The nominees for young player male and female alongside a disability award has been announced on 28th November 2018. The US Men’s Youth National Team has few shining faces named with Alex Mendez leading the charge after his stellar display at the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship which won him the Golden Ball award, and his antics garnered a lot of attention. Ulysses Llanez, the prolific striker who razed through the pitches for the U-20 Men’s National Team and scored 7 times in the regional championship. Defender Mark McKenzie wasn’t far behind for his stoic display at the back for the U-20s as well. 2018 Nike International Friendlies will take U-17 sensation Giovanni Reyna at the centre stage after the midfielder’s exploits for the U-17 MNT. Tyler Freeman is another name in the US Soccer arena doing the rounds after his displays for the U-16 MNT.
Tierna Davidson has risen through the ranks in almost an eyeblink after already being capped 12 times despite featuring for the U-20 Women’s National Team earlier this year. A tenacious defender with good ball playing abilities, Tierna is expected to raise the bar of defending. From the U-17 department three players were selected after the team went on to win the Concacaf Championships. Forward Sunshine Fontes lit up the U-17 record with her deadly finishing skills while Maya Doms who netted the winner in the final was also selected after her consistent displays at central midfield. Holding the defence tight and linking the forwards was a certain Sophia Jones who was also credited with a nomination. Allyson Sentnor, a new age sensation who has already plied her trade for U-15,U-16, and U-17 despite being eligible for U-14 made the final entry.
The disability award saw players picked from certain divisions following their achievements over the years. Gracie Fitzgerald of Deaf Women’s National Team who seems to have her scoring boots on despite being a defender was nominated. From the Amputee National Team, Nico Calabria who is also tasked with captaining the team was nominated. Rising superstar from the Deaf Men’s National Team, Braden Anderson was selected, and Nick Mayhugh completed the list after his exhibitions for the Para-7-a-side National Team.