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Dempsey and Wambach take U.S. Soccer honors
December 21st, 2007 7AM
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U.S. Soccer named Clint Dempsey as the 2007 Male Athlete of the Year and Abby Wambach as the 2007 Female Athlete of the Year. Michael Bradley, son of men's national team coach Bob Bradley, and Lauren Cheney, the 2007 Soccer America College Women's Player of the Year, won the Young Male and Young Female awards, respectively.

The Athlete of the Year honor is the first for Dempsey, a member of the 2007 Gold Cup championship team, while Wambach becomes the fourth player on the women's side to win the award for a third time.

As in years past, online votes registered at counted for 50 percent of the total votes, while the other 50 percent was represented by votes compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives. A player can only win the Young Athlete award once in their career.

On the club level, Dempsey became a Fulham legend by scoring the winning goal against Liverpool that kept the club in the top flight, and then continued where he left off, scoring four goals in the first half of this season.

After winning Athlete of the Year honors in 2003 and 2004, it was no surprise that Wambach would join elite company in winning her third award in 2007 after completing another spectacular year with 20 goals in 21 games and six of the USA's 12 goals at the 2007 Women's World Cup.

Bradley, 20, was an essential cog in the midfield during the Gold Cup, and then turned his sights towards the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, where his late strike against Uruguay allowed the U.S. to advance to the quarterfinals.

Cheney also split her time during the year, helping lead the Under-20s to the silver medal at the Pan American Games, while also getting her first caps with the full national team in 2007. She had a fantastic sophomore season at UCLA, finding the net 23 times and compiling 11 assists on the year.



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