Johnson, Bradley Highlight 2015 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year Nominee

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by Deny Gallagher

Everybody is in the giving mood this holiday season — including U.S. Soccer, who announced its nominees for 2015 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year.

The group includes Fabian Johnson, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Brad Guzan, and DeAndre Yedlin.

Clint Dempsey will look to take home the coveted award for the fourth time. Meanwhile, former Young Male Player of the Year Michael Bradley and DeAndre Yedlin will look to take home the trophy for the first time. Brad Guzan earns his first career nomination, while Fabian Johnson is nominated for the second year in a row.

According to U.S. Soccer, this award is judged off a player’s year for both club and country. With that said, Fabian Johnson looks to be the early front-runner for the award as the midfielder has put together an unprecedented run with Borussia Moenchengladbach. During the stretch, Johnson found the back of the net against Juventus and Sevilla in the Champions League and scored the final goal in a shocking 3-0 result against Bayern Munich. In total the player has six goals on the year at the club level, and found the game winner in the first match of World Cup Qualifying against St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

To draw comparisons to another award show, Michael Bradley is to the Player of the Year Awards what Leonardo DiCaprio is to the OSCARS. The three-time nominee has yet to win that award, but that could change this year. Bradley has hands down been the most consistent player for the USMNT in 2015. This year the New Jersey native picked up his 100th cap, while registering a team-leading 1668 minutes of action. He finishes 2015 with six assists and three goals.

Next up is Clint Dempsey, who despite not being called in for World Cup Qualifying is looking to be named Player of the Year for the fourth time. The Texan once again led the team in scoring with nine goals, highlighted by earning the Golden Boot at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

DeAndre Yedlin also earned a nomination. The Sunderland man was the recipient of the 2014 Young Male Player of the Year, but will look to take home the senior level trophy this year. 2015 saw the defender feature in 19 of the Americans 20 matches to tie a team high, while tallying five assists on the year. The 22 year old also finalized a move to Tottenham Hotspur this year, before going on loan to Sunderland.

The fifth and final nominee is Brad Guzan, who stepped up in a big way in the absence of Tim Howard. The goalkeeper earned 13 starts in 2015 to set a new career high. On the club level, Guzan registered six shutouts on 34 appearances for Aston Villa.

A new voting system that was established last year brought a change to the Player of the Year voting, Head coaches from the top levels of U.S. Soccer vote on the award including coaches from the NASL, MLS, Youth National Team, and the Men’s National Team will vote on the award. In addition select media member, former players, and administrators will also have a say in the matter.