For the second time in three years, Christian Pulisic won top honors from U.S. Soccer. (Quinn Harris-USA TODAY)
CHICAGO – For the second time in three years, midfielder Christian Pulisic was named the U.S. Soccer male player of the year, the organization announced Thursday morning.
Already the youngest to earn the honor when he first won in 2017, Pulisic also became the youngest to win the award for a second time (21 years, 85 days), besting Landon Donovan (22 years, 293 days) when he won in 2004.
One of 25 players to win the award since was instituted in 1984, Pulisic also became the seventh player to earn the honor more than once, following Donovan (four); Clint Dempsey and Kasey Keller (three); Jozy Altidore, Marcelo Balboa and Tim Howard (two).
The voting margins for the award were very close, with Pulisic receiving 38 percent of the votes, closely followed by Jordan Morris (35 percent). Weston McKennie rounded out the top three with 13 percent.
Votes for U.S. Soccer Player of the Year awards were 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, and American soccer league (MLS and USL) head coaches, select media members and former players and administrators.
Splitting time between midfield and the wing, Pulisic became the youngest USMNT player to record 10 international career goals with his finish in the 1-1 draw with Chile in Houston March 26. That was the first of five goals to go along with three assists in 2019. Pulisic helped power the USMNT through the Concacaf Gold Cup, adding three goals and three assists en route to the team’s runner-up finish and a place for him on the tournament Best XI. He also led all USMNT players with four selections as man of the match.
Having secured a high-profile transfer to English Premier League side Chelsea in January, Pulisic was loaned back to Borussia Dortmund where he appeared in 13 more matches across all competitions and closed out his tenure with three goals and two assists.
Pulisic embarked on the next stage of his career in August, and though it took a little time to get settled. the Hershey, Pa., product has been on fire of late, contributing five goals and four assists in 19 competitive matches, including a three-game scoring streak in the league.
With a hat-trick in the 4-2 win at Burnley Oct. 26, Pulisic became the second American to register three goals in a Premier League match and the youngest in Chelsea history.
The U.S. Soccer male player of the year has been awarded since 1984, when former Cosmos midfielder Rick Davis earned the first honor. U.S. Soccer began awarding young player of the year in 1998, with Josh Wolff taking the first honor.
Previous winners of both awards:
Year Male Player of the Year 2019 Christian Pulisic (2) 2018 Zack Steffen 2017 Christian Pulisic 2016 Jozy Altidore (2) 2015 Michael Bradley 2014 Tim Howard (2) 2013 Jozy Altidore 2012 Clint Dempsey (3) 2011 Clint Dempsey (2) 2010 Landon Donovan (4) 2009 Landon Donovan (3) 2008 Tim Howard 2007 Clint Dempsey 2006 Oguchi Onyewu 2005 Kasey Keller (3) 2004 Landon Donovan (2) 2003 Landon Donovan 2002 Brad Friedel 2001 Earnie Stewart 2000 Chris Armas 1999 Kasey Keller (2) 1998 Cobi Jones 1997 Kasey Keller 1996 Eric Wynalda 1995 Alexi Lalas 1994 Marcelo Balboa (2) 1993 Thomas Dooley 1992 Marcelo Balboa 1991 Hugo Perez 1990 Tab Ramos 1989 Mike Windischmann 1988 Peter Vermes 1987 Brent Goulet 1986 Paul Caligiuri 1985 Perry Van der Beck 1984 Rick Davis