the Year awards are the oldest and most prestigious awards of their kind, dating back to 1984 for the men and 1985 for the women. The Young Male and Young Female awards were added in 1998 and Player of the Year with a Disability in 2012.
Votes are collected from National Team and Youth National Team coaches and staff, National Team players who have earned a cap in this calendar year, American professional soccer league head coaches as well as select media members, former players and administrators.
2022 BIOSTEEL U.S. SOCCER FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
Lindsey Horan, Midfielder
The reigning BioSteel U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, Horan had another excellent year for club and country, highlighted by helping her French club Olympique Lyon win the 2021-22 UEFA Women’s Champions League. After joining Lyon in January and overcoming some injuries, she played in five Champions League matches, including going all 90 minutes in the Final against Barcelona, a 3-1 victory for the perennial European champions. Horan and teammate Catarina Macario became the fourth and fifth Americans to win the UEFA Women’s Champion League. She opened the 2022-23 campaign in strong form, tallying four goals in her first seven appearances for Lyon across all competitions. For the USWNT, Horan continued to distinguish herself as a key midfielder and leader for the USA. She started all 14 matches in which she played in 2022, going 979 minutes and scoring one goal, that coming on a slick dribbling move against Nigeria in a friendly. At the Concacaf W Championship in Mexico she started all five games and was one of the most consistent performers for the USA, a trademark for Horan during a year in which she was an important part of the American attack from the center of the field. The 28-year-old was No. 22 on ESPN.com’s Top 50 female players in the world and upped her career caps to 122 and her career goals to 26. She captained the USA five in 2022, including against England at Wembley Stadium. This is the third consecutive year Horan has been nominated for Player of the Year honors and the fifth nomination of her career. Horan was voted U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year at the conclusion of 2021.
Rose Lavelle, Midfielder
The dynamic Lavelle continued to dazzle as one of the most entertaining and productive midfielders in the world. She was one of the USA’s most consistently impactful players, starting 15 of the 16 matches she played. Lavelle was one of six U.S. players to play more than 1,000 minutes in 2022 and finished fourth on the team with 1,108 minutes played. Lavelle tallied a career-high six assists on the year, which ranked second overall on the team. She also scored four goals on the year to finish with 10 total goal involvements, the third-most combined goals and assists on the team behind Mallory Pugh and Sophia Smith. The creative and high-motor Lavelle finished the year second on the team with 26 chances created and third in shots on goal (13) while also making her impact felt defensively, ranking second on the team with 34 total tackles, third in interceptions (16) and fifth in total ball recoveries (81). The 27-year-old scored the game-winning goal against Nigeria on a spectacular flying header during a friendly match in September and also had a goal in the Concacaf W Championship against Jamaica. Lavelle played in all five games at the Concacaf W Championship, starting four, and had a goal and an assist while helping the USA qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympics. For OL Reign, she played 1,558 minutes over 18 matches while helping the club win the 2022 NWSL Shield. She scored five goals with one assist and was named to the 2022 NWSL Best XI Second Team. She was #19 on ESPN.com’s Top 50 female players in the world. This is the second consecutive year Lavelle has been nominated for U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year and her third nomination overall.
Alex Morgan, Forward
Morgan had an historic year for both club and country. Her first USWNT event this year came in June’s preparation for the Concacaf W Championship. She ended up playing a key role in the tournament while helping the USA qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympics. Her two goals vs. Haiti to open the CWC were crucial in kickstarting the USA’s qualifying campaign, and she also scored the game-winner in the championship match, converting a clutch penalty kick for the USA’s 1-0 win over Canada. Morgan added another goal against Nigeria later in the year and finished 2022 with four goals and one assist, with the assist coming against Germany at the end of the year. Her four goals gave her 119 for her career and 12 as a mom, one short of tying Joy Fawcett’s record for most goals scored as a mom in USWNT history. In the USA’s final match of the year, a 2-1 win vs. Germany on Nov. 13, she earned her 200th cap, becoming just the 13th player in U.S. history to reach that milestone. For the expansion San Diego Wave FC, the 33-year-old Morgan scored a career-high 15 regular season goals to win the NWSL Golden Boot, and she was named to the NWSL Best XI First Team. Of her 16 total goals - 15 during the regular season and one in the NWSL quarterfinals - 13 were with her left foot, two with her right and one with her head. She was an NWSL MVP finalist while helping the NWSL’s most successful expansion side finish third in the league. She played in 19 matches for the Wave, starting 18, and played 1,647 minutes. She also had three assists. She was #36 on ESPN.com’s Top 50 female players in the world. This is Morgan’s seventh nomination for U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year and her first since 2019. She won Player of the Year honors in both 2012 and 2018.
