For his excellence at the highest level of the sport, U.S. Soccer announced forward Christian Pulisic as the 2019 Male Player of the Year. Already the youngest to earn the honor when he first won in 2017, Pulisic also becomes the youngest to win the award for a second time (21 years, 85 days), besting Landon Donovan (22 years, 293 days) when he won in 2004.
One of 25 different players to win the award since it first began in 1984, Pulisic also becomes the seventh player to earn the honor more than once, following Donovan (four); Clint Dempsey and Kasey Keller (three); Jozy Altidore, Marcelo Balboa and Tim Howard (two).
The voting margins for the Male Player of the Year award were very close, with Pulisic receiving 38 percent of the tabulated votes, closely followed by Jordan Morris (35 percent). Weston McKennie rounded out the top three with 13 percent.
Votes for U.S. Soccer Player of the Year awards were collected from respective National Team coaches, National Team players who have earned a cap in 2019, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, National Women’s Soccer League head coaches for the USWNT and American soccer league (MLS and USL) head coaches for the USMNT, select media members and former players and administrators.
Splitting time between midfield and the wing, the mercurial attacker hit another impressive milestone early in the year, becoming the youngest USMNT player to record 10 goals with his finish in the 1-1 draw with Chile on March 26 in Houston. That strike would be the first of five goals to go along with three assists on the year. Pulisic helped power the USMNT through the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, adding three goals and three assists en route to the team’s runner-up finish and a place for him on the tournament Best XI. Pulisic also led all USMNT players with four selections as Man of the Match.
Having secured a high-profile transfer to English Premier League side Chelsea in January, Pulisic was immediately loaned back to Borussia Dortmund where he appeared in 13 more matches across all competitions and closed out his tenure with three goals and two assists down the home stretch. Pulisic embarked on the next stage of his career in August, and though it took a little time to get settled the Hershey, Pa., product has been on fire for the Blues of late, contributing five goals and four assists in 19 competitive matches, including a three-game scoring streak in the league. With a hat trick in the 4-2 win at Burnley on Oct. 26, Pulisic became the second American to register three goals in a Premier League match and the youngest in Chelsea history.
The U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year has been awarded since 1984, when midfielder Rick Davis earned the inaugural honor. U.S. Soccer began awarding Young Player of the Year in 1998, with Josh Wolff taking the first honor.