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Donovan wins again as U.S. Soccer names Athletes of the Year

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It's been a season full of individual awards for Landon Donovan, and the Los Angeles Galaxy star added another one to his 2009 tally, as U.S. Soccer named Donovan the Male Athlete of the Year for the third time.

Surprisingly enough, it's the first time Donovan has won the award since 2004, when he won it two years running. This season was one of Donovan's best, as he helped the Galaxy to the MLS Cup and the U.S. qualify for South Africa. With the win, he also equals the award tally of three set by Kasey Keller.

U.S. Women's National Team Goalkeeper Hope Solo earned on the Female Athlete of the Year award after a banner season for both club and country. Solo was named the WPS Goalkeeper of the Year, minding net for St. Louis during the WPS' inaugural season. Back in March, she also earned MVP at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.

Two rising stars earned the Young male and female awards. Luis Gil of the U.S. U-17 squad was named the male recipient, while Tobin Heath of North Carolina and the women's national team rounded out the quartet of winners.

What do you think of the winners? Surprised by any of the winners?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. you could basically make that same arguement for Lil’ Bradley; but lets not fool ourselves, we have seen the national team sans Donovan, its not pretty.

  2. I will have to say this had to be one of the closet races, with Donovan, Dempsey, and Howard having an amazing year. I am a huge Dempsey fan, but as a fan of Bayern Munchen I was hoping Donovan would have the year of this life, which did not happen. When it comes to Howard, he is probably the 2nd best keeper in all of England right now, only behind fellow American Brad Friedel. Dempsey, is having a good season at Fulham, and you have to admit its only a good season, if he had about 10 goals right now, then he would be having a great season. Donovan was scoring goals like crazy in the MLS, yes its only the MLS, but hey I think the MLS is now up to the same level as the Championship in England, and the man was also scoring the goals for the US. Donovan was our player of the year only beating out Howard, because of Everton’s season right now.

    My top 5:

    1- Donovan

    2- Howard

    3- Dempsey

    4- Davies

    5- Onyewu

  3. Fulham hasn’t been so “second tier” as of lately… Howard on the other hand, while his defense is non-existent, 5-0, 6-0… I mean he’s gotta take the blame for some of that.

  4. Sorry, but if we hadn’t had Donovan, this year would have been pretty bleak. This rewards him for all he did off the ball, his hard work, his leadership. Yes, Clint scored some goals, but he was so damn lazy and ineffective in every other minute of every other game that he couldn’t come close. Donovan finally reached maturity this year, so cheers, Landon. By far the best year you’ve had.

  5. South Africa? Don’t you mean Germany?
    It should be awarded to Howard, he’s the most world-class player. Don’t believe me? Look at the facts. He starts for a world-class side in Everton and is one of the best keepers in England. Dempsey plays for a second-tier side. Donovan is unproven. Trying to make the argument that it’s based on national performance? Tim Howard made loads of saves against Spain, the number one team in the world. You could argue that USMNT’s weakest point is the defense, but Howard holds his own. Donovan may have great achievements in America, but the best American soccer player is Howard.

  6. If this award was about BIG MOMENTS, dempsey would win for sure, followed by Howard I guess.
    But Dempsey was not as consistent as Donovan throughout the year in his contributions.
    Involved in both goals in 2-0 Mex WCQ
    Involved in all 3 Altidores 3-0 T&T WCQ
    Convert PK in CRC 3-1 WCQ
    Convert PK in HON 2-1 WCQ
    Assist Davies (with swine flu) Mex 2-1 WCQ
    Assisted Demp&Alti in El-Sal 2-1 WCQ
    Assists Clark in 1-0 T&T WCQ
    Scored and assist Casey in 3-2 HON WCQ
    Invovled in Bradley’s goal and served Bornstein for 2-1 over CRC WCQ

    So yeah, he was only involved in at least 15 of our 19 f’n WCQ goals for 2009.

    He also scored 2 goals, assisted Bradley’s Egypt goal, and set up Dempsey’s spain goal. So 4 of our 8 CC goals…

    want more?

  7. M’eh…. Same old story.

    Everyone knows Landon’s the best field player, although Howard had the better year… setting Everton shutout records, reaching the FA Cup final thanks to his two hands, achieving same victories for MNT as Landon. Landon did have a goal or assist per game for the MNT in each game he played, which is a pretty good record IMO.

    I would have voted for Landon.

  8. Yeah Clint has been good, but I wouldn’t say he “led” his team to the Europa league. Fulham’s success was more defensive than offensive. I’d also say that his tendency to produce performances for the USMNT that look lackadaisical may have hurt him with voters. Do you know why? Because that’s why I didn’t vote for him.

    Donovan earned my vote when he was killing himself in the Italy and Brazil losses. He and Onyewu were the only players, in my opinion, playing with any fire. Then USA-Egypt and USA-Spain happened. I love Clint, but a really strong argument can also be made for Donovan.

  9. I agree with those that have already said it. When you take into account National Team play and Club team play Dempsey had a better year. I can live with Donovan winning the Honda player of the year award because it is only Nats based and Donovan was a beast through qualifying but Dempsey led his club in scoring in the league, which many consider the best in the world. He is playing in Europe’s second best club competition and is a goal behind Zamora for the team lead in the Prem again this year. He won the Bronze ball and is banging goal/assists against the likes of Liverpool, Man City, and Man U.

    Heck after leading Everton to 5th place and the FA Cup final I would give it to Timmy to before Donovan.

  10. Donovan can have his Mickey Mouse trophy room… Clint Dempsey is the one getting quality European experience and making a name for himself.

  11. good point. i hate to be a mls/lando hater but what if Clint was still with New England and tearing up the league; i bet he would win all kinds of awards.

    not 100% sold on him as the best US Soccer player of the year, but a good argument

  12. win the bronze ball in a FIFA competition, lead your club team to a Europa spot and in goals, and you get zilch. Clint was robbed, in my opinion. Many of us (including me) have dogged him for hislapses and at times, sloppy play but he was the best US soccer player in 2009.


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