Mallory Pugh, Forward
The 24-year-old Pugh had possibly the most consistently stellar year on the USWNT, scoring seven goals with seven assists, and was perhaps the USA’s most dangerous player in the majority of matches in which she played. Her seven goals were the most she’s ever scored for the National Team in a calendar year, and her team-leading seven assists tied a career-high after she also had seven in her first year on the USWNT in 2016. Pugh led the USA with a team-high 14 total goal involvements on the year and also generated a team-best 40 chances, 14 more than any other player on the roster. Pugh scored three times in the 2022 SheBelieves Cup, scored two times against Uzbekistan and also had goals against Costa Rica in the Concacaf W Championship and the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Germany in the final match of the year. Of her seven assists, two came in the CWC and she had more assists in 2022 than in the entire three previous years combined. She played in 15 total matches for the USWNT, starting 13, and spanning 1,030 minutes in what amounted to a “Comeback Player of the Year” performance after only playing in five matches for the USA from 2020 through 2021. With her game-winner against Germany on Nov. 13, Pugh became the 25th player in USWNT history to score 25 or more goals and just the 18th player in USWNT history with 25+ goals and 25+ assists. She is just the sixth player in USWNT history with 25+ goals and 25+ assists before the age of 25. Mia Hamm, Cindy Parlow Cone, Alex Morgan, Kristine Lilly and Tiffeny Milbrett are the others. Pugh had a stellar NWSL season in which she scored 11 goals and had six assists for the Chicago Red Stars and was a finalist for MVP for the second year in a row. Pugh’s 17 total goal involvements tied with Sophia Smith (14 goals, 3 assists) and Alex Morgan (15 goals, 1 assist) for the most by any player in the NWSL in 2022. Pugh played in 37 games in 2022 for club and country across all competitions combined and registered either a goal or assist in 19 of them. She has a combined 22 goals and 13 assists in those 37 games.
Sophia Smith, Forward
With a team-leading 11 international goals in 2022, the 22-year-old Smith became the youngest player to lead the USWNT in scoring in a calendar year since a 21-year-old Mia Hamm did so with 10 goals in 1993, seven years before Smith was born. Smith started a team-high 17 matches for the USWNT in 2022 and was second on the team with 1,192 minutes played. She scored her first career hat trick on April 9 vs. Uzbekistan, becoming the youngest USWNT player since 2000 and the fifth-youngest to net a hat trick in in USWNT history. Smith also scored against Colombia (2), Jamaica (2), Nigeria (2), England (in the USA’s match at a packed Wembley Stadium) and Germany (in the USA’s 2-1 win to end the year). Smith had a match to remember on June 25 vs. Colombia, playing the entire 90 minutes and breaking a 0-0 deadlock with two second-half goals in front of a sold-out crowd at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in her home state of Colorado. Smith had a trophy-laden end to the NWSL season in which she was named the youngest MVP in league history after scoring 14 regular season goals. She then scored in the NWSL title game to earn Championship Game MVP honors while leading Portland Thorns FC to its third league title. Her 14 goals for the Thorns came in 18 appearances with 16 starts. She led Portland in points (31) and added a career-best three assists this season. Her 14 goals ranked second in the NWSL this season and set a new club single-season record, surpassing Lindsey Horan’s 13 goals during the 2018 season. Smith finished the regular season tied for the most non-penalty goals (11) and the most goals plus assists (17) in the league. During the 2022 campaign, Smith recorded four braces, which is tied for the most braces in a single season in NWSL history, and was named to the NWSL Best XI First Team. The 22-year-old is the sixth player in USWNT history to score 10 or more goals in a calendar year prior to turning 23. With 11 goals for the USWNT and 14 goals for the Thorns in 2022, Smith is just the fourth player to score 10 or more goals for the USWNT and her NWSL club in a single year, joining Abby Wambach (2013), Sydney Leroux (2013) and Christen Press (2015).
