CHICAGO (Wednesday, December 3, 2003) -- Voting for U.S. Soccerâ€™s four prestigious Chevrolet Athlete of the Year awards â€“ Male, Female, Young Male and Young Female â€“ began today at ussoccer.com, where soccer fans around the world have the opportunity to vote once a day through December 31, 2003.U.S. Soccerâ€™s Chevrolet Male and Female Athletes 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. Voting for each of the award candidates is based on: a) competing and excelling at the highest level (both at the National Team and professional level) during the calendar year; b) exhibiting decorum on and off the field which reflects well on U.S. Soccer; and c) contributing toward the growth, development, credibility and popularization of soccer in the USA.
Online votes for the annual awards 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 and U.S. Soccer representatives (from National Team coaches to the National Board of Directors). U.S. Soccer, in conjunction with Chevrolet, will then announce the winners at a press event in January.
The winners of the Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards win their choice of an all new Chevy Malibu or Chevy TrailBlazer, while the Young Male and Young Female winners are honored with $1,000 donated to the U.S. Soccer Foundation in their name.
Chevrolet, the largest division of General Motors Corporation, has been a proud sponsor of U.S. Soccer, U.S. Youth Soccer and state soccer associations since 1997.
U.S. Soccer and Chevrolet created the Young Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards in 1998 to highlight up-and-coming stars within the U.S. Youth National Team system, and in addition to the award criteria above, winners are also selected based on their future potential in the U.S. National Team program. A player may only win the Young Athlete of the Year award once.
The top seven candidates for the four awards are listed below in alphabetical order:
DaMarcus Beasley â€“ M â€“ MNT / Chicago Fire (MLS)
Carlos Bocanegra â€“ D â€“ MNT / Chicago Fire (MLS)
Bobby Convey â€“ M â€“ MNT / D.C. United (MLS)
Landon Donovan â€“ F â€“ MNT / S.J. Earthquakes (MLS)
Tim Howard â€“ GK â€“ MNT / Manchester United (England)
Kasey Keller â€“ GK â€“ MNT / Tottenham Hotspurs (England)
Brian McBride â€“ F â€“ MNT / Columbus Crew (MLS)
Shannon Boxx â€“ M â€“ WNT / New York Power (WUSA)
Joy Fawcett â€“ D â€“ WNT / San Diego Spirit (WUSA)
Mia Hamm â€“ F â€“ WNT / Washington Freedom (WUSA)
Kristine Lilly â€“ M â€“ WNT / Boston Breakers (WUSA)
Cindy Parlow â€“ F â€“ WNT / Atlanta Beat (WUSA)
Briana Scurry â€“ GK â€“ WNT / Atlanta Beat (WUSA)
Abby Wambach â€“ F â€“ WNT / Washington Freedom (WUSA)
Freddy Adu â€“ F â€“ U-17 MNT
Edson Buddle â€“ F â€“ U-23 MNT / Columbus Crew (MLS)
Ricardo Clark â€“ M â€“ U-23, U-20 MNT / MetroStars (MLS)
Ed Johnson â€“ F â€“ U-20 MNT / Dallas Burn (MLS)
Mike Magee â€“ F â€“ U-20 MNT / MetroStars (MLS)
Jonathan Spector â€“ D â€“ U-17 MNT
David Testo â€“ F â€“ U-23 MNT / Richmond Kickers (A-League)
Lori Chalupny â€“ M â€“ U-21 WNT / North Carolina
Ashlyn Harris â€“ GK â€“ U-21, U-19 WNT
Amy LePeilbet â€“ D â€“ U-21 WNT / Arizona State
Joanna Lohman â€“ M â€“ U-21 WNT / Penn State
Leslie Osborne â€“ M â€“ U-21 WNT / Santa Clara
Nandi Pryce â€“ D â€“ U-21 WNT / UCLA
Cat Reddick â€“ D â€“ WNT, U-21 WNT / North Carolina
In addition to voting for the annual Chevrolet awards, fans can still vote daily for the second annual series of â€œBest of U.S. Soccerâ€ awards until the final deadline on Tuesday, December 9. The 2003 â€œBest of U.S. Soccerâ€ awards will be decided entirely by online fan votes.