After leading the U.S. in scoring at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup as the red, white and blue’s youngest player at the tournament in 20 years, 15-year-old forward Nimfasha Berchimas has been named a finalist for 2023 Chipotle U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year.
Fans have the opportunity to vote on select U.S. Soccer End of Year Awards, with the fan vote comprising 15% of the total vote. Nominees for all awards are selected by U.S. Soccer’s technical staff. Voting for the awards starts Monday, Dec. 11 and closes on Monday, Dec. 18. The winners will be announced in the weeks that follow.
Let’s take a look at some of Berchimas’ highlights from 2023:
- A breakout star for the USA at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Indonesia, Berchimas was the USA’s youngest player at the FIFA U-17 World Cup (15 years, 267 days) since Freddy Adu in 2003 (14 years, 76 days).
- He announced his presence at the competition with a brace in the opening 3-1 win vs. Korea Republic, becoming the fourth-youngest U.S. player to score at the U-17 World Cup and second-youngest to score multiple goals in a single game. The 15-year-old also helped set up the USA’s other goal, netted by Cruz Medina.
- The winger netted again in the 2-1 win vs. Burkina Faso, rising to a tie for third on the USA’s all-time scoring charts at the U-17 World Cup with Landon Donovan (1999), Mykell Bates (2007), Josh Sargent (2017) and Tim Weah (2017). He also became the 17th player to score in multiple games for the U.S. at the tournament.
- The sixth-youngest player at the U-17 World Cup and just one of seven field players born in 2008 at the tournament, Berchimas helped the USA return to the knockout stage for the first time since 2017 before falling to eventual champion Germany in the Round of 16.
- Made a memorable debut for the U-17s at this fall’s Jezek Cup in the Czech Republic vs. Ukraine. Entering late with the U.S. down 2-1, he equalized in the 88th before netting the game-winner in stoppage time on Sept. 6.
- Was a part of the U-16 MYNT at the International Dream Cup in Fukushima, Japan, adding an assist on the opening goal vs. Japan in a 2-1 win on May 31.
- Charlotte FC’s second Homegrown signing, made his professional debut for Crown Legacy FC in the team’s MLS Next Pro season opener on March 26, becoming the third-youngest to play in the league this season.
- On the year, he made eight appearances and scored his first pro goal on Sept. 17 to boost Crown Legacy to a 1-0 win vs. New England Revolution II.