2022 BIOSTEEL U.S. SOCCER MALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
Tyler Adams, Midfielder
Earning his third U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year nomination, midfielder Tyler Adams was a near constant in the USMNT lineup during 2022, his 14 out of a possible 16 caps tying him for the team lead in appearances while also setting team and career-high marks with 14 starts and 1,131 minutes played. Chosen by his teammates to captain the side at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the 23-year-old was the youngest player across all 32 teams to wear the armband in Qatar, became the youngest USMNT player to wear the armband at the tournament since 1950, and became the youngest American to captain the team in a Knockout Round match when he led the side out against Netherlands. His leadership also shined through in his play at the World Cup, where he was voted Man of the Match in the team’s first two games – the 1-1 draw against Wales and 0-0 deadlock against No. 5-ranked England. One of only three U.S. players to feature in every minute of the tournament, the central midfield stalwart twice covered more ground than any other player on the field, running 8.2 miles against Wales and 8 miles against IR Iran. On the club front, Adams has been a revelatory signing for Leeds United this season after joining on a $24 million transfer from RB Leipzig during the summer. Prior to the World Cup break, Adams had appeared in 13 of 14 matches for the Premier League side. In the first half of the year, Adams completed his three-and-a-half year stay with German Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, appearing in 17 matches and registering one assist, while helping the club claim its first DFB-Pokal title in what would be his last appearance. Adams was previously nominated for U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year in 2018, when he finished as runner-up, and again in 2020. Adams was also a finalist for Young Male Player of the Year in 2017.
Christian Pulisic, Forward
Already a three-time winner of the award, Christian Pulisic earns his third consecutive nomination and fifth overall. The dynamic attacker showed his consistency throughout 2022, jointly tying for the team lead with five goals and leading the team with three assists, eight overall goal contributions and four Man of the Match selections in 2022. After tallying the third goal in the 3-0 win against Honduras on Feb. 2, Pulisic secured his first career international hat trick, scoring two penalties before a highlight-reel individual effort in the 5-1 win against Panama on March 27 which all but clinched qualification to the World Cup. Pulisic started all four matches at Qatar 2022, playing a part in all three of the team’s goals. In the opening match, it was the 24-year-old who provided the pass for Tim Weah to give the USA a 1-0 lead against Wales. Needing a goal in the group finale against IR Iran, Pulisic sacrificed his body to punch home the game-winner just before halftime. Trailing 2-0 to Netherlands, Pulisic’s pass to Haji Wright gave the USA some hope for an equalizer in the Round of 16 encounter. In the end, Pulisic became just the fourth USMNT player to secure three or more goal contributions at the FIFA World Cup, joining Bert Patenaude (4 goals in 1930), Brian McBride (2 goals, 1 assist in 2002) and Landon Donovan (3 goals in 2010). On the club front, Pulisic registered 39 games, six goals and five assists across all competitions for Chelsea prior to the FIFA World Cup break. Pulisic helped The Blues to runner-up finishes in both the 2021-22 English FA Cup and Carabao Cup, and tallied two goals and an assist in UEFA Champions League play during the calendar year. Pulisic is already a three-time winner of the award, securing the honor in 2017, 2019 and 2021, and finishing as runner-up in 2020. He also claimed Young Male Player of the Year in 2016.
