CHICAGO (Dec. 5, 2017) – U.S. Soccer has announced the nominees for the 2017 U.S. Soccer Young Male, Young Female and Disabled Player of the Year awards.
Voting for the candidates closes on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced throughout the month of December.
After impressive runs to the quarterfinals of both the U-20 and U-17 FIFA World Cups, the Young Male Player of the Year field is laden with talent. The nominees include forwards Josh Sargent and Tim Weah, midfielders Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre and Jonathan Gonzalez as well as defender Erik Palmer-Brown.
Sargent enjoyed an historic year as the first player to receive call-ups to the U-17, U-20 and senior Men’s National Team in the same year. He starred at both Youth World Cups, earning Silver Boot honors with the U-20s in Korea and captaining the U-17s in India. Weah became the first American to score a hat trick in the knockout round of a men’s World Cup, with a triple in the USA’s Round of 16 victory against Paraguay. Adams, de la Torre and Palmer-Brown headlined the U-20s’ run to the quarterfinals in Korea while Gonzalez has been a key component of Liga MX-side Monterrey’s run to the Apertura Finals.
The Young Female Player of the Year field features a stellar crop of talented players who have seen time with multiple age groups in the Youth Women’s National Team program. Forwards Sophia Smith and Savannah McCaskill, midfielders Tierna Davidson and Jaelin Howell as well as defender Kate Wiesner have all shown outstanding play in 2017, with four of the five nominees having already earned their first senior-team call-ups. All have played key roles in preparing for next year’s World Cup qualification at the U-17 and U-20 levels.
Davidson starred in Stanford’s run to the NCAA Championship and South Carolina’s McCaskill also led her team to the College Cup. The three other nominees are plying their trade in the inaugural season of the Girls’ Development Academy. Howell and Smith play for Real Colorado U-18/19, and Smith has the unique distinction of scoring for three different U.S. National Teams this year. Wiesner captained the U-17 WNT this year and leads the team in minutes played while playing club for the LAFC Slammers U-18/19 team.
The Disabled Player of the Year field features key players from the Paralympic National Team’s fifth-place run at the World Championships and the Power Soccer National Team’s runner-up finish at the World Cup. Goalkeeper Sean Boyle, midfielder Drew Bremer and defender Kevin Hensely represent the PNT, while Michael Archer represents Power Soccer.
Boyle had an outstanding run in net at the 2017 World Championships, putting together an 89 percent save percentage while taking on three of the world’s top four teams. Hensley captained the team at the Championships in Argentina, while Bremer is a member of the first Paralympic scholarship class at Clemson University. Archer captained the Power Soccer World Cup team this year, producing 15 goals and 14 assists.
A new voting process was put into place in 2014. Votes are collected from respective National Team coaches, National Team players who have earned a cap in 2017, American soccer league (MLS, NASL and NWSL) head coaches, select media members, former players and administrators.
Players cannot win the Young Male or Young Female award more than once.
The award for Young Male and Young Female Player of the Year was first awarded in 1998 with Josh Wolff and Cindy Parlow, winning for Young Male and Young Female, respectively. The Disabled Player of the Year was first awarded in 2012 with Felicia Schroeder earning the honor.