U.S. Soccer: Armas, Milbrett take Player of the Year awards

U.S. Soccer named U.S. midfielder Chris Armas its Chevrolet Male Athlete of the Year and named U.S. striker Tiffeny Milbrett its Chevrolet Female Athlete of the Year. The Federation handed out its annual awards in Columbus, Ohio, where the U.S. men will compete against Mexico in a World Cup qualifier tomorrow night at Columbus Crew Stadium in a match televised live on ESPN2 and Telemundo at 7:30 p.m. (ET). U.S. Soccer also announced its Young Male Athlete of the Year and Young Female Athlete of the Year awards, which went to U.S. national and Olympic team forward Landon Donovan and U.S. national team and under-21 veteran midfielder Aly Wagner. "We're proud to once again be involved with the Athlete of the Year awards and honor these four truly outstanding players," said Steve Wagg, Chevy Cavalier brand manager. "This year, Chris and Tiffeny will both receive a Chevrolet Cavalier and we will donate $1,000 to the U.S. Soccer Foundation in the name of Landon and Aly. Chevrolet has a long history of being there, supporting aspiring athletes and our support of U.S. Soccer is one more example of this." Armas, arguably the most consistent and reliable player for the U.S. men, started the most games (14) and played the most minutes (1,200) of any of the 45 players that appeared for the U.S. in 2000, despite missing two months with a torn medial cruciate ligament. The diminutive defensive midfielder was an integral part of the U.S. setting a team record with nine overall and five consecutive shutouts in 2000. Milbrett had another tremendous year for the U.S. women, finishing tied for second in scoring with 15 goals and nine assists for 39 points. But her value was best seen in the 2000 Olympics, where she played all 462 minutes in helping the U.S. women to a silver medal. The 5-foot-2 striker was the team's leading scorer in Australia with three goals, including an incredible 90th-minute header that forced the gold medal match to overtime. Another player who turned heads in Sydney was former under-17 superstar Landon Donovan, who scored an opening round goal that helped the U.S. Olympic team win its group and go on to a best-ever fourth place finish. The 18-year-old phenom also broke into the senior national team in 2000, becoming only the sixth U.S. men's player in since 1986 to score in his debut when he notched a goal and an assist in a 2-0 win over Mexico in a friendly on Oct. 25. Wagner, the midfield maestro for the U.S. U-21s, also saw time with the full U.S. national team. She had four goals and two assists in 10 matches for Coach April Heinrichs. In her key role with the U-21's, the 20-year-old Santa Clara star helped the team win the 2000 Nordic Cup despite playing the entire tournament with a hamstring injury. This year's voting process was highlighted by a first ever opportunity for fans to be involved, which they did in great numbers by logging on to www.us-soccer.com and voting for one or all of the four annual awards. Thousands of online votes were tallied and were equivalent to 50 percent of the total votes. As in years past, 100 votes were compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives, including national team coaches and the USSF National Board of Directors. U.S. Soccer's All-Time Chevrolet Award Winners
Male Athlete of the Year Female Athlete of the Year
1984 Rick Davis 1984 [WNT program established in 1985]
1985 Perry Van der Beck 1985 Sharon Remer
1986 Paul Caligiuri 1986 April Heinrichs
1987 Brent Goulet 1987 Carin Jennings
1988 Peter Vermes 1988 Joy Biefeld
1989 Mike Windischmann 1989 April Heinrichs
1990 Tab Ramos 1990 Michelle Akers
1991 Hugo Perez 1991 Michelle Akers
1992 Marcelo Balboa 1992 Carin Gabarra
1993 Thomas Dooley 1993 Kristine Lilly
1994 Marcelo Balboa 1994 Mia Hamm
1995 Alexi Lalas 1995 Mia Hamm
1996 Eric Wynalda 1996 Mia Hamm
1997 Kasey Keller 1997 Mia Hamm
1998 Cobi Jones 1998 Mia Hamm
1999 Kasey Keller 1999 Michelle Akers
2000 Chris Armas 2000 Tiffeny Milbrett
Young Male Athlete of the Year Young Female Athlete of the Year
1998 Josh Wolff 1998 Cindy Parlow
1999 Ben Olsen 1999 Lorrie Fair
2000 Landon Donovan 2000 Aly Wagner
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