Tim Ream, Defender
Veteran defender Tim Ream earns his second nomination for U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year. After more than a year away from the USMNT, the 35-year-old center back returned to give a hero’s performance and provide more veteran leadership to the young side during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Ream was one of three players to feature in every minute of the tournament for the U.S., anchoring the backline that teamed with goalkeeper Matt Turner to earn two shutouts at a World Cup for the first time since 1930. Along with his calming, defensive prowess at the back, Ream finished with an 89% pass completion rate, good enough for third best among players that started all four matches at the tournament. At 35 years old, Ream became the fourth oldest field player to appear for the USA in a World Cup, coming in behind only 37-year-olds Tom Florie (1934), Fernando Clavijo (1994) and Thomas Dooley (1998). Age has not hampered Ream on the club front either, with the St. Louis native captaining Fulham and appearing in every match of the club’s run to the 2021-22 EFL Championship title and automatic promotion to the English Premier League. For his efforts, Ream was also voted by his peers to the Professional Footballers Association Championship Team of the Season for 2021-22. Back in the Premier League with Fulham, Ream has continued to captain the side, appearing in 13 of a possible 15 matches, helping the club keep three clean sheets en route to a ninth-place position prior to the FIFA World Cup break. In total, Ream has 37 appearances across all competitions for Fulham during calendar year 2022. Ream was previously nominated for U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year in 2019.
Antonee Robinson, Defender
Antonee Robinson is the lone first-time nominee for U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year in 2022. The energetic defender locked down the left back spot in 2021, going on to finish for the team’s joint lead in World Cup Qualifying appearances with 13, tying for the team lead with a career high 14 overall appearances in 2022 and finishing second with 1,122 minutes played during the calendar year. Robinson’s 52nd minute strike helped the USA to a vital 1-0 win against El Salvador in World Cup Qualifying on Jan. 27, earning him Man of the Match honors in the process. Exactly two months later, the active full back popped up with two assists to push the USA to a 5-1 win against Panama and virtually clinch qualification to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Chosen for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Robinson started all four matches in Qatar, playing all but one possible minute after making way as a late-game substitute in the Round of 16 match against Netherlands and led the team with 40 recoveries and seven interceptions across the four World Cup matches. On the club front, Robinson appeared in 18 league matches, registering a goal and assist in the second half of the 2021-22 campaign to help Fulham claim the 2021-22 EFL Championship title and automatic promotion to the Premier League, earning EFL Championship Team of the Season honors in the process. Robinson has continued his impressive display for Fulham in the EPL this season, appearing in 13 of a possible 15 matches, aiding Fulham to a ninth-place position prior to the World Cup break.
Matt Turner, Goalkeeper
Matt Turner earns his second U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year nomination. In just his second year earning caps with the USMNT, Turner cemented his position as the team’s starting goalkeeper leading up to Qatar and finished the year with 11 appearances. Turner’s seven overall clean sheets tie for third most in a calendar year for a USMNT goalkeeper, coming in behind the record of nine he recorded in 2021 and eight kept by Kasey Keller when the veteran netminder won Male Player of the Year in 2005. Turner kept two clean sheets during qualifiers in calendar year 2022, shutting out El Salvador in the 1-0 win on Jan. 27 and Honduras in the 3-0 victory on Feb. 2. Months later, he made a career-high eight saves in the 3-0 friendly win against Morocco, a performance that sent him on his way to claiming the starting spot for the USMNT at the World Cup. In Qatar, Turner was one of three players to feature in all 360 minutes of the tournament for the USMNT, with his shutouts in the 0-0 draw against England and 1-0 win against IR Iran making him just the second U.S. goalkeeper to keep two clean sheets in one edition of the FIFA World Cup, coming after only fellow New Jersey native Jimmy Douglas who did so in the first two matches of the 1930 tournament. Turner finished 2022 with 16 shutouts in just 24 career caps, the most of any USMNT goalkeeper at this point in their career and ranking him sixth all-time, just four back of Brad Guzan who claimed 20 shutouts in 64 career appearances. On the club front, Turner made five appearances with the New England Revolution in the first half of 2022 before securing a $10 million transfer to English Premier League side Arsenal during the summer. Turner has served as the understudy ‘keeper since arriving with the North London club, playing four matches in the UEFA Europa League where he has earned three shutouts and conceded one goal in helping the Gunners advance to the knockout phase of the competition. Turner was previously nominated for U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year in 2021, finishing as runner-up.
