US Soccer Player of the Year Nominees are out

By Sean McCaffery, November 20, 2018

It was well done by US Soccer to list the female nominees first as they had an undefeated year and far more successes over the 2018 season. 

So as it should be, ladies first, the nominees all from the USWNT are Julie Ertz, Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Alex Morgan & Megan Rapione. Despite the girlfriend of Megan being from Syosset and a very accomplished youth player in her day, I am going with Alex Morgan. A synopsis of each nominee and their year.

Alex Morgan, 18 goals in 19 games covering 1,500 minutes tops teamwide. Julie Ertz, over 1,000 as a key midfielder for the 3rd year with 4 goals. Tobin Heath a fan fav forever came back from an inury riddled 2017, she hit for 7 goals in 8 starts while dishing out 6 assists all the while a persistent threat from midfield. With a dozen assists, 'Pinoe, lead the team in that category equaling her previous high in a year, to go with her 7 goals over her 16 games, all starts. Lindsey Horan at 24 years of age excelled for both club and country in gaining the NWLS MVP award, missing just one USWNT game equal to Morgan. 3 of these nominees have won it already, Ertz in 2017, Tobin in 2016, Morgan 2012. Heath and Horan both took the US Soccer Young Female Player of the Year Heath took it in 2009, Ertz in 2012 and Horan in 2013.

We were able to get out to see both teams a few times in this year and hope to get out to even more games this coming season. The black cloud of no World Cup hung over the men like a pall but they did have some players do well. All nominees are up for the award for the first time and took upon themselves in 2018 to approach setting their spot and making their mark for the USMNT. From the New York Red Bulls, Tyler Adams shared the team's top spot in games with 8, getting his first int'l goal v Mexico just days after our interview, coincidence?, I think  not.  WIth his club team the Supporters Shield winners once again, he fared even better in giving out 7 assists over 27 games. Weston Mckennie and his 6 games in the midfield solidified his position with the team and made big avances with club side, Shalke as they made the UEFA Champions Cup in 2017, and a pair of goals this season. Former NYRB player Matt MIazga was tops in backs with 7 games and playing a key role in getting his club team, Eredivisie into the UEFA Europa League. Backstop and recently reinjured Zack Steffen his half dozen games tied the top mark for a first year netminder and achived the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award for his efforts with the Crew, stifled France with 8 saves just prior to their taking the World Cup. WIll Trapp at times the captian of the USMNT and full time captain in Columbus had a team leading 8 games and was Man of the Match facing Paraguay. My homerism hopes for Tyler but I think Steffen takes it home.