Yesterday, U.S. Soccer announced the nominees for the end of year player awards, including Women’s Player of the Year, Women’s Young Player of the Year, Men’s Player of the Year, and Men’s Young Player of the Year.
Voting for the award will run through December 16th, with the winners announced on December 18th. Voting for the men’s awards will come from all United States Men’s National Team players who earned a cap in 2020, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, MLS and USL head coaches, select media members and former players and administrators.
With the USMNT only playing 4 matches in 2020 (ending with an unbeated 3-0-1 record), club performances factored heavily into determination for the finalists for each award.
Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), and Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC) are the nominees for Male Player of the Year. Tyler Adams had a great year for RB Leipzig, including making history by scoring the game winner in the Champions League quarterfinal against Atlético Madrid. Sergiño Dest became the first American to play and score a goal for Barcelona after moving there from Ajax in October.
Weston McKennie became the first person to play and score for Juventus after moving there this fall on loan from Schalke 04. He also carried Schalke on his back after the coronavirus restart in the Bundesliga, helping them avoid relegation. Jordan Morris had 18 goals and assists for Seattle this season as they get ready to play in the MLS Cup Final on Saturday. Christian Pulisic has been on a tear for Chelsea, elevating his game to be one of the bright stars in all of the Premier League. He also became the first USMNT player to score in a FA Cup final. Gyasi Zardes scored 12 goals for Columbus, leading them to face Morris and the Sounders in the MLS Cup Final on Saturday.
Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), and Chris Richards (Bayern Munich) are the finalists for the Men’s Young Player of the Year. The Philadelphia Union have two guys on this list in Aaronson and McKenzie, who balled all season long in leading the Union to the Supporters’ Shield. Yunus Musah broke out with Valencia this year and became the first USMNT player to start two matches before their 18th birthday when he made his debut last month against Wales and Panama. Gio Reyna broke into young stardom with Borussia Dortmund this year, earning his first call up last month. Chris Richards finally broke into the Bayern Munich first team in the fall, but also helped Bayern II to the league title in the spring.
Of the finalists in both categories, Christian Pulisic is the only one to have previously won the award. He became the youngest player to win the Men’s Player of the Year as an 18-year-old in 2017. Sergiño Dest won last year’s Young Player of the Year award.
Hit the comments to discuss who you think should win each of these end of year awards, and who you think ultimately takes home the trophies.