Thursday, 28 November 2013

Altidore, Wambach named US players of the year

Altidore, Wambach named US players of the year

London: Jozy Altidore, who helped the United States qualify for the 2014 Brazil World Cup, and Abby Wambach, international football`s all-time goal leader, were named US Soccer Athletes of the Year on Wednesday.

Altidore, a 24-year-old striker for English Premier League side Sunderland, took the award for the first time while Wambach collected it for a record sixth time in voting carried out half by supporters online and half by a media and US Soccer panel.

Altidore set a US record by scoring in five consecutive matches from June 2 to August 14 and hit a career-best eight goals in 2013 -- three of them match-winners in World Cup qualifying games.

Altidore, who has 21 goals in 66 career US caps, scored 31 goals last season for Dutch club AZ Alkmaar, including the winner in the Dutch Cup final, before joining Sunderland.

Wambach, last year`s FIFA Women`s World Player of the Year, won the award for the third time in the past four years and broke the old mark of five player-of-the-year awards she shared with US icon Mia Hamm.

In June, Wambach scored four goals in a 5-0 rout of South Korea to give her 160 career goals, breaking the all-time record for international goals by any man or woman, held by Hamm with 158.

Wambach, who helped the Americans capture Olympic gold last year at London, led the US women this year with 11 goals and also netted 11 goals for the Western New York Flash, runners-up in the first season of the National Women`s Soccer League. AFP -------------

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