2022 CHIPOTLE U.S. SOCCER YOUNG FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
2022 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year Nominee Criteria
As the U.S. Women’s Youth National Team programming returned from its COVID-imposed hiatus, the criteria to be eligible for the 2022 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year returned: any player who played at least one full international match for any of the USA’s Women’s Youth National Teams is eligible for the award. With two Concacaf qualifying tournaments and both the FIFA U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups held in 2022, several excellent candidates emerged. Players can win the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year Award only once.
Onyeka Gamero, Forward
One of the most dynamic attacking players to come along in years, Gamero was a standout player for the U.S. Under-17 Women’s Youth National Team. A fantastic dribbler, scorer and passer, she had six goals for the U-17s this year along with eight assists. Gamero helped lead the USA to a triumphant run at the 2022 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship where the team won all seven games by a combined margin of 58-1. She had five goals and six assists in that tournament, including a key goal in the 3-0 semifinal victory that sent the USA to the World Cup. She was one of the tournament’s best players at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India, terrorizing defenders on the right wing while playing every minute of her three games. She scored in the USA’s World Cup opener against India and picked up one assist in the second group stage match against Brazil. Gamero plays for Beach FC in ECNL, turning out for the U-17s last year and helping her team finish second in ECNL National Championships. She currently competes for the Beach FC U-18/U-19s.
Riley Jackson, Midfielder
One of the most creative and aesthetic young players in the U.S. Women’s Youth National Team programs, the 5-foot-8 Jackson was the one of the co-captains of the U.S. U-17 WYNT in 2022. She helped lead the USA to a triumphant run at the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship where the team won all seven games by a combined margin of 58-1. She scored two goals with three assists from her defensive midfielder position during that tournament, but it was her overall play in running a skillful, creative and entertaining U.S. attack that earned her the Golden Ball as the best player in the tournament. At the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India, the 16-year-old started all four matches and had two assists as the USA won its group but fell in penalty kicks to Nigeria in the quarterfinal despite dominating the match. Jackson ended her U-17 career with 12 caps and two goals. Jackson plays club for Concorde Fire U-18/U-19 and helped team to the ECNL National Championship in July. She was named the ECNL Player of the Year. She plays high school for Blessed Trinity in Roswell, Georgia and was the National High School Player of the Year for 2022.
Olivia Moultrie, Midfielder
Moultrie, who was age-eligible to play in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, was one of the USA’s most consistent players at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica where she started all three games in the midfield, showed savvy and professionalism beyond her years, and had one assist. At the 2022 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship, she started five matches and had two goals and one assist as the USA outscored its opposition 49-0 en route to winning the tournament. Moultrie finished the year with 10 U-20 caps, which included playing in her first FIFA youth World Cup. Moultrie, who holds a place in history as the youngest player to play in the National Women’s Soccer League, helped the Thorns win the NWSL Championship this year. The now 17-year-old midfielder played 708 minutes over 15 matches for PTFC this season, starting eight of them, and had three goals and four assists. Her goals came on June 12 in a 4-0 win over the Houston Dash, on July 16 in a 5-0 win over NJ/NY Gotham FC and Sept. 21 in a 3-0 win vs. Racing Louisville FC. Moultrie’s goal against the Dash made her the youngest goal-scorer in NWSL history, scoring at 16 years and eight months of age. She was a late sub in the 2022 NWSL Championship Game, coming on in Portland’s 2-0 victory over the Kansas City Current.
