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USMNT Jan 15, 2023

USMNT captain Tyler Adams named 2022 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year

CHICAGO – Tyler Adams has been voted the 2022 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year after captaining the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2022 FIFA World Cup to cap off an excellent year for club and country.

Selected by his teammates to wear the armband in Qatar, the midfielder led the USMNT in minutes played this year and featured in every minute of the USA’s successful World Cup run while winning the DFB-Pokal with RB Leipzig and making a massive impact since joining the English Premier League with Leeds United last summer.

Adams received his third nomination for the award, following his first full year with the USMNT in 2018 and after helping propel RB Leipzig to the UEFA Champions League Semifinals in 2020. He joins a long list of USMNT stars to win U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year, which was first awarded in 1984 to Rick Davis.

“Receiving this type of recognition is certainly special, but for me the team’s success is the most important thing,” Adams said. “Having the experience of going to the World Cup, performing well as a group and moving the sport forward in the United States was super important to me this year, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”

The award was revealed during the pregame broadcast of the Aston Villa-Leeds United match earlier today. U.S. Soccer legend Tim Howard – who is a two-time winner of the award – recorded a video that was shown as a surprise to Adams in front of his teammates at Leeds.

“Tim Howard is an absolute legend in U.S. Soccer history and the Premier League as well,” Adams continued. “To hear those words from him was very special, and I’m very thankful.”

The USMNT midfielder was critical to the team’s success at the World Cup and Adams was electric in the middle of the park, his seemingly endless engine earning him Man of the Match honors in the USA’s first two games — a 1-1 draw against Wales and 0-0 deadlock against No. 5- ranked England.

The youngest captain at the tournament and the youngest USMNT captain at the World Cup since 1950, Adams was one of three players to play every possible minute in Qatar. Against the Netherlands in the Round of 16, Adams became the youngest U.S. captain ever in a World Cup Knockout Round match. The Wappingers Fall, N.Y., native also covered more ground than any other player on the field twice during the tournament, running 8.2 miles against Wales and eight miles in the Knockout Round-clinching victory against Iran.

On the year, Adams led the team with 1,131 minutes played and 14 starts while tying for the USMNT lead with 14 appearances. During World Cup qualifying, Adams played in 13 of 14 matches, tied for the team lead, including 12 starts.

This summer, the midfielder made a big move to the English Premier League with a $24 million transfer to Leeds United. Adams made an immediate impact at Elland Road, establishing himself as a mainstay in the line-up as he appeared in 13 of 14 matches for the club before the World Cup break.

In spring 2022, Adams wrapped up a three-and-a-half-year spell with RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga. In his final appearance with the club, he helped Leipzig win its first-ever DFB-Pokal title against Freiburg. In total, Adams made 17 appearances and added one assist during his final stretch in Germany.

For the second time, fans were able to vote for the U.S. Soccer Player and Young Player of the Year Awards with those votes weighted at 15% of the total. Of the five finalists for the Male Player of the Year Award, Adams earned 71.6 percent of the overall tabulated votes followed by Christian Pulisic (14.7%) and Matt Turner (8.2%).

Votes for U.S. Soccer Male and Young Male Player of the Year Awards are collected from respective National Team coaches, National Team players who have earned a cap in 2022, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, professional league (MLS and USL) head coaches, select media members and former players and administrators.

First awarded in 1984, 26 players have been awarded U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year. Current U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Earnie Stewart won it in 2001. Landon Donovan holds the record for most awards, winning it four times, while Clint Dempsey won it on three occasions. Then eighteen-year-old Christian Pulisic became the youngest player to win the award in 2017.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

Year Male Player of the Year
2022 Tyler Adams
2021 Christian Pulisic (3)
2020 Weston McKennie
2019 Christian Pulisic (2)
2018 Zack Steffen
2017 Christian Pulisic
2016 Jozy Altidore (2)
2015 Michael Bradley
2014 Tim Howard
2013 Jozy Altidore
2012 Clint Dempsey (3)
2011 Clint Dempsey (2)
2010 Landon Donovan (4)
2009 Landon Donovan (3)
2008 Tim Howard
2007 Clint Dempsey
2006 Oguchi Onyewu
2005 Kasey Keller (3)
2004 Landon Donovan (2)
2003 Landon Donovan
2002 Brad Friedel
2001 Earnie Stewart
2000 Chris Armas
1999 Kasey Keller (2)
1998 Cobi Jones
1997 Kasey Keller
1996 Eric Wynalda
1995 Alexi Lalas
1994 Marcelo Balboa (2)
1993 Thomas Dooley
1992 Marcelo Balboa
1991 Hugo Perez
1990 Tab Ramos
1989 Mike Windischmann
1988 Peter Vermes
1987 Brent Goulet
1986 Paul Caligiuri
1985 Perry Van der Beck
1984 Rick Davis

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