Not surprisingly, Christian Pulisic is a finalist for U.S. Soccer male player of the year again. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Six players were named the finalists for the U.S. Soccer male player of the year, it was annoucned Tuesday.
Defenders Aaron Long, a current Red Bull, and Tim Ream, a former member of the team, midfielders Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic, and forwards Jordan Morris and Gyasi Zardes are on the final ballot.
Voting for the awards started Tuesday and closes Dec. 6 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced during the second week of December.
Long tied for the most starts (14) in 2019, recording three goals and one assist. His two goals against Trinidad & Tobago in the Concacaf Gold Cup marked the first multiple-goal game for a defender in USMNT history.
Showing the capability of playing at both left back and center back, Ream also made 14 starts, serving as captain six times with the team compiling a 4-1-1 record.
With five goals and four assists, Morris played a part of nine of the 16 goals scored in the USMNT’s last five matches. He finished as the leading scorer (4) in Concacaf Nations League A group play.
McKennie tallied five goals and two assists, registering the fastest hat-trick from the start of a game in USMNT history, scoring goals in the first, ninth and 13th minutes in the 7-0 win over Cuba. McKennie’s goal 32 seconds into the match is the second fastest in USMNT history behind only Clint Dempsey’s strike against Ghana at the 2014 World Cup.
Pulisic recorded five goals and three assists in 11 appearances. He earned ussoccer.com man of the match honors a team-leading four times, including twice during the run to the Gold Cup final.
Zardes led all U.S. scorers with six goals, doubling his career total. The Columbus Crew SC striker twice was named ussoccer.com man of the match, posted two multi-goal games and registered two game-winning goals, including in the 1-0 win over Ecuador in March and the 4-1 Nations League victory over Canada in Orlando this month.
Votes for U.S. Soccer player of the year awards are collected from respective national team coaches, national team players who have earned a cap in 2019, members of the U.S. Soccer board of directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, National Women’s Soccer League head coaches for the USWNT and American soccer league (MLS and USL) head coaches for the USMNT, select media members and former players and administrators. In addition, select college coaches vote for the USWNT award.
The male player of the year has been awarded since 1984 when Rick Davis won it. Current U.S. Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart won it in 2001. Landon Donovan holds the record for most awards, winning it four times, while Clint Dempsey won it on three occasions. Pulisic, then 18, became the youngest player to win the award in 2017.