Jaedyn Shaw, Forward
Shaw made a late run to make the USA’s roster for the 2022 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup Team in Costa Rica and the 17-year-old played in all three matches, starting two. She ended the year with seven U-20 caps and three goals, scoring against Costa Rica, Mexico and the Netherlands, the latter two to help the USA win the Sud Ladies Cup in Aubagne, France. Shaw is age-eligible for the 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. The Texas native had been training with the Washington Spirit for most of the year, but her rights were held by San Diego Wave FC, which signed her on July 17 through the NWSL Discovery Process. Shaw made her NWSL debut on July 30 at Soldier Field against the Chicago Red Stars and scored her first professional goal, the game-winner, just 28 minutes into the match. At age 17, she became the youngest player to score in her first National Women’s Soccer League match. Remarkably, Shaw scored in three of her first four professional matches, finishing the season year with three goals -- one with her left foot, one with her right and one with her head -- in seven games spanning 378 minutes played, helping the Wave reach the NWSL semifinals.
Alyssa Thompson, Forward
Thompson, a dynamic winger who possesses tremendous speed and one-on-one abilities, had a whirlwind fall to say the least. She was one of the standout players for the USA at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in August in Costa Rica, where she had a goal and an assist, and then received her first call-up to the senior National Team for the USA’s October trip to Europe for matches against England and Spain. She memorably earned her first cap when she entered the match against England on Oct. 7 in the 84th minute for none other than Megan Rapinoe. It is unlikely there will be another debut like it, as she ran onto the field at Wembley Stadium in front of 76,893 fans at just 17 years and 334 days old to become became the 70th teenager all-time to earn a cap for the USWNT and the youngest player to debut for the USA since Mallory Pugh’s first appearance in January of 2016 at 17 years and 269 days of age. She also played about 20 minutes against Spain on Oct. 11 to earn her second cap and was called up for the November matches against Germany but was not rostered for either game. Thompson, who plays her club soccer for the U-17 Total Futbol Academy boys’ team in MLS NEXT, is the first player born in 2004 ever called up to the USWNT. Thompson was the youngest player to be called up for a full National Team camp since 16-year-old Sophia Smith was called up in April of 2017 for a training camp. Thompson, who celebrated her 18th birthday in training camp on November 7, had eight U-20 caps in 2022 with four goals and is age-eligible for the 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She helped the USA win the 2022 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship while starting all seven games as the USA outscored its opposition 49-0.
2022 CHIPOTLE U.S. SOCCER YOUNG MALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
Paxten Aaronson, U-20 MYNT Midfielder
U-20 Men’s Youth National Team midfielder Paxten Aaronson helped lead the USA at the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship in Honduras to its third-straight confederation title, its first men’s Olympic berth since 2008 and a ticket to the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Aaronson was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player and also won the Golden Boot as the competition’s top scorer with seven goals. He shone the brightest in some of the team’s biggest moments, bagging a brace in the World Cup-clinching quarterfinal vs. Costa Rica, netting the opener against Honduras in just the third minute before a raucous capacity crowd and adding another two goals in the final against Dominican Republic. The younger brother of USMNT forward Brenden Aaronson, he was one of four U-20s to appear in all 11 of the team’s international matches in 2022. Aaronson’s eight goals led the team in scoring on the year as he also netted a late equalizer in the U-20s’ March friendly draw at Argentina. At the club level, his 24 appearances for the Philadelphia Union marked a career high, while he also saw the field in the MLS Cup Final as a second-half substitute. In addition, the young attacker added five goals for Union II in MLS Next Pro. Following the conclusion of the season, the Union agreed to transfer Aaronson to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga for a multi-million dollar fee.
