Mexico's Oribe Peralta, USWNT's Alex Morgan named CONCACAF Players of the Year
Mexico may have just scraped through to the World Cup, but the man who helped them get there is certainly getting his share of the plaudits.
Oribe Peralta (above), who scored 10 goals for El Tri in World Cup qualifying, took home the inaugural CONCACAF Player of the Year award on the men's side, while US women's national team star Alex Morgan taking home the women's award, the federation announced Friday.
The awards were decided by an equally weighted vote between national team captains and coaches, media members and fans. Peralta beat out US men's national team standouts Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, who finished second and third, respectively.
Morgan (right) racked up six goals and four assists in 12 international apperaances in 2013 and helped guide the Portland Thorns in the inaugural NWSL title. She narrowly edged out fellow USWNT forward Abby Wambach, who broke the all-time international goalscoring record in June.
“Congratulations to all our winners and nominees who have made particularly special contributions to a fantastic year of football in the region,” said CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb said in a statement. “Their performances are an inspiration to the next generations of players, coaches and referees in CONCACAF.”
The US men did get recognition in some of the other categories up for vote, with USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard named Goalkeeper of the Year and newly re-signed head coach Jurgen Klinsmann taking home the Coach of the Year award after guiding the US to the 2014 World Cup in record-setting fashion.
Finally, Mexican referee Marco Antonio Rodríguez was named the region's Referee of the Year, and Mexico's Raúl Jiménez earned the Goal of the Year award for his stunning bicycle kick to win a vital World Cup qualifier against Panama in October (watch here).