Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
U.S. National Team forwards Jozy Altidore and Abby Wambach have earned U.S. Soccer’s highest award based on their play in 2013.
The two were among five athletes who took home U.S. Athlete of the Year honors from U.S. Soccer on Wednesday, with Altidore taking the men’s honor and Wambach securing the women’s honor. The three others honored were Wil Trapp with Young Male Athlete of the Year, Lindsey Horan with Young Female Athlete of the Year, and Rene Renteria with Disabled Athlete of the Year.
Altidore earns the Male Athlete of the Year award for the first time on the back of a record-scoring summer for the 24-year-old. With the U.S. Men’s National Team, Altidore scored eight times in 2013, including a hat-trick against Bosnia and Herzegovina and a run of five straight games with a goal.
For a record sixth time, Wambach has won the Female Athlete of the Year award. The U.S. Women’s National Team star broke Mia Hamm’s all-time international goals scored record last June and currently has 160 goals. In 2013, Wambach led the USWNT in scoring with 11 goals and was tied for the lead in assists with six. Wambach is currently on the shortlist for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, which she won last year.
Trapp becomes the 16th different player to win the Young Male Player of the Year award, and after being named captain of the American side at the U-20 World Cup in Turkey this past summer, Trapp returned to his club side, the Columbus Crew, and became an instant starter in midfield for the rest of the season.
Horan’s decision to become the first ever USWNT member to forgo college and go professional out of high school has paid dividends as she’s been awarded Young Female Athlete of the Year. Horan, a forward for Paris Saint-Germain, has scored 22 times in 27 games this past year, earning her first caps with the USWNT last March and now featuring as a regular member in training camps.
Renteria earns the Disabled Athlete of the Year after scoring nine goals in 10 games with the U.S. Paralympic Soccer National Team, helping them qualify for the 2015 World Championships.
What do you think of these selections? Do you believe there were any other candidates for the awards? Did you like the selection of Trapp?
Share your thoughts below.