Alex Morgan, Christian Pulisic Candidates for US Soccer Player of Year Awards

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 15, 2022

United States' Alex Morgan tries to control the ball against Nigeria during the second half of an international friendly soccer match, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

On Thursday, U.S. Soccer announced the candidates for its Player of the Year award.

For the women, the finalists are forwards Alex Morgan, Mallory Pugh and Sophia Smith and midfielders Lindsey Horan and Rose Lavelle. For the men, the finalists are forward Christian Pulisic, midfielder Tyler Adams, goalkeeper Matt Turner and defenders Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream.

Morgan, 33, has been nominated for the award seven times. Her past season was highlighted by an NWSL-leading 15 goals for the San Diego Wave.

Pugh, 24, is one of the USWNT's brightest young stars. She posted seven goals and seven assists for the team in the past year, to go along with 11 goals and six assists for the NWSL's Chicago Red Stars.

Smith, 22, led the USWNT this past season with 11 goals and was named the NWSL MVP after notching 14 goals. She was the youngest MVP in league history and helped lead Portland Thorns to a title.

Horan, 28, is the defending U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award winner. She made 14 starts for the USWNT in the midfield and won the UEFA Women's Champions League with Olympique Lyon in club play.

Lavelle, 27, made 15 starts and 16 total appearances for the USWNT this past season, notching four goals and six assists. She also recorded five goals and an assist for the NWSL's Reign.

Pulisic, 24, has fallen in and out of favor at Chelsea but remains arguably the USMNT's most important and dynamic player. The three-time U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year award winner tied for a team-high five goals and had a team-high three assists this past year, which included a goal and and two assists at the World Cup.

Adams, 23, is the keystone of the USMNT and was named captain for this year's World Cup. The steady midfielder earned two Man of the Match distinctions in Qatar and has been a regular fixture on the club level for Leeds in the Premier League.

Turner, 28, ascended to the first-choice goalkeeper at this year's World Cup and finished the year with seven clean sheets. He serves as Aaron Ramsdale's backup at Arsenal on the club side.

Ream, 35, serves as the captain for club side Fulham and played every minute for the USMNT in Qatar as one of the team's most reliable players.

Robinson, 25, is Ream's teammate at Fulham and has staked his claim as the USMNT's first-choice left-back. He made 13 total appearances in World Cup qualifying and started all four matches in Qatar.