DeAndre Yedlin is the U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the YSear and Morgan Brian is the U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year. The two were heavy favorites to win the awards after becoming mainstays for the U.S. senior teams and took them home, as expected.
Yedlin blossomed in 2014, playing even better than he did the year before when he was a rookie with the Seattle Sounders. His play got the attention of Jurgen Klinsmann, who handed the right back his first cap in January. By June, he was playing in the World Cup, appearing in three matches as both a right-sided midfielder and a right back. His play there earned him a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur, who he will join in 2015, and he capped it off by helping the Sounders win the Supporters' Shield.
Brian's rise wasn't quite as meteoric. She has been viewed as one of the top young players in the U.S. for years and got her first cap in 2013, but she really broke out in 2014. The midfielder tallied 13 caps despite being the youngest player on the American team and scored two goals in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. That she could do that despite not be a professional is amazing, but that's what she did, going from playing for Virginia -- who she helped lead to the College Cup, scoring the winning goal in the quarterfinals against defending national champion UCLA -- to playing for the U.S.
Normally, Young Athlete of the Year goes to a promising kid who has played well in youth tournaments. This time around, the U.S. has a pair of great players who are getting the job done with the senior national team. They were gimmes to win the awards, and it's a good thing they did take home the hardware because they are exceedingly deseving.