2018 U.S. Soccer Young Male, Young Female and Player of the Year with a Disability Award Nominees Announced
CHICAGO (Nov. 28, 2018) – U.S. Soccer has announced the nominees for the 2018 Young Male, Young Female and Player of the Year with a Disability awards. Voting for the candidates begins Nov. 28 and closes on Dec. 6 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winner will be announced during the first week of December.
The Young Male Player of the Year field showcases a number of rising stars who have played for the U.S. Men’s Youth National Teams this year. Midfielder Alex Mendez took home the Golden Ball at the 2018 Concacaf Under-20 Championship as the tournament’s best player at just 18-years-old, helping the USA take home its second-straight confederation title. Forward Ulysses Llanez was one of the U-20 MNT’s most-dynamic attacking players at the regional championship, scoring seven goals in six games, while defender Mark McKenzie locked down the back line as the U-20s’ minutes leader in 2018 in addition to a breakout professional campaign with the Philadelphia Union. Midfielder Giovanni Reyna stands as a key figure for the U-17 MNT as it prepares for the 2018 Nike International Friendlies and he spent this summer leading New York City FC U-18/19 to its first U.S. Soccer Development Academy Championship in its first season fielding a team at the age group. Forward Tyler Freeman helped guide the U-16 Boys’ National Team to success at the Torneo delle Nazioni in Gradisca, Italy while also signing one of the youngest Homegrown contracts in MLS history with Sporting KC.
The Young Female Player of the Year field features a group of talented players who have all seen time with U.S. Youth Women’s National Teams this year. Defender Tierna Davidson played with the U.S. U-20 WNT early in 2018 before transitioning to the senior National Team and earned her first 12 caps. U.S. U-17 WNT forward Sunshine Fontes set the U-17 all-time career goal-scoring record this year, while U.S. U-17 WNT midfielder Maya Doms scored the game-winning goal in the title game of the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship, and U.S. U-17 WNT midfielder Sophia Jones was the team’s field general at defensive midfield. Rounding out the nominees is forward Allyson Sentnor, who despite being age eligible for the U.S. U-14 Girls’ National Team this year, played up for the USA’s U-15 and U-16 GNTs and U-17 WNT.
This year’s Player of the Year with a Disability field features Braden Anderson, an up-and-coming midfielder for the Deaf Men’s National Team; Nico Calabria, a forward and goal-scoring captain for the Amputee National Team; Gracie Fitzgerald, a scoring defender for the Deaf Women’s National Team; and Nick Mayhugh, an all-around midfielder for the Para 7-a-side National Team.
Votes for U.S. Soccer Player of the Year awards are collected from respective National Team coaches, National Team players who have earned a cap in 2018, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, select media members and former players and administrators.
Players cannot win the Young Male or Young Female award more than once.
The award for Young Player of the Year was first awarded in 1998 with Josh Wolff and Cindy Parlow (a 2018 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee), winning for Young Male and Young Female, respectively. The Player of the Year with a Disability award was first given in 2012 with Felicia Schroeder earning the honor.Read more
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (Nov. 21, 2018) – The USA was knocked out of the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup following a 4-0 loss to Germany in the final Group C match for both teams. Both teams went into the game needing a win to qualify for the quarterfinals, but in the end, the Germans were far more efficient in their finishing and advanced as first place in the group along with second-place Korea DPR.
After the USA gave up a goal on a direct free kick in the fourth minute, the young Americans put together an energetic response. The USA would have had a comfortable lead in the first half if not for some less-than-sharp finishing and a stellar performance from six-foot Germany goalkeeper Wiebke Willebrandt.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed to be going home and not advancing. Ironically, today was our best performance of the World Cup so far.” head coach Mark Carr said. “It’s a tough result to swallow today, and it’s not reflective of how our players performed. I am so proud of them. They have given everything and executed the game plan to a tee. I thought we were in control from start to finish between both 18s. The difference today was the work done in both 18-yard boxes. We didn't finish our chances and Germany did. Going into the half at 2-1 would have been different and definitely would have given us more momentum, and I’m unsure as to why the goal was disallowed.
“Overall, the cycle has now come to an end, I am proud of the work we have done and impact we have had on our players. This experience won't define our players and now they can fly, spread their wings and use these experiences as a springboard in their future careers.”
