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The nominees for 2021 U.S. Soccer Player of the Year awards have been set! On Dec. 5, U.S. Soccer announced the finalists for the awards, which will recognize top performers for country and club across the sport this year. There is plenty of local talent among the nominees for Female Player of the Year and Male Player of the Year.
Female Player of the Year: Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Carli Llyod, Alyssa Naeher and Megan Rapinoe.
Horan, also a nominee in 2020, led the USWNT in minutes this earned and earned her 100th cap during the Olympics. Lavelle played in all six games at the Olympics and set a career high with five goals in 22 matches this year. In her final year with the team, Delran, N.J.’s Lloyd earned her 316th cap, led the team with 11 goals, recorded a team-high six assists and tied a record for most goals in a game when she scored five against Paraguay in September. Naeher set a U.S. record with 10 straight shutouts this year and was also nominated for FIFA Best Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year. Rapinoe recorded 10 goals and three assists during the USWNT’s Olympic run.
Male Player of the Year: Brenden Aaronson, Kellyn Acosta, Weston McKennie, Christian Pulisic, Miles Robinson, Matt Turner
Aaronson, a Medford, N.J. native, netted four scores and dished out three assists. He led all Men’s National Team players in goal contributions. Acosta played in 20 matches, the most by a USMNT players in a calendar year since 2002. McKennie – last year’s winner – scored a late equalizer against Mexico in the Nations League Final and followed it up with another score in November’s match. Chelsea FC’s Pulisic, a Hershey, PA native, became the first U.S. player to compete in and win the UEFA Champions League this spring. Robinson and Turner both played every minute of the Gold Cup’s six games. Turner won the Golden Glove as the top goalkeeper, while Robinson tallied the game-winning goal against Mexico in overtime.
Pulisic is also nominated for the One Nation. Social Impact Award for his work with the youth in Hershey.
The winners of the awards will be announced throughout the month of December.