D.C. United academy product Ian Harkes won the 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy, the award recognizing NCAA Division I soccer's top player, in a ceremony at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Friday night.
The son of former United great and longtime US national team star John Harkes, Ian captained Wake Forest University to the 2016 College Cup final, where the Demon Deacons lost the national championship to Stanford in a nail-biting penalty-kick shootout at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
The Hermann Trophy is awarded via a vote among NCAA Division I coaches in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Friday's event also featured West Virginia University defender and Canadian women's national teamer Kadeisha Buchanan winning the 2016 women's award.
A two-way central midfielder, Harkes scored the game-winning goal in double overtime of Wake's College Cup semifinal win over Denver, capping a stellar season in which he scored five goals and four assists in 23 games as the Demon Deacons rolled to a 19-3-3 overall record. He has already been honored as the Atlantic Coast Conference's midfielder of the year, MVP of the ACC tournament and the most outstanding offensive player in the NCAA tournament.
John Harkes also won college soccer's top award, earning MAC Player of the Year honors back in 1987 as a star midfielder for the University of Virginia. He and Ian are the first father-son duo to be so honored. Ian's mother Cindi was also a star player at Virginia and is a member of the Virginia-D.C. Soccer Hall of Fame.
The Washington Post reported last month that D.C. United have extended a Homegrown contract offer to Ian Harkes, and on Friday claimed that the two sides remain in negotiations.
Many past Hermann Trophy winners have gone on to successful MLS careers, including active players Jordan Morris, Patrick Mullins (Maryland, 2012 and 2013) Andrew Wenger (Duke, 2011), Darlington Nagbe (Akron, 2010), Teal Bunbury (Akron, 2009) and Chris Wingert (St. John's, 2003), as well as current New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps (Duke, 1998).