U.S. Soccer announced that Christian Pulisic as the winner of the federation’s 2019 Male Athlete of the Year on Thursday, revealing the news on ESPN’s SportsCenter. It’s the second such honor in the past three years for the US men’s national team star.
Already the youngest to earn the award when he first won in 2017, Pulisic also becomes the youngest to win it for a second time (21 years, 85 days), besting Landon Donovan (22 years, 293 days) when he won in 2004. He’s the seventh player in USMNT history to win Male Athlete of the Year at least twice, joining Donovan (four), Clint Dempsey and Kasey Keller (three), Jozy Altidore, Marcelo Balboa and Tim Howard (two).
Pulisic scored five goals and three assists for the USMNT in 2019, with 3g/3a and a Best XI nod in the Gold Cup as he led the squad to the tournament final, where they fell to Mexico in a tight 1-0 result. The Hershey, Pennsylvania native also completed a blockbuster transfer move from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea, setting a new record for highest transfer fee ever paid for a US player.
Thus far he’s scored five goals and four assists for his new club, helping the Blues advance to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League and climb to fourth place in the English Premier League table at present. After his January transfer, he was loaned back to Dortmund to finish the 2018-19 season with BVB, where he contributed three goals and two assists for the Bundesliga contenders.
Votes for U.S. Soccer Player of the Year awards were collected from respective national team coaches, national team players who earned a cap in 2019, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer’s Athletes’ Council, NWSL head coaches for the USWNT portion, MLS and USL head coaches for the USMNT portion, select media members and former players and administrators.