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U.S. SOCCER FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR is SAMANTHA MEWIS

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Diane Scavuzzo

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North Carolina Courage and Man City Midfielder Earns Highest Recognition


In a year in which she shone brightly in the limited U.S. Women’s National Team schedule while also performing at an extremely high level for clubs in the USA and England, midfielder Samantha Mewis has been voted the 2020 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year.



“It’s been a strange year with a lot of hardship for a lot of people, but I’m really grateful for the humanity we’ve seen this year as well,” added Mewis. “I’m just really humbled that I got the opportunity to play for the USA and for two fantastic clubs this year. My family and husband have been so supportive and to even get the opportunity to play soccer this year with everything so uncertain has been a gift.”

“I’m grateful for the support of Vlatko and his staff, to the Courage and Paul Riley, who has had a big impact on me, and to all the coaches, staff and players at Man City who welcomed Rose and I with open arms. Looking forward, I’m really excited for the future of the National Team. We have big things coming up and I’m hoping I can continue to be a part of it.”

One of five finalists for the Female Player of the Year award, Mewis garnered 45 percent of the tabulated votes, followed by Crystal Dunn (29 percent) and Lindsey Horan (11 percent).

This is the first U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award for Mewis. She becomes the 17thdifferent WNT player to win the award.



NAOMI GIRMA VOTED 2020 U.S. SOCCER YOUNG FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

The first winner of this award back in 1998 was current U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone. Girma is only the second pure defender to win the award in its 23-year existence.

U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team captain Naomi Girma, who attended her first full U.S. Women’s National Team camp this year, has been voted the 2020 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year.

Girma, who played a major part in helping Stanford win the NCAA Championship in 2019 as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, was the leader of the U.S. defense during the 2020 Concacaf U-20 Women’s Championship. As a team captain, Girma started six games during the World Cup qualifying tournament to help the USA earn a berth to the since-cancelled 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and win the regional title, defeating Mexico, 4-1 in the championship game.

“It’s been such a crazy year, but it’s always an honor to represent the USA and I’m proud of what our team was able to accomplish at the beginning of the year in Concacaf qualifying even though the World Cup got cancelled,” said Girma. “While the year didn’t go as planned, I’m especially thankful for the coaches and the medical staff who helped keep us playing some soccer and to be mentioned along with the past winners is very cool and humbling. Of course, my family – my parents and brother – have been so supportive, along with my Stanford family and the U-20 WNT family, so I’ll always appreciate everything they’ve contributed to me as a person and a player.”

Her college season for Stanford – in what would have been her junior year – was postponed to the Spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic so she did not play in a college match this Fall, but in October, Girma attended her first full U.S. Women’s National Team training camp, which took place in Colorado.

“First and foremost, Naomi Girma is a great person and a fantastic leader,” said U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team head coach Laura Harvey. “She is highly respected by her teammates and the kind of player who always puts the team first. On the field, she is smart, brave and always pushing to improve. I know it’s rare for a defender to win this award, but it’s a credit to the impact she has on the field and on the people around her.”

PREVIOUS WINNERS:

YearYoung Female Player of the Year
1998Cindy Parlow
1999Lorrie Fair
2000Aly Wagner
2001Aleisha Cramer
2002Lindsay Tarpley
2003Cat Reddick
2004Heather O’Reilly
2005Lori Chalupny
2006Danesha Adams
2007Lauren Cheney
2008Kristie Mewis
2009Tobin Heath
2010Bianca Henninger
2011Sydney Leroux
2012Julie Johnston
2013Lindsey Horan
2014Morgan Brian
2015Mallory Pugh
2016Ashley Sanchez
2017Sophia Smith
2018Tierna Davidson
2019Brianna Pinto
2020Naomi Girma

Source: Press Release


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