Wagner Named Finalist for U.S. Soccer Athlete of Year

Wagner Named Finalist for U.S. Soccer Athlete of Year

Dec. 13, 2002

CHICAGO - Santa Clara University women's soccer All-American Aly Wagner has been named one of seven finalists for U.S. Soccer's Chevy Female Athlete of the Year. She is the only nominee that played at the NCAA level this past season, joining six WUSA and National Team veterans. Former Bronco Danielle Slaton is also a finalist.

Fans can vote for Wagner by Clicking Here. Online votes will be tallied and will be equivalent to 50 percent of the total votes. As in years past, 100 votes will be compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives. Ballots will be accepted until Monday, January 6, 2003, at which time the votes will be tallied. U.S. Soccer, in conjunction with Chevrolet, will then announce the winners of the four awards at separate press conferences in January.

Wagner won the 2000 Chevy Young Female Athlete of the Year award and just yesterday, received the 2002 MAC Hermann Trophy. A 2001 Honda Award winner, she is a finalist again this season as well.

"We're honored to once again be involved with the Athlete of the Year awards," said Brian Boyd, Chevrolet brand promotional manager. "This year, the winner will have her choice of a Chevy TrailