USMNT Notebook: Bradley, Miazga Win Player of the Year Awards; Copa America Info Revealed

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by DENY GALLAGHER

The latest edition of the USMNT Notebook has a bit of local flair as a New Jersey duo took home the awards for 2015 Male Player of the Year and Young Male Player of the Year. In addition, fans in the tri-state area may have a few opportunity to see the Stars and Stripes this summer at Copa America Centenario.

Michael Bradley Named 2015 Male Player of the Year

For the first time in his career, Michael Bradley has been named Male Player of the Year. U.S. Soccer gave the honor to the midfielder on Friday after the close of voting.

The New Jersey native received 39 first place votes and tallied 176 points in the media vote. Clint Dempsey came in second with 33 votes and 145 points, while Jozy Alitdore rounded out the top three with nine votes and 70 points.

Much like in cup competition, Player of the Year voting has a distinct points system. The nominees get three points for every first place vote, two for every second place vote, and one for every third place vote.

The award caps an impressive year for the captain that saw him finish with three goals and six assists in 18 appearances.

Matt Miazga Named 2015 Young Male Player of the Year

2015 saw the meteoric rise of Matt Miazga from Red Bull Academy product to starting center back for the club to a fixture on defense for the U.S. U-20’s and U-23s. On Friday, the Clifton native was able to add one more title his impressive resume: U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year.

The award caps an impressive run similar to that of DeAndre Yedlin, who took home the same prize in 2014. Miazga played 30 matches for the Red Bulls this season and finished fourth in MLS Defender of the Year voting. His performance with RBNY and at the 2015 U-20 World Cup propelled the defender onto the U-23 team for the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament. An impressive showing for Andy Hertzog’s side gave the defender his first senior team cap in the United States first World Cup Qualifier against St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

U.S. In Group A for Copa America

On Thursday the tournament announced that the United States will be the top seed in Group A in this upcoming summer’s Copa America Centenario.

The Americans will began their Copa America campaign at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on June 3. The side will then play at Soldier Field in Chicago on June 7th before rounding out group play at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on June 11.

If all goes right for the United States, fans will be able to see the United States lift a major trophy at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday June 26th, 2016.

For more information on the tournament check out CA2016.com or follow them on Twitter @CA2016 or like them on Facebook.

  • Anonymous

    wow. two of the most over-rated players getting over rated again. But great for New Jersey, eh?

    Both Bradley and Miazga wet the bed in the MLS playoffs. If they can’t dominate domestically, they can’t dominate on the world stage.

    If this is truly our best, then it is no wonder USMNT struggles at the International level.

    FIA ranks USMNT at 32rd behind Algeria, Ukraine, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

    Hey, we’re ranked higher than Iceland!

    Let’s see what they can do in Copa America. Rooting for the title, but USMNT will probably be watching the final on TV. If our 2015 award winners do want to go to the final, at least it won’t be a long ride to MetLife for Miazga (Clifton, NJ) and Bradley (Essex Fells, NJ).

  • Kevin

    Regardless, it does show how strong soccer really is here in NJ. Those are 2 solid players, plus the 3 or 4 from the women’s side that hail from NJ.

  • Miazga was the obvious choice for Young Player of the Year, but I’m not so sure about Bradley. Johnson or Dempsey have played better for their clubs and Dempsey won the Golden Boot at the Gold Cup. Politically, I understand not choosing Dempsey because of the Red Card incident. Still, I just think Bradley was a little too inconsistent and lost possession too often to win Player of the Year.

    Also, as a side note, how was Yedlin in the running and Bobby Wood not? Wood has really stepped his game up this year.

    • HydraHamster

      It is between Johnson and Dempsey. Since they did not choose Dempsey, Johnson is the clear winning as the best American player. How they just passed him up for a inconsistent Bradley is unknown. I think it mostly because of MLS’s image. That league is trying to sell themselves as a league with the best American players. With Tim Howard and Fabian Johnson playing in Europe, the only good American players in MLS are Dempsey and Bradley. Dempsey and Johnson both had an impressive year where if none of them win the best American player award, something is seriously wrong.

  • HydraHamster

    Was the votes between just the MLS players? If not, the votes are a lie. Bradley, Dempsey and Altidore both played in teams that disappoint.

  • Oepe

    Bradley most frustrating player to watch in history of Mens soccer. Dont get why a player always in middle of giveaways and out of position would win anything but a seat on bench.

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