[SOCCER AMERICA AWARDS] Soccer America's Freshman of the Year is Soony Saad, who finished second in the country with 19 goals and helped Michigan reach the Men's College Cup for the first time.
Saad's success should come as no surprise for anyone who followed the his youth career in Michigan with first Vardar and more recently the Derby County Wolves.
He was named the Development Academy's Under-15/16 Player of the Year in 2008, the first year of U.S. Soccer's national youth league. He then moved to the U.S. under-17 residency program but returned for his senior year at Dearborn High School, where he was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year.
Saad's 19 goals were the most by a freshman since Israeli Alon Lubezky's 21 goals for Hartford in 2001.
Perhaps Saad's biggest goal was his free kick that gave the Wolverines the Big Ten Tournament title over Penn State. He also scored from 65 yards earlier in the season against Bowling Green.
Saad formed with brother Hamoody, a sophomore, one of the best brother combinations in the history of college soccer.
SOCCER AMERICA MEN'S FRESHMEN OF THE YEAR
2010 -- Soony Saad (Michigan)
2009 -- Will Bates (Virginia)
2008 -- Casey Townsend (Maryland)
2007 -- Corben Bone (Wake Forest)
2006 -- David Estrada (UCLA)
2005 -- Lee Nguyen (Indiana)
2004 -- Michael Videira (Duke)
2003 -- Vedad Ibisevic (Saint Louis)
2001 -- Jarett Park (Syracuse)
2000 -- Alecko Eskandarian (Virginia)
1999 -- Conor Casey (Portland)
1998 -- Taylor Twellman (Maryland)
1997 -- Nick Garcia (Indiana)
1996 -- Wojtek Krakowiak (St. John's)
1995 -- Jay Heaps (Duke)
1994 -- Nick Bone (Boston University)
1993 -- Andre Parris (Princeton)
1992 -- Guillermo Jara (San Diego)
1991 -- Claudio Reyna (Virginia)
1990 -- Brad Friedel (UCLA)
1989 -- Ruben Tufino (South Carolina)
1988 -- Shaka Hislop (Howard)
1984 -- Bruce Murray (Clemson)