Feb. 27, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The U.S. Soccer Federation announced Santa Clara sophomore midfielder and U.S. National Team member Aly Wagner as its 2000 Chevrolet Youth Female Athlete of the Year at a press conference today in Columbus, Ohio.
Wagner, the midfield maestro for the U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team, also saw time with the full U.S. Women's National Team, where she had four goals and two assists in 10 matches. In her key role with the U-21s, the 20-year-old Santa Clara standout helped the team win the 2000 Nordic Cup despite playing the entire tournament with a hamstring injury.
"It's a tremendous honor to be recognized by any kind of award, but to receive the U.S. Soccer Youth Female Player of the Year award is very significant," head coach Jerry Smith said. "It's an honor from our federation given to someone that it believes to have future potential with the Olympic and World Cup Teams. Aly is a deserving recipient. I'm very proud of what she's accomplished as a youth and excited to see her continue those accomplishments during her senior career."
One of Wagner's four goals with the National team was a strike from distance in the championship game of the Australia Cup last January, clinching the 3-1 win over the hosts and the title. She also scored against Iceland, Japan and Italy. A workhorse in the central midfield, for the U-21 Nordic Cup Team, she played the entire tournament despite a nagging hamstring injury that would impact her college season, allowing her to play in just 16 games. Wagner's efforts did earn her finalist honors for the Missouri Athletic Club's Collegiate Player of the Year and Hermann Trophy awards. She also earned NSCAA/adidas West Region First Team recognition and was an all-Tournament team selection at the Stanford and Bay Area Classics.
U.S. Soccer's Young Male Athlete of the Year award went to U.S. Men's National and Olympic Team forward Landon Donovan. The top two annual senior awards went to U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Chris Armas, and U.S. Women's National Team forward Tiffeny Milbrett.
U.S. Soccer's Young Male and Female Chevrolet Athletes of the Year awards have existed since 1998, and are based on competing and excelling at the highest level of soccer offered by U.S. Soccer for the calendar year, as well as exhibiting decorum on and off the field that contributes to the growing popularity and credibility of the sport in the United States.
Santa Clara finished the 2000 season with a 16-7-1 record, advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals for the fifth straight year. For the 12 letterwinners that return from that team and the introduction of eight newcomers, the 2001 season begins Friday, Aug. 31. The Broncos will host Cal Poly at Buck Shaw Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
U.S. SOCCER'S ALL-TIME CHEVROLET YOUNG FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
1998 Cindy Parlow
1999 Lorrie Fair
2000 Aly Wagner