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
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CHICAGO (March 14, 2019) — U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 20-player roster for the team’s final training camp before this summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup. The USA will face two fellow World Cup participants, beginning with France on Friday, March 22 (10 a.m. ET) and Japan on Monday, March 25 (7 a.m. ET). Both matches will be played at Pinatar Arena in San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain.
“I’m looking forward to our last camp before the U-20 World Cup,” Ramos said. “With competition against two quality opponents, it’s one more opportunity for us to build a strong core and one more chance for the players to leave a good impression in order to be considered for the final 21-player roster. Japan always has highly skilled youth teams and France is always a World Cup contender.”
The games against France and Japan will serve as the U-20 MNT’s final official international matches before they kick off Group D play at the World Cup in Poland. The USA will open against Ukraine on May 24, take on Nigeria on May 27 and finish the group stage on May 30 versus Qatar.
Eighteen of 20 players on the roster - every player born in the U.S. - have spent at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1999 are age-eligible for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup. For this camp, Ramos has called in six players born in 1999, 12 born in 2000 and two born in 2001.
U.S. U-20 MNT Roster by Position (Club or College; Hometown; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (2): C.J. Dos Santos (Benfica/POR; Philadelphia, Pa.; 1/0), Trey Muse (Seattle Sounders FC; Louisville, Ky.; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (6): Sergino Dest (Ajax/NED; Almere-Stad, Netherlands; 6/1), Chris Gloster (Hannover 96/GER; South Orange, N.J.; 9/0), Aboubacar Keita (Columbus Crew SC; Columbus, Ohio; 0/0), Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting Kansas City; Charlotte, N.C.; 5/0), Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.; 8/0), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich/GER; Hoover, Ala.; 6/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Frankie Amaya (FC Cincinnati; Santa Ana, Calif.; 11/1), Christian Cappis (Hobro/DEN; Katy, Texas; 2/0); Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United FC; Powder Springs, Ga.; 5/2), , Chris Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.; 0/0), Alex Mendez (Freiburg/GER; Los Angeles, Calif.; 13/8), Juan Pablo Torres (New York City FC; Lilburn, Ga.; 10/4)
FORWARDS (6): Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC/CAN; Detroit, Mich.; 10/9), Jonathan Amon (Nordsjaelland/DEN; Summerville, S.C.; 0/0), Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona/ESP; Barcelona, Spain; 0/0), Ulysses Llanez (Unattached; Lynwood, Calif.; 9/7), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution; Hamilton, Mass.; 12/6), Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96/GER; San Diego, Calif.; 3/2)
Friday, March 22
U-20 MNT vs. France
Monday, March 25
U-20 MNT vs. Japan
The U-20 MNT previously held its second training camp of the 2018-19 cycle in San Pedro del Pinatar, splitting two games with France’s U-21 squad in March 2018. This year’s two matches will serve as part of the Pinatar Arena Football Festival, an event that will feature 14 international friendlies between 14 U-20, U-21 and U-23 national teams from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. The U.S. U-23 MNT will play Egypt on Friday, March 22 and the Netherlands on Sunday, March 24 as part of the event.
Twelve players return from the U-20 MNT’s title run at the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship, including U.S. captain Matthew Real and tournament Golden Ball winner Alex Mendez. Mendez also went on to win 2018 U.S. Soccer Young Player of the Year, largely based on his stellar performance at the World Cup qualifying tournament. With 13 U-20 caps, the midfielder enters this training camp as the squad’s most experienced player.
- Eighteen different clubs are represented on the roster, with nine players coming from domestic teams and 10 based internationally in Germany (4), Denmark (2), Canada, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain (1 each).
- FC Barcelona forward Konrad de la Fuente is the lone player to make his first U-20 MNT camp appearance.
- The two players born in 2001- de la Fuente and forward Ulysses Llanez- are also age-eligible for the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
- Forward Justin Rennicks has appeared in seven of eight U-20 training camps this cycle, the most of any player.
- Ayo Akinola enters this camp as the team’s leading scorer with nine international goals. The Toronto FC forward scored seven of those goals at the Concacaf U-20 Championship.
- Seven of 20 players have seen minutes with their clubs’ first teams in 2019.
- Goalkeeper Trey Muse recorded a shutout in his first professional start last weekend, manning the net for Seattle Sounders FC’s USL Championship affiliate Tacoma Defiance in a 1-0 victory against Rio Grande Valley.
- Chris Gloster and Sebastian Soto were recently called up to begin training with the Hannover 96 first team.
- Soto has been on a tear since the winter break with Hannover’s U-19 squad, scoring four goals in five games.
- This week, de la Fuente helped FC Barcelona U-19 reach the quarterfinals of the UEFA Youth Champions League, starting and going the full 90 against Hertha BSC.
- The roster includes two former Academy Players of the Year: midfielder Christian Cappis and Muse took home the honor in 2017 at the U-16/17 level for the Central and West Conferences, respectively.
- Seven players were named to 2017-18 Academy Best XIs for their respective conferences- midfielder Frankie Amaya, Llanez, Mendez and Soto in the West plus Cappis, defender Aboubacar Keita and defender Chris Richards in the West.
- Three players have won Academy national championships, both in 2017- Cappis and Richards with Texans SC Houston U-17/18 and midfielder Andrew Carleton with Atlanta United FC U-15/16.