November 20, 2014
TIM HOWARD'S THE MAN
Goalkeeper wins 2nd Athlete of Year awardd
CHICAGO - Goalkeeper Tim Howard has been voted the 2014 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year. This is Howard's second AOTY win, previously earning the honor in 2008.
The three-time FIFA World Cup veteran becomes the fifth player to win Male Athlete of the Year on multiple occasions, joining defender Marcelo Balboa (1992, 1994), goalkeeper Kasey Keller (1997, 1999, 2005), forward Landon Donovan (2003, 2004, 2009, 2010) and forward Clint Dempsey (2007, 2011, 2012).
"It's an honor. I know the winners on the list who have come before me, so it's special to have my name up there," Howard said. "The whole ride with the team for about a month and a half, when we got together for training camp and we flew down to Brazil, we had a really good time and that made 2014 so special to me."
A new voting process took place this year, with votes collected from Men's National Team players who earned a cap in 2014, Men's National Team and Youth Men's National Team coaches, Major League Soccer and North American Soccer League head coaches and select former players, administrators and media members. Howard received 64 percent of the tabulated votes, followed by Jermaine Jones (19 percent) and Kyle Beckerman (11 percent).
Howard became the USA's all-time leader in career wins with 55 (breaking Keller's record of 53) and goalkeeper appearances with 104 (breaking Keller's record of 102). He also had a memorable 2014 FIFA World Cup that included a tournament-record 15 saves during the USA's 2-1 overtime loss to Belgium in the first knockout round on July 1.
The U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year has been awarded since 1984, when midfielder Rick Davis earned the first honor.
Also on Thursday, U.S. Soccer unveiled its nominees for 2014 Young Male Athlete of the Year, Young Female Athlete of the Year and Disabled Athlete of the Year. The nominees in each category are:
Young Male Athlete: Mukwelle Akale, midfielder; Emerson Hyndman, midfielder; Christian Pulisic, midfielder; Haji Wright, forward; DeAndre Yedlin, defender
Young Female Athlete: Morgan Brian, midfielder; Rose Lavelle, midfielder; Samantha Mewis, midfielder; Mallory Pugh, midfielder; Katelyn Rowland, goalkeeper
Disabled Athlete: Meghan Maiwald, Deaf Soccer; Natalie Russo, Power Soccer; Gavin Sibayan, Paralympic Soccer
The nominees for U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year will be named in the coming days.