CHICAGO (Dec. 11, 2023) — U.S. Soccer has announced the nominees for its 2023 end of the year awards, which recognize top performers across all its National Teams, including Female and Male Player of the Year, plus Chipotle Young Female and Male Player of the Year. New this year, U.S. Soccer will recognize the Game of the Year, presented by Bud Light, along with Female and Male Deaf Player of the Year and Power Soccer Player of the Year awards to honor outstanding individuals from U.S. Soccer’s newest Extended National Teams. The Cerebral Palsy Female and Male Player of the Year Awards return for the second year, while Player of the Year awards for Female and Male Beach Soccer and Futsal, as well as the ADAPTandTHRIVE Disability Award will be presented for the third time.
Fans have the opportunity to vote for all end of year aƒwards on ussoccer.com and at the links below. The fan vote will account for 15 percent of the overall vote tally, with the rest coming from National Team players, coaches, media, and other constituents.
Voting begins on Monday, Dec. 11 at noon ET and concludes on Monday, Dec. 18 at noon ET. The winners will be announced in January 2024.
VOTE NOW: 2023 End of Year Awards Fan Vote
The 2023 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year nominees are defenders Crystal Dunn, Emily Fox and Naomi Girma, midfielder Lindsey Horan and forward Sophia Smith. U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Matt Turner, midfielder Yunus Musah and forwards Folarin Balogun, Ricardo Pepi and Christian Pulisic make up the field for Male Player of the Year.
The Chipotle Young Female Player of the Year nominees are defender Savannah King, midfielder Olivia Moultrie and forwards Onyeka Gamero, Ally Sentnor and Alyssa Thompson. The finalists for Chipotle Young Male Player of the Year are midfielders Gianluca Busio, Benjamin Cremaschi and Jack McGlynn plus forwards Nimfasha Berchimas and Kevin Paredes.
Five thrilling National Team matches are in the running for the inaugural Game of the Year, presented by Bud Light - the USWNT’s 2-1 victory vs. Brazil to clinch the 2023 SheBelieves Cup, the USMNT’s dominant 3-0 win vs. Mexico in the Concacaf Nations League Semifinal and the trophy-clinching 2-0 victory vs. Canada in the championship match. On the Extended National Teams front, the U.S. Men’s Beach Soccer National Team’s strong 5-0 win vs. Mexico in the 2023 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship Final clinched the red, white and blue’s first tourney title since 2013 and the U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team topped Turkey 3-0 to win its third Women’s World Deaf Football Championship.
FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
All five USWNT nominees played key roles as the U.S. team went unbeaten in regulation time during the entire 2023 campaign and were fixtures for the U.S. at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
After a breakout 2022 earned Smith last year’s U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, the 23-year-old forward put together a stellar 2023 despite missing time for club and country due to injury. Scoring two goals versus Vietnam in the USA’s World Cup opener, she became the youngest player to net a brace in her World Cup debut. On the year, she won the Golden Boot as the top scorer in the National Women’s Soccer League with 11 goals and was named to the league’s Best XI as the Portland Thorns finished second in the league table.
Dunn played all but eight minutes at the World Cup, helping the USWNT hold opponents to just two shots on goal and one goal allowed. She rose to No. 25 on the team’s all-time caps list with 140 international appearances, starting 14 games in 2023. At the club level, she made 19 appearances and scored five goals, her most in league play since 2019, as the Thorns finished in second place in the NWSL.
Earning her first nomination for Player of the Year, Fox was a standout at outside back throughout the year and played all but eight minutes for the USWNT during her World Cup debut in Australia/New Zealand. She finished the year second in minutes played and netted her first international goal, against the Republic of Ireland in April. Traded to the North Carolina Courage before the 2023 season, she helped her club win the NWSL Challenge Cup and finish third in the regular season standings.