In the fifth minute, U.S. forward Isabella D’Aquila shot high on a point-blank chance after midfielder Mia Fishel played a pass back to her in the seam. In the eighth, D’Aquila raced into the box on the left side and played a pass to forward Trinity Rodman who had a wide-open shot, but Willebrandt flew to make a spectacular one-handed save.
In the 13th minute, midfielder Sophia Jones picked off a German pass in the attacking third and two quick passes got D’Aquila in behind the German defense. She put her one-on-one chance low and on frame, but Willebrandt made a brilliant kick save.
In 18th minute, the USA took a tricky free kick, passing from the left side to forward Jordan Canniff inside the penalty box. It caught the Germans off guard, and Canniff had an open shot, albeit from a tough angle, that hit the outside of the left post.
Willebrandt came up big again in the 27th, making a point-blank save on Canniff inside the six-yard box after a cross was flighted in from the right flank and bounced before Canniff volleyed it on frame.
After the USA failed to convert any of those chances, Germany scored its second goal on its second shot-on-goal in the 32nd minute as the Europeans doubled their lead via a counter-attack off a breakaway.
The USA finally put the ball in the net in the first minute of first-half stoppage time through D’Aquila, but it was waved off for a handball on D’Aquila before she shot.
The USA started the second half once again on the front foot, and Fishel worked herself free in the right side of the penalty area in the 49th minute, but shot just wide of the left post.
The USA continued to push forward for a goal but could not produce one and Germany, once again on a counter-attack, earned a questionable penalty kick in the 64th. Ivana Fuso took it and U.S. goalkeeper Angelina Anderson saved the shot with a dive to her right to keep the USA alive. The U.S. pushed forward after the save, but Germany countered right back and seconds later made it 3-0 in the 65th minute to effectively put the match away.
The USA finished the game with 10 players after defender Talia DellePeruta was sent off in the 82nd minute after receiving her second yellow card.
In the 87th, Rodman worked herself free inside the penalty area, but her shot bounced off the inside left post and rolled out of danger, a last sign that it was not to be the USA’s day.
Germany added yet another counter-attack goal in the dying seconds for the final margin.
Goal Scoring Rundown
GER – Vanessa Fudalla, fourth minute
After U.S. defender Michela Agresti chopped down Germany forward Ivana Fuso just outside the penalty area, Germany was awarded a free kick. Fudalla then bent a left-footed kick over the defensive wall and into the lower right corner past diving U.S. goalkeeper Angelina Anderson. USA 0, GER 1
GER – Shekiera Martinez (Ivana Fuso), 32nd minute
Totally against the run of play, Germany counter-attacked down the left side as Fuso played Martinez behind the U.S. back line. Martinez raced into the penalty area and rolled her shot past the onrushing Anderson into the lower right corner to double the lead. USA 0, GER 2
GER – Shekiera Martinez (Ivana Fuso), 65th minute
Immediately after a penalty kick save by Anderson, the USA pushed forward, but Germany won the ball and Vanessa Fudalla hit a long ball over the top of the defense to Fuso, who raced into the penalty box on a breakaway, pulled Anderson out and squared to Martinez, who easily rolled the ball into the right corner to effectively put an end to the match. USA 0, GER 3. FINAL
GER – Laura Donhauser (Ivana Fuso), 65th minute
Germany put in a final goal against a tired and pushed-up U.S. side when Laura Donhauser raced 50 yards with the ball at the U.S. goal, rounded Anderson, and then slid to finish for the final margin. USA 0, GER 4. FINAL
- The USA ends this cycle with an overall international record of 24-4-6, with two of the losses coming in this World Cup.
- The USA out-shot Germany 25-13 over the match, holding an advantage in possession and chances, hitting the woodwork twice while putting eight shots on target to Germany’s seven.
- Germany scored on both its shots on goal in the first half and two of its five in the second.
- U.S. head coach Mark Carr made three subs in the second half, putting on forwards Sunshine Fontes and Payton Linnehan as well as midfielder Maya Doms.
- Fontes finishes the cycle as the USA’s all-time leader in U-17 international goals with 24, scoring 22 this year.