Morgan, Harris win CONCACAF Awards; USA places six on Female Best XI
CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced today that Alex Morgan is the 2016 CONCACAF Female Player of the Year and Ashlyn Harris is the CONCACAF Female Goalkeeper of the Year as winners in twelve different categories for the annual CONCACAF Awards were revealed.
In an equally-weighted vote among Men’s and Women’s National Team coaches and captains of all the Member Association, media and fans, Morgan captured the award for the second time. Bryan Ruiz of Costa Rica earned the honor for the first time. Harris (Orlando Pride) won the award for the first time.
U.S. midfielder Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), the 2016 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year, finished second in the voting while U.S. forward Crystal Dunn (formerly of the Washington Spirit and now Chelsea Ladies FC) finished third.
A U.S. player has won the CONCACAF Female Player of the Year award every year since its inception in 2013 when Morgan won it for the first time. Abby Wambach won it in 2014 and Carli Lloyd in 2015.
Winners in other categories were: Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year – Keylor Navas (Costa Rica and Real Madrid); Coaches of the Year – Óscar Ramírez (Costa Rica) and Amelia Valverde (Costa Rica); Referees of the Year – César Arturo Ramos (Mexico) and Carol Anne Chenard (Canada); Goal of the Year – Jesús Corona (Mexico), in the 80th minute of the Copa America Centenario match against Venezuela.
In addition, the USA placed six players on the Female Best XI: Harris, defenders Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City) and Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), midfielders Heath (Portland Thorns FC) and Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), and Morgan (Orlando Pride and Olympique Lyon).
It was the second such honor for Sauerbrunn, Lloyd and Morgan, who were all on the CONCACAF Best XI last year, the first year it was selected.
The CONCACAF Awards are designed to honor the year’s outstanding performers and achievements in confederation-sanctioned competitions involving national teams at all levels and age categories, including FIFA World Cup matches and qualifying for both genders. Performances eligible for recognition also included those achieved in professional club leagues within the CONCACAF Member Associations.