Onyewu is the first defender to win the award since Alexi Lalas was honored in 1995, while Lilly becomes just the third player on the womenÆs side to win the award for the third time. Lilly joins soccer legends and former teammates Michelle Akers and Mia Hamm, who won the award a record five straight times.
The U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year awards have a longer history than any major award in American soccer û- more than 20 years. They join the FIFA Players of the Year as the only two awards to honor both the top male and the top female in the sport.
As in years past, online votes registered at ussoccer.com were tallied and equivalent to 50 percent of the total votes, while the other 50 percent was compiled from votes by members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives (from National Team coaches to the National Board of Directors). A player can only win the Young Athlete award once in their career.