We suppose it doesn’t matter all that much given the presumptive winner, but the five nominees for the United States male soccer player of the year lead to a bit of head-scratching.
Christian Pulisic, of course, is going to win the awards hands-down after an exceptional year, one of the rare stars in Stars and Stripes to not let down the USMNT in World Cup qualifying.
The men competing for spots Nos. 2-5? Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Jordan Morris, and Clint Dempsey. Of the three, only Morris has failed to win it before (which is not exactly a failure considering his young age).
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In terms of national team play, Bradley led the U.S. in minutes with 1,198 in 2017, with Dempsey’s five goals and four assists only bested by Pulisic’s six and four. Altidore scored four goals with three assists, while Morris has four goals and an assist.
Who can feel the most burnt? Well, DeAndre Yedlin for one, though he only played in six caps thanks to the U.S. going B side for the Gold Cup. Graham Zusi and Geoff Cameron would love shouts, but were limited in playing time.
Here’s a trivia *fun* fact: Can you name the USMNT’s Top Five minute men this season, including No.1 Bradley? Jorge Villafana is second, Darlington Nagbe third, Omar Gonzalez fourth, and Tim Howard fifth.
The Young Male Award, which cannot be won twice, is down to Josh Sargent, Tim Weah, Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre, Jonathan Gonzalez, and Erik Palmer-Brown.
Up for the women’s award? Julie Ertz, Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan, Samantha Mewis, and Megan Rapinoe. Becky Sauerbrunn piled up a team-high 16 matches, tied with Mewis, and probably got the short end of the stick thanks to Rapinoe playing a more glamorous position.