- Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC.
After a year in which he captained the United States men’s national team at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Tyler Adams has been voted the 2022 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year.
This was the third time Adams had been nominated — having been a finalist in 2018 and 2020 — but on this occasion he was the runaway winner.
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Of the five finalists for the Male Player of the Year Award, Adams earned 71.6 percent of the overall tabulated votes followed by Christian Pulisic (14.7 percent) and Matt Turner (8.2 percent).
The midfielder led the USMNT in minutes played this year and featured in every minute of the U.S. team’s World Cup run.
He was named Man of the Match during the first two U.S. games, a 1-1 draw against Wales and a 0-0 tie against England.
At club level he was part of the RB Leipzig side that won the DFB-Pokal, and has also been a key player for Leeds United since moving to the English Premier League side last summer.
“Receiving this type of recognition is certainly special, but for me the team’s success is the most important thing,” Adams said.
“Having the experience of going to the World Cup, performing well as a group and moving the sport forward in the United States was super important to me this year, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”
Adams was told of the honor during the pregame broadcast of the Aston Villa-Leeds United match earlier on Friday.
U.S. Soccer legend Tim Howard — who is a two-time winner of the award — recorded a video that was shown as a surprise to Adams in front of his teammates at Leeds.
“Tim Howard is an absolute legend in U.S. Soccer history and the Premier League as well,” Adams continued. “To hear those words from him was very special, and I’m very thankful.”
Adams was the youngest captain at the tournament and the youngest USMNT captain at the World Cup since 1950.
Against the Netherlands in the Round of 16, Adams became the youngest U.S. captain ever in a World Cup knockout stage match.
Overall, Adams led the team with 1,131 minutes played and 14 starts while tying for the USMNT lead with 14 appearances.
During World Cup qualifying, Adams played in 13 of 14 matches, tied for the team lead, including 12 starts.
Votes for U.S. Soccer Male and Young Male Player of the Year Awards are collected from respective USMNT coaches, players who have earned a cap in 2022, members of the U.S. Soccer board of directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, professional league (MLS and USL) head coaches, select media members and former players and administrators.
For the second time, fans were also able to take part in the voting, with their votes weighted at 15 percent of the total.
U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year was first awarded in 1984 and a total of 26 players have been given the honor.
Current U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Earnie Stewart won it in 2001.
Landon Donovan holds the record for most awards, winning it four times, while Clint Dempsey won it on three occasions.
Christian Pulisic became the youngest player to win the award in 2017 at 18.
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