- U.S. Soccer Reveals Winners for Best Goal, Best Photo, Best Performance: Team and Best South Africa Moment, Brought to You by Budweiser
- Studio 90 Reveals the Winners on ussoccer.com and Interviews Men's National Team Midfielder Landon Donovan
- Eight More Winners to be Unveiled Wednesday and Thursday, Followed by 2010 Athletes of the Year on Monday, Dec. 20
CHICAGO (Dec. 14, 2010) â€” U.S. Soccer has announced the first four winners of the 2010 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards following the conclusion of voting on ussoccer.com. The winners of Best Goal, Best Photo, Best Performance: Team and Best South Africa Moment, brought to you by Budweiser were unveiled on ussoccer.com's popular web show Studio 90. Eight more winners will be revealed Wednesday and Thursday.
The ninth annual installment of the Best of U.S. Soccer Awards was decided entirely by fan ballots cast from Nov. 22 to Dec. 10 on ussoccer.com.
Following the unveiling of the 2010 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards, U.S. Soccer will announce the winners for the 2010 Athlete of the Year Awards on Monday, Dec. 20.
It was no surprise the U.S. Men's National Team's exploits at the 2010 FIFA World Cup dominated this year's ballot, and all four awards handed out today revolved around the USA victory against Algeria that made an indelible impression on the American public.
â€œWhen you put it in the context of everything else and what it all meant there was a lot of relief and obviously a lot of excitement,â€ said U.S. midfielder Landon Donovan while speaking on Studio 90 where he accepted the award for Best Goal, Best South Africa Moment, brought to you by Budweiser and, on behalf of the U.S. Men's National Team, Best Performance: Team. â€œThe image I have that will always last is turning my head, looking towards our bench and seeing a bunch of guys sprinting toward the corner. It was pure enjoyment and a really cool moment.â€
â€œKnowing people back home really cared made it a lot more special. The minute we arrived in Washington, D.C. there were people who recognized us. We started to realize pretty quickly this was a little different than it had been in the past.â€
Best South Africa Moment, brought to you by Budweiser pitted four lasting memories from the 2010 FIFA World Cup together for the fans to decide which one made the biggest mark this year. Unsurprisingly, â€œDog Pile for the Ages,â€ which signified the USA's win against Algeria, topped the polls with 53 percent of the vote. In second place was â€œU.S. Fans Unite Back Home,â€ which recognized the support of U.S. fans gathering in locations across the country to cheer on the USA during the tournament in South Africa. The memorable video showing fans around the world celebrating Donovan's goal gathered 39 percent of the vote.
Donovan's game-winning strike against Algeria was recognized as this year's Best Goal, garnering a landslide 54 percent of the vote. The Group C decider far outpaced two equally significant goals from the World Cup: Donovan's first goal against Slovenia (11 percent) and Michael Bradley's game-tying strike from the same match (9 percent) that kept the USA's hopes alive at the tournament.
The USA's last-minute victory against Algeria also earned the Best Performance: Team award with 40 percent of the vote, marking the second year in a row a MNT victory in South Africa topped the category. In 2009 it was the USA's victory against FIFA World Cup Champions Spain that earned the plaudits of voters. The USA's come-from-behind draw against Slovenia earned second place (19 percent) while the U.S. Women's National Team's emphatic 4-0 victory against Germany (12 percent) was recognized by voters as the third best team performance of 2010.
Best Photo went to â€œThe Pile,â€ which captured the USA in the midst of a rapturous celebration next to the corner flag on the Loftus Versfeld field. The winning photograph earned 27 percent of the vote to beat out â€œThe Goalâ€ (20 percent), and â€œAcademic,â€ (11 percent) a photo from the 2010 Development Academy U-15/16 Championship in Carson, Calif.
The next four awards for Best Academy Story, Best Fan Costume, Best Performance: Player, and Best Soccer Specialty Store will be presented on Wednesday, Dec. 15 on ussoccer.com. The remainder of the 2010 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards will be handed out on Thursday, Dec. 16 and the 2010 Athlete of the Year Awards will be announced early next week.
The four awards include Male, Female, Young Male and Young Female Athletes of the Year. As the oldest and most prestigious awards of their kind, U.S. Soccerâ€™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 counted for 50 percent of the total, while the remaining 50 percent was compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives, including National Team coaches and members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors.
2010 Best of U.S. Soccer Results â€“ Best South Africa Moment Brought to You by Budweiser, Best Goal, Best Performance: Team, Best Photo
Best South Africa Moment, brought to you by Budweiser
|1. Dog Pile for the Ages||53%|
|2. U.S. Fans Unite Back Home||39%|
|3. Bill Clinton Hangs Out in the Locker Room||5%|
|1. Landon Donovan, June 23 vs. Algeria||54%|
|2. Landon Donovan, June 18 vs. Slovenia||11%|
|3. Michael Bradley, June 18 vs. Slovenia||9%|
Best Performance: Team
|1. U.S. MNT vs. Algeria, June 23||40%|
|2. U.S. MNT vs. Slovenia, June 18||19%|
|3. U.S. WNT vs. Germany, May 22||12%|
|1. The Pile||27%|
|2. The Goal||20%|