The 2020 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year, Girma put together an impressive campaign in central defense during her second year with the USWNT. At the World Cup, she played every minute at center back as the U.S. allowed just one goal and two shots on goal in four matches. The Northern California native finished the year third in minutes played as the U.S. allowed its lowest ever goals against average in a calendar year (minimum 10 games played). With San Diego Wave FC, Girma helped the club win the 2023 NWSL Shield as she won NWSL Defender of the Year honors for the second consecutive year.
Horan captained the U.S. at this summer’s World Cup and was one of the team’s top performers, playing all but seven minutes and scoring the final goal in the USA’s opening victory against Vietnam as well as the crucial equalizer against the Netherlands. Overall in 2023, Horan led the USWNT in starts (17) and minutes played (1478), scoring five total goals and adding an assist to become the 16th player in team history with 30+ international goals and 30+ assists. At the club level, the midfielder moved full-time to European power Lyon after a strong end to the 2022-23 season, helping the team to the league title and French Cup. This fall, she netted her first hat trick for club or country since 2020, against Saint-Etienne.
MALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The five finalists for Male Player of the Year shone as the USMNT took home back-to-back Concacaf Nations League championships in dominant fashion and put together consistent, strong performances as the U.S. kicked off the road to hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
After bursting onto the scene for the U.S. this summer, Balogun earned his nomination after a triumphant year of transition. In May, the 22-year-old officially decided to represent the USA at the senior international level after playing for both England and the U.S. in the youth ranks. He made a memorable debut a few weeks later at the Concacaf Nations League Finals, scoring his first goal in the championship match vs. Canada. On the year, Balogun scored three goals and added two assists. At the club level, he made a $30 million move to Monaco in France’s Ligue 1. Prior to the transfer, he’d finished the 2022/23 club season as Ligue 1’s fourth-highest scorer (21) while on loan from Arsenal at Reims. He has since made an impact at Monaco with four goals and three assists in 12 games thus far this season.
Winner of 2022 Young Male Player of the Year, the effervescent Musah continued his growth as a dynamic midfield presence in 2023. The 20-year-old’s 33 USMNT appearances are the most-ever for a player before their 21st birthday and he earned tournament Best XI honors following the Concacaf Nations League Finals. This summer, Musah made a big move to Italian power AC Milan, where he has helped the club to third place in Serie A and earned his UEFA Champions League debut.
Another of the USMNT’s youngest contributors was one of its most productive in 2023 as the 20-year-old Pepi bagged seven goals in his 10 appearances for the USMNT. Five of those goals came after the 78th minute of play, as El Tren provided an important spark off the bench. In fact, his five goals as a substitute set a record for the most in a calendar year in MNT history. After spending the 2022/23 club season on loan from Augsburg at Groningen and finishing as the Dutch club’s top-scorer (12), Pepi made a move to Eredivisie giant PSV Eindhoven this summer. Pepi has since made his Champions League debut and propelled the club to the UCL knockout stage with the game-winning goal in a 3-2 comeback win against Sevilla on Nov. 29.
Pulisic, already a three-time winner of Male Player of the Year at age 25, earned a remarkable sixth nomination after another standout campaign for club and country. He scored six goals and added three assists for the U.S. this year, highlighted by tallies in each half against Mexico in the Concacaf Nations League Semifinal and an impressive strike against Germany in October. In total, he earned three Bud Light Man of the Match honors. On the club front, the Hershey, Pa. native made a move to AC Milan and has already contributed five goals and three assists to boost the Rossoneri to third place in Serie A.
Turner earned his third-straight Male Player of the Year nomination in his third-straight year as the team’s starting goalkeeper. His third ‘three’ in 2023 – the number of Bud Light Man of the Match performances. In 13 appearances, Turner logged seven clean sheets to bring him to 17 in his career, good for third all-time in U.S Men’s National Team history, and won Best Goalkeeper at the Concacaf Nations League for the second time. He made a move within the Premier League from Arsenal to Nottingham Forest this summer, earning two shutouts in 12 appearances so far this season.
CHIPOTLE YOUNG FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
One of the USA’s youngest players at the 2023 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship, Gamero was a top performer at the tournament, playing in all five games while scoring in the championship match against Mexico and adding two assists. This summer, the 17-year-old signed with Barcelona B in Spain, playing in nine matches and netting two goals with one assist as she adapted to her new club home abroad.
King started all five games at the 2023 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship as the USA punched its ticket to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She kicked off her fall season at collegiate power North Carolina and put together an impressive rookie campaign. She led the team in minutes played and was named All-ACC Second Team and to the conference’s All-Freshman Team.
Fresh off earning her first USWNT cap earlier this winter, Moultrie earned her second consecutive nomination for Young Female Player of the Year. With 10 U-20 WYNT caps from the previous cycle, she’s still age-eligible for the 2024 U-20 WWC but earned her first senior team call-up in October before making her first two appearances in December, both against China PR. The midfielder enjoyed a breakout season with Portland Thorns, playing more than 1200 minutes, scoring two goals and adding three assists while helping the club finish second in the NWSL standings.
A captain for the U.S. at last summer’s FIFA U-20 WWC, Sentnor played in all five games for the U.S. at the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship, scoring four goals and adding two assists, highlighted by a brace vs. Canada to win the group. With North Carolina this fall, Sentnor led the Heels with 11 goals and added seven assists, including four goals and two assists in the NCAA tournament. She was voted ACC Midfielder of the Year and was named to the All-ACC First Team.
Thompson was one of the USWNT’s most exciting young players in 2023, making her senior World Cup debut in Australia/New Zealand. Following injuries to the USA’s attacking corps, Thompson made a late push for the WWC roster, becoming the second-youngest player to represent the U.S. at the tournament at 18 years, seven months and 15 days when she took the field vs. Vietnam. During her rookie NWSL campaign, she made 13 starts and scored four goals while adding two assists for Angel City FC.
CHIPOTLE YOUNG MALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Berchimas was a breakout star for the USA at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, leading the team in scoring as the red, white and blue’s youngest player at the tournament in 20 years. He bagged a brace in the U-17s’ opening victory against Korea Republic and added another versus Burkina Faso to push the U.S. to the knockout stage. The three goals are good for third all-time for the USA at the tournament as he became the team’s fourth-youngest scorer at the U-17 World Cup. He also made his professional debut for Crown Legacy FC in MLS Next Pro and netted his first pro goal in September vs. New England Revolution II.
Twenty-one-year-old Busio earned his third nomination for Young Male Player of the Year after making his return to the senior USMNT at this summer’s Gold Cup after more than a year away. He started four of five games at the tournament and netted his first international goal against Trinidad and Tobago in the group stage. The North Carolina native played in all four of the Men’s Olympic Team’s games to kick off preparations for Paris 2024 this fall, captaining the team in its first game versus Mexico. At the club level, Busio helped Venezia reach the promotion playoffs last spring and has become a fixture this fall as his team is tied for first in Serie B, starting 14 of 15 matches and scoring twice.
A spark in the attack for the U-20 MYNT, Paredes has made major strides in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg and earned his first set of USMNT call-ups this fall. He played in both of the USA’s knockout round matches at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, capping off a spring that saw him make 15 appearances for Wolfsburg and net his first Bundesliga goal on Jan. 28. This fall, he’s continued to be a consistent sub, playing in 10 of 13 games and adding one goal. He made his USMNT debut in September against Oman and has been a part of all three senior team training camps this fall, earning his first start in the Concacaf Nations League Quarterfinals vs. Trinidad and Tobago.
A mainstay during the 2022-23 U-20 MYNT cycle, McGlynn was a key player at the U-20 World Cup, appearing in all five games as the USA became the only nation to reach the quarterfinals of the last four tournaments. He’s appeared in all four matches for the Men’s Olympic Team as it starts to prepare for Paris 2024, logging an assist vs. Japan in October. At the club level, he’s became a stalwart with one of MLS’ best clubs in the Philadelphia Union, making 44 appearances with three goals and four assists.Cremaschi broke out for club and country in 2023, earning his first USMNT cap after a stellar season with Inter Miami playing alongside all-time great Lionel Messi. At the club level, the South Floridian helped Miami win its first trophy at the 2023 Leagues Cup and finish runner-up at the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, playing a key role in both competitions. In September, he picked up his senior international debut vs. Oman before joining the Men’s Olympic Team in October and November, scoring against Iraq in November.
GAME OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY BUD LIGHT
The USWNT clinched its fourth-straight and sixth overall SheBelieves Cup title with a 2-1 victory against Brazil in Frisco, Texas on Feb. 22. A high-energy match from the opening whistle, forward Alex Morgan netted the game’s opening goal in first-half stoppage time, while 2023 Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP Mallory Swanson netted after the break to secure the USA’s sixth-straight victory vs. Brazil.
The Beach MNT secured its first Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship since 2013 with a dominant 5-0 win vs. Mexico on May 14 in the Bahamas. After back-to-back runner-up finishes, the U.S. clinched its third regional championship, taking a 1-0 lead in the first period before adding two in the second and the third from four different goal scorers. Nick Perera, who netted the second goal, won the tournament’s Best Player Award.
The USMNT continued its winning legacy at the Concacaf Nations League with a rollicking 3-0 victory vs. Mexico in the tournament semifinals on June 15. In front of a sellout crowd in Las Vegas, Pulisic netted on either side of halftime and Pepi added a late goal to boost the USA to its fifth-straight regional final. The victory made it a six-game unbeaten run for the U.S. vs. its archrival as Balogun made his USMNT debut.
A few days later, the U.S. locked up its second-straight Concacaf Nations League championship with a 2-0 win vs. Canada. Defender Chris Richards and Balogun became the first and second players to net their first international goals in a tournament final, with both goals teed up by forward Gio Reyna. It marked the USMNT’s third-straight Concacaf championship, following the 2021 Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup.
The U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team continued its winning ways at the 2023 Women’s World Deaf Championship in Malaysia, topping Turkey 3-0. Following a 10-1 semifinal vs. England, the U.S. found its opener in the ninth minute, before doubling the lead in the 38th and adding another just after halftime from forward Emily Spreeman, who took home the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player and Golden Boot as top scorer with 13 goals.
BEACH SOCCER FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The nominees for Beach Soccer Female Player of the Year are Hannah Adler, Ali Hall, and Kilee Quigley. Adler finished as the team’s joint-leading scorer with nine goals in her first year representing the Beach WNT, and tallied the extra time winner in the 5-4 victory against Bahamas to claim the Acapulco Cup. Already a two-time winner of the award, Hall captained the team to a 6-3-0 (W-L-D) record marking the team’s most victories in a calendar year, and finished third on the team with seven goal contributions. Quigley joined Adler in finishing as the team’s joint-leading goal scorer, and also led the side with three multi-goal games.
BEACH SOCCER MALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The nominees for Beach Soccer Male Player of the Year are Chris Albiston, Gabe Silveira, and Chris Toth. One of six players to appear in all 14 matches, Albiston finished 2023 with seven goals and five assists and produced a goal contribution in 10 different matches. Silveira led the team in scoring with a career-high 14 goals in 12 appearances, and scored twice in the 5-0 win against Mexico in the Final of the 2023 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship. Toth joined Albiston as one of six players to appear in all 14 matches and became the first U.S. goalkeeper to earn two shutouts in a calendar year, keeping clean sheets in the 5-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago on April 7 and 5-0 win against Mexico in the 2023 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship Final on May 14.
FUTSAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The nominees for Futsal Player of the Year are Luciano Gonzalez, Diego Moretti, and Zach Reget. Gonzalez scored 11 goals in all competitions for Italian Serie B Futsal side Recanati Calcio in 2023. Moretti captains the Futsal MNT and has provided leadership and support to the young player pool as well as new coaches Hewerton Moreira and Sacha Filippi. Reget collected 18 goals and 13 assists in 18 Major Arena Soccer League appearances during calendar year 2023. All three players participated in both Futsal MNT camps this year.
CP FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEARThe CP Female Player of the Year nominees are Michelle Cross, Jesslyn Kuhnel, and Joey Martin. Kuhnel began playing collegiate soccer at St. Andrews University in North Carolina where she scored one goal in six appearances during her freshman season. Cross represented Disability Athletes in June’s Congressional Soccer Match in Washington, D.C. A leader amongst the group and core player for the future, Martin joined Cross in representing the CPWNT in the U.S. Soccer Store’s first-ever photo shoot for Extended National Team athletes earlier this year. All three athletes participated in the AdaptandThrive Invitational in March.
CP MALE PLAYER OF THE YEARThe CP Male Player of the Year nominees are Josh Brunais, Ben Lindau, and John Sullivan. Brunais was one of three players to appear in all eight matches, and led the team with four assists and six goal contributions in 2023. Lindau was a force in midfield during the 2023 Parapan Am Games, finishing tied for most minutes played. Sullivan’s two assists on the year came in both of the team’s matches against Venezuela at the Parapan Am Games, including the game-winning assist in the Bronze Medal match.
DEAF FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEARThe nominees for Deaf Female Player of the Year are Sydney Andrews, Paige Beaudry, and Emily Spreeman who helped the USA claim its third straight DIFA World Deaf Football Championship in October. Andrews was the central defender in the team’s new three-back setup and teamed with Beaudry to help ensure four clean sheets in six matches at the tournament. Meanwhile, Spreeman spearheaded the USA attack, scoring at least one goal in all six matches and finishing with 13 goals and five assists to claim both the tournament’s Golden Boot as top scorer and Golden Ball as best player.
DEAF MALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The nominees for Deaf Male Player of the Year are Chris Bourdon, Will Frentz, and JP Kanashiro. Bourdon was the only player to feature in all 630 minutes of the 2023 DIFA World Deaf Football Championship and tallied two goals during the team’s time in Malaysia. Having captained the side in Malaysia, Frentz was one of four players to start all seven matches and was integral in the USA’s 1-0 win against England to advance to the quarterfinals. A relentless ball-winner, long-time Deaf MNT veteran Kanashiro continued to disrupt opponents in midfield throughout the tournament.
POWER SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEARThe nominees for Power Soccer Player of the Year are Lexi Heer, Riley Johnson, and Pete Winslow helped the USA earn the Bronze Medal at the 2023 FIPFA Powerchair Football World Cup in Sydney, Australia. Playing mostly a substitute role, Heer led the team in scoring with six goals and one assist, and also made two appearances as a goalkeeper. Co-captain Johnson finished tied for second on the team with five goals and one assist. Winslow showed his revelatory expertise as a set-piece specialist, serving up a tournament-best 15 assists to go along with two goals to help the USA claim Bronze.
ADAPTandTHRIVE DISABILITY AWARD
The nominees for the ADAPTandTHRIVE Disability Award are Joslynn Bigelow (Down Syndrome Sports of America), Randy Corey (TOPSoccer), and MLS WORKS. Bigelow has been a driving force to organize grassroots disability soccer at the national level with multiple organizations. Corey has led TOPSoccer for 25 years and overseen a 900 percent increase in player participation since starting with the program in 1998. As Major League Soccer’s social responsibility platform, MLS WORKS continues to execute national program legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertakes various initiatives that enrich and educate our youth, create sustainable communities, and promote inclusion at all levels of the game.