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November 26, 2009
Howard, Bradley, Donovan, Dempsey, Onyewu up for U.S. Scocer men's award

Former Revoluti9on midfielder CLint Dempsey is among the candidates for U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year
Former Revoluti9on midfielder CLint Dempsey is among the candidates for U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Everton Goalkeeper Tim Howard. Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Michael Bradley, LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan, Fulham FC forward Clint Dempsey and AC Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu. have been named finalists for the U.S. Soccer men's athlete of the year.

Two players from the WPS Champion Sky Blue, Forward Heather O’Reilly and defender Christie Rampone were named finalists for the U.S. Soccer women's athlete of the year. Also on the ballot were Shannon Boxx of the Los Angeles Sol, Abby Wambackh of the Washington Freedom and Hope Solo of Saint Louis Athletica.

U.S. Soccer also announced the finalists for the young female, and young male – athlete of the year.

Fans will have the opportunity to make their selections for each of the four athlete of the year categories once a day until Dec. 13.

The male and Female athletes of the year awards are the oldest awards of their kind, dating back to 1984 for the men and 1985 for the women, while the young male and young female awards were added in 1998.

The finalists for each award were nominated on the basis of:

* Competing and excelling at the highest level (at the national team and professional level) during the calendar year

* Exhibiting decorum on and off the field that reflects well on U.S. Soccer

* Contributing toward the growth, development, credibility and popularization of soccer in the USA. A player can only win a Youth Athlete award once in his or her career (past winners).

Online votes for the annual award will be tallied and equivalent to 50 percent of the total votes. As in years past, the other 50 percent will be represented by votes compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives (from national team coaches to the National Board of Directors).

Fans also can vote daily for the eighth annual edition of the Best of U.S. Soccer awards until Dec. 13. The 2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards span 12 categories in an eclectic ballot. The winners of the 2009 Best of U.S. Soccer awards are decided entirely by online fan votes submitted during the next few weeks.

Male Athlete candidates

Michael Bradley, Midfielder
Clint Dempsey, Forward
Landon Donovan, Midfielder
Tim Howard, Goalkeeeper
Oguchi Onyewu, Defender

Female Athlete candidates

Shannon Boxx, Midfielder
Heather O'Reilly, Midfielder
Christie Rampone Defender
Hope Solo, Goalkeeper
Abby Wambach, Forward

Young Male Athlete candidates

Marlon Duran, Midfielder
Luis Gil, Midfielder
Jared Jeffrey, Midfielder
Brian Perk, Goalkeeeper
Tyler Polak, Defender

Female Athlete candidates

Tobin Heath, Midfielder
Christine Nairn, Midfielder
Sydney Leroux, Forward
Kelley O'Hara, Forward
Katie Schoepfer, Forward
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