Chris Brady, U-20 MYNT Goalkeeper
Chris Brady backstopped the U-20 Men’s Youth National Team in a stellar performance at the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship, starting six straight games during the team’s title run and winning the Golden Glove as the competition’s best goalkeeper. The netminder didn’t allow a single goal during the USA’s four-game run through the knockout stage and allowed just two overall across 508 minutes played at the tournament. Brady stood tall to help the USA win its third-straight confederation title, qualify for its first Olympics since 2008 and clinch its World Cup berth, providing a particularly steady presence at the back during the Olympic-clinching semifinal against Honduras in front of a hostile sellout crowd. He was the U-20s’ top goalkeeper throughout the year, compiling a 6-1-2 record as he started nine of the USA’s 11 matches while allowing less than a goal per game. In the club game, Brady earned his MLS debut for the Chicago Fire on Sept. 10, holding the visiting New England Revolution scoreless for 88 minutes before the game ended in a 1-1 draw. He led Chicago Fire FC II goalkeepers in appearances in MLS Next Pro, recording five shutouts in 12 starts and allowing less than a goal per game. With Fire starting goalkeeper Gaga Slonina set to leave the club in the offseason, Brady will have the opportunity to take an even bigger step in MLS this coming season.
Diego Kochen, U-17 MYNT Goalkeeper
Diego Kochen served as an important leader for the U-17 Men’s Youth National Team as the squad returned to the field this year for the first time since early 2020. The Miami-area native started five of the U-17s’ eight matches on the year, including two of three at May’s UEFA Development Tournament in Portugal, where the USA topped the table against Italy, Belgium and Portugal. Kochen split U-17 captain duties with fellow Floridian Tyler Hall during the 2022 campaign. At the club level, Kochen is working his way through the ranks at FC Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. After joining the club in 2021, Kochen spent time training with Barcelona B this summer and has spent this season with the club’s U-18 squad.
Yunus Musah, USMNT Midfielder
Yunus Musah earns his third-straight nomination for U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year. After establishing himself as a USMNT regular in the second half of 2021, Musah achieved career-highs with 12 appearances and exactly 1000 minutes played, the latter of which placed him second behind only Tyler Adams among USMNT midfielders in 2022. The second-youngest player on the U.S. World Cup roster, the then 19-year-old Musah became the first teenager to start a World Cup match for the USMNT against Wales, while his start in the next contest against England made him the only teenager to appear in multiple World Cup games for the team. With Musah turning 20 the day of the match against IR Iran, he set new USMNT highs for teenage players with 20 starts and 1,578 minutes played, while his 21 caps as a teenager equaled the previous mark set by Jozy Altidore and Christian Pulisic. Musah started all four matches for the USA at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, featuring in 345 of a possible 360 minutes. Prior to his turn in Qatar, the young midfielder twice earned Man of the Match honors, in the massive 0-0 draw at Mexico in World Cup qualifying on March 24 and the 1-1 draw at El Salvador in Concacaf Nations League play on June 14. On the club front, Musah registered 39 appearances and one goal and two assists across all competitions for Spanish La Liga side Valencia during the 2022 calendar year. Musah followed Sergiño Dest as the second U.S. international to appear in the Spanish Copa del Rey, coming off the bench in extra time before Valencia fell on penalty kicks to Real Betis. Musah has previously been nominated for Young Male Player of the Year in 2020 and 2021.
Josh Wynder, U-19 MYNT Defender
As the U-19 Men’s Youth National Team returned to the field this year for the first time since 2018, Josh Wynder provided a steady presence on the back line and served as a leader in a highly successful campaign for the squad. The central defender appeared in all five matches for the U-19s, logging 291 minutes during their undefeated campaign and captained the squad twice, tied for the team lead. The U.S. won September’s Slovenia Nations Cup with Wynder appearing in all three matches and providing an assist in the team’s wild 4-3 comeback win against Croatia. The 20-year-old also enjoyed a breakthrough season for Louisville City FC in the USL Championship, making 24 appearances as he finished runner-up for USL Championship Young Player of the Year. Wynder played an important role during Louisville’s run to the USL Championship Final, appearing in all three games of the postseason run, converting his attempt in a penalty kick shootout vs. Pittsburgh to reach the Eastern Conference Final and starting the championship match. He also contributed during Louisville’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup run, converting the decisive 10th penalty during a shoot-out in the tournament’s third round against St. Louis City SC II.