22-Year-Old McKennie Earns The Honor, Reyna Earns Young Male Player of Year Award
It is that time of year again … for U.S. Soccer to award recognition of great on-field achievements. McKennie and Reyna are two standouts that have played for Bundesliga clubs.
U.S. Soccer has awarded the highest recognition of Male Player of the Year and Young Male Player of the Year to two players who play outside of the USA.
America’s Weston McKennie, who plays in Italy for Juventus, has been named U.S. Soccer’s Male Player of the Year. Fans may remember McKennie from his days playing for Schalke 04. A talented midfielder, McKennie is an impact player for both European clubs.
McKennie is a young choice for the honor, and follows in the footsteps of Christian Pulisic who earned the recognition as a 19-year-old teenager. Super soccer star Landon Donovan also won this award at age 21 back in 2003 and so did the manager of Sporting Kansas City, Peter Vermes in 1988.
A finalist for the award for a third-consecutive year, McKennie is one of 26 different players to claim the honor since it first started in 1984. In his first season with Juventus, McKennie is also the second Italian-based player to win since Alexi Lalas (1995), while the Little Elm, Texas product joins three-time winner Clint Dempsey (2007, 2011 and 2012) as the second player from the Lone Star State to earn the award.
“I want to thank everyone for this huge honor. It’s been a journey, especially through these difficult times during the pandemic,” McKennie said. “Our fans have stuck with us throughout and we really appreciate it. Hopefully in 2021 we can have many more memories together.”
One of six finalists for the Male Player of the Year award, McKennie garnered 44 percent of the tabulated votes, followed by Christian Pulisic (27 percent) and Sergiño Dest (14 percent).
GIO REYNA WINS 2020 U.S. SOCCER YOUNG MALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year is Gio Reyna who also plays in Europe.
The 18-year-old powerhouse is second generation soccer royalty in America with his dad being Claudia Reyna.
🇺🇸 USMNT YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR 🇺🇸— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) December 22, 2020
Congratulations on this well-deserved award, Gio! 👏 pic.twitter.com/jdZOCmWj3P
According to U.S. Soccer, following an impressive career in the U.S. Youth National Team program, Reyna made a major leap to the next level for both club and country in 2020.
The forward made his much-anticipated debut for the U.S. Men’s National Team on Nov. 12 vs. Wales. In that match, he and midfielder Yunus Musah became the 12th and 13th players to earn their first cap before the age of 18.
Just four days later, he became the third-youngest goal scorer in USMNT history when he opened the scoring for the USA in its 6-2 victory against Panama in Austria on a free kick.
Source: Press Release(s)