CHICAGO (Jan. 10, 2024) – As part of U.S. Soccer’s continued efforts to celebrate the game in all its forms, the Federation today announced the eight winners of the Extended National Teams’ 2023 Player of the Year awards.
The 2023 Extended National Team Player of the Year winners are:
- Hannah Adler - Female Beach Soccer Player of the Year
- Gabe Silveira - Male Beach Soccer Player of the Year
- Luciano Gonzalez - Futsal Player of the Year
- Michelle Cross - Female CP Player of the Year
- Josh Brunais - Male CP Player of the Year
- Emily Spreeman - Female Deaf Player of the Year
- Chris Bourdon - Male Deaf Player of the Year
- Riley Johnson - Power Soccer Player of the Year
Seven of the eight Athletes of the Year are first-time winners, with only Michelle Cross repeating as Female CP Player of the Year. This is the inaugural year the Federation is awarding the Female Deaf, Male Deaf and Power Soccer Player of the Year awards.
"Although we always promote a team-first culture within our squads, I enjoy this time of year when we can recognize and celebrate individual player commitment and excellence in the sport," said Stuart Sharp, U.S. Soccer Senior Director of Technical and Grassroots. "I am especially pleased to see so many new names on the winner’s list, which is a testament to each of the players’ hard work over the past year, but also a nod to the increased levels of our talent pool with each of our Extended National Teams.”
- READ MORE: Previous Player of the Year Winners
The 2023 Player of the Year award winners were determined via a weighted vote that took place from December 11-18, 2023. Votes were weighted as follows:
- 45 percent -- Athletes that earned a cap for their respective national team during 2023
- 40 percent -- Coaches, Support Staff, U.S. Soccer Athlete Council, and Board of Directors
- 15 percent -- Online fan vote
Hannah Adler – Female Beach Soccer Player of the Year
A former professional player who appeared in the UEFA Champions League with Danish side HB Køge and domestically for the NWSL’s Racing Louisville, Hannah Adler (Santa Barbara, Calif.) claims 2023 Female Beach Soccer Player of the Year in her first year with the Beach WNT. Adler finished as the team’s joint-leading scorer with nine goals in as many appearances during 2023 and was instrumental throughout the year, recording a goal in each of the team’s first six matches, including braces in the 7-2 win against Trinidad and Tobago on April 7 at ANOC World Beach Games Qualifying and 7-2 victory against England on April 14. The University of Denver product was one of six players to appear in all nine matches during 2023, and capped the year with another goal against England, aiding in the 4-2 comeback win to claim third place at October’s Women’s Mundialito tournament in Spain. Adler’s nine goals in 2023 tied Kilee Quigley for the most by a USBWNT player in a calendar year.
“I feel incredibly honored to receive this award,” Adler said. “The Beach WNT coaching staff took a chance on me last February and I’m grateful they gave me the opportunity. The support from every one of my teammates, staff members, and the beach soccer community has been amazing. It’s such an honor to represent the United States, but also to be around a group of women that pushes me to be my best every day. This is just the beginning of my beach soccer career and I’m excited to continue to learn and grow in 2024.”
The second player to win Female Beach Soccer Player of the Year since its establishment in 2021, Adler claimed the award with 40.5 percent of the weighted vote.
Gabe Silveira – Male Beach Soccer Player of the Year
After finishing as runner-up in 2022, Gabe Silveira (San Francisco, Calif.) claimed his first Male Beach Soccer Player of the Year award. Having led the team with a career-high 14 goals, Silveira showed steady consistency throughout 2023, finding the back of the net in 11 of his 12 appearances. Silveira’s performance at the at the Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship, where he led the team with eight goals and had two goal contributions, carried immense weight. Having recorded a goal and assist in each of the group stage wins against Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and Panama, respectively, he bagged a brace in the USA’s 5-4 quarterfinal win against Costa Rica and recorded a goal and assist in the 5-2 semifinal win against El Salvador before finding the back of the net twice more in the 5-0 win against Mexico to claim the Concacaf crown.
With the Beach MNT currently in camp in Sao Luis, Brazil, Silveira learned of winning Player of the Year during a team meeting on Tuesday night.
“I’m definitely happy about the award, but I have to say that both Chris Albiston and Chris Toth were just as deserving,” Silveira said. “I’ve worked extremely hard over the years, and so it definitely feels good to be recognized in this way. I’m thankful to my Beach MNT teammates and the coaching staff for helping me earn this award, and it gives me even more motivation to succeed at next month’s Beach World Cup.”
Silveira is second player to earn Male Beach Soccer Player of the Year since its establishment in 2021 and won the award with 34.2 percent of the weighted vote.
Luciano Gonzalez – Futsal Player of the Year
Luciano Gonzalez (Mendoza, Argentina and Stratford, N.J.) earns his first Futsal Player of the Year award. Now in the midst of his eighth season playing in the Italian Football Federation's (FIGC) Calcio a 5, in the spring Gonzalez helped lead Recanati Calcio to the 2022-23 Campionato Nazionale di Serie B promotion playoff final against AMB Frosinone, tallying 11 goals in all competitions along the way. After representing Boston-based Safira Futsal at the 37th U.S. Futsal National Championships, Gonzalez began the 2023-24 season with Serie B side Buldog TNT where he made three appearances before sustaining an injury that kept him out of action toward the end of the year. Last week, Gonzalez transferred to Serie A2 side Sammichele, where he debuted over the weekend. He will join the Futsal MNT for the upcoming training camp to be held Jan. 14-19 in Rome, Ga.
“I want to thank my teammates, technical staff and everyone who chose me as Futsal Player of the Year,” Gonzalez said. “When hard work and dedication are recognized, it means that you are on a good path and it allows you to keep pushing in the same direction. This gives me extra motivation to win the Concacaf Championship in April and be able to celebrate it with my teammates. Without them, none of this would be possible.”
The third different player to win Futsal Player of the Year since its establishment in 2021, Gonzalez won the award with 53 percent of the weighted vote.
U.S. Soccer will award a Female Futsal Player of the Year award when the U.S. Women’s Futsal National Team begins playing international matches.
Michelle Cross – Female CP Player of the Year
Michelle Cross (Mission Viejo, Calif.) wins Female CP Player of the Year for the second-straight year. The only player to feature in every minute of the 2022 IFCPF World Cup, Cross represented Disability Athletes in June’s Congressional Soccer Match in Washington, D.C. Along with participating in CP WNT camp during the AdaptandThrive Invitational last March, she showed her prowess as a two-sport athlete, competing in Track and Field at the 2023 Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile, where she placed fifth in the women’s 200 meters.
“I am honored to be selected as Female CP Player of the Year for a second year in a row,” Cross said. “I want to thank all who voted for me, but especially my teammates, because we are all deserving of this accolade and I feel privileged to have been able to compete with them the past few years. Being on this team is a way for all of us to bring awareness to the disabled community and ensure that we support inclusiveness not just in sports, but all aspects of life.”
Cross won the 2023 Female CP Player of the Year award with 51 percent of the weighted vote.
Josh Brunais – Male CP Player of the Year
A long-time member of the CP Men’s National Team, defender and captain Josh Brunais (Stafford, Va.) claims his first Player of the Year award. One of three players to appear in all eight matches in 2023, the defender showed prowess at both ends of the field, leading the team with four assists, six goal contributions, and 420 minutes played. After providing an assist in the 2-0 win at Australia to open the year back in February, Brunais was a force for the team during the 2023 Parapan Am Games in Chile. The veteran had a strong showing in the 6-0 win against Canada, scoring two goals and recording two assists in the contest that ensured the USA would play for a medal before providing another assist in the 3-0 win against Venezuela to claim the Bronze Medal. Brunais helped the USA to four clean sheets in 2023, as well as limiting all opponents to two goals or less during the other four matches.
Long-time American soccer television host and fan of the U.S. Men’s CP National Team, Rob Stone surprised Brunais with the news that he won the award earlier this week.
“I am grateful for my hard work throughout the year to be recognized, but knowing that I make a positive impact for my team is the true reward,” Brunais said. “Thank you to my coaches, fellow teammates, and U.S. Soccer for their support and helping me grow on-and-off the field.“
The second player to win Male CP Player of the Year since its establishment in 2022, Brunais claimed the award with 60 percent of the weighted vote.
Emily Spreeman – Female Deaf Player of the Year
Leading the line for the USA throughout the 2023 DIFA World Deaf Football Championships, Emily Spreeman (Fountain Valley, Calif.) is the first winner of Female Deaf Player of the Year. Spreeman showed her unrelenting attacking prowess throughout the tournament, scoring at least one goal in each of the six matches. She began by registering back-to-back hat tricks in the opening two matches, tallying four goals and two assists against Japan and three goals and one assist versus Turkey. Spreeman then recorded braces in each of the final two group stage matches against England and Poland to finish the group stage with 11 goals and three assists. As teams began to focus more on her in the knockout stage, she shifted to a provider role in the semifinal against England, dishing two assists to go along with her single strike. Facing a tough Turkey side in the final that set up in a defensive posture, Spreeman put an exclamation point on the team’s performance in Malaysia, scoring the final goal in the 3-0 win to help the USA earn its third-straight World Championship title. With 13 goals and five assists, the veteran striker also claimed her second career Golden Ball and Golden Boot.
“Any one of the three players nominated was deserving, so I am incredibly honored to have won this award,” Spreeman said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without my teammates and the staff, who always show up, put in the work, and have pushed me to be the best version of myself in this game. I would also like to thank my family for their encouragement and support. Without them, this would not have been possible.”
Spreeman earns the 2023 Female Deaf Player of the Year award with 54 percent of the weighted vote.
Chris Bourdon – Male Deaf Player of the Year
Winger Chris Bourdon (San Diego, Calif.) is the inaugural Male Deaf Player of the Year after competing in his first tournament with the U.S. Men’s Deaf National Team at the 2023 World Cup in Malaysia. Bringing a consistent energy throughout the tournament, Bourdon was the only player to feature in all 630 minutes in Malaysia, where he tallied two goals -- in the 3-2 group stage defeat to Egypt on Sept. 25 and one in the 2-2 draw with Iran in the first placement match on Oct. 3. Playing a majority of his minutes on the left wing, Bourdon used his pace, mobility and technical savvy to constantly create fits for defenders throughout the tournament.
“I’m very grateful to U.S. Soccer, my teammates, and coaches for helping me make this possible,” Bourdon said. “I’m also thankful for my family and friends whose support has helped get me where I am today. I’m excited for the future with the U.S. Men’s Deaf National Team and now we move forward and look to win the Deaf Pan American Games this fall.”
Bourdon wins the 2023 Male Deaf Player of the Year award with 48 percent of the weighted vote.
Riley Johnson – Power Soccer Player of the Year
Co-captain of the U.S. side at the 2023 FIPFA Powerchair Football World Cup, Riley Johnson (Saint Cloud, Minn.) is the first winner of U.S. Soccer’s Power Soccer Player of the Year award. The veteran appeared in nine of 11 matches at his second World Cup, finishing tied for second with five goals while adding one assist. After tallying in the opening 5-0 win against Australia and 3-0 victory against Northern Ireland, Johnson scored the USA’s first two goals and earned Player of the Match honors in the 3-1 victory against England, a result that propelled the team to a second-place group finish. Johnson again scored in the 2-0 win against Uruguay, and showed his leadership qualities on the final day. After a disappointing 1-0 defeat to England in the semifinal, he refocused the squad ahead of the Third-Place Match and provided the opening third minute assist to Lexi Heer, spurring the USA to a 2-1 win against Argentina to claim the Bronze Medal in Sydney.
“It’s an honor to receive this award, but the biggest honor is that I get to be part of a team that has my back on and off the court,” Johnson said. “U.S. Soccer has already had a big impact on the Power Soccer National Team and it’s only going to get better. I’m excited for the opportunities that lie ahead for future athletes and teams.”
Johnson claims the first Power Soccer Player of the Year award with 37 percent of the weighted vote.
About the U.S. Soccer Federation
Founded in 1913, U.S. Soccer has been the official governing body of the sport in the United States for more than 100 years. As U.S. Soccer looks toward the future amid an unprecedented moment of opportunity, we’ve aligned our efforts around five strategic pillars: Grow the game by increasing youth and adult participation and accessibility to the sport; Foster the best playing environments through quality of referees and coaches, increase DEIB and participant safety; Develop winning teams through solidified pathways and success of professional leagues; Grow the soccer economy to fuel reinvestment by increasing membership, fandom and commercial success; and Create a world-class organization through revitalized structure and culture, best-in-class talent, progress in DEIB, and more. For more information, visit ussoccer.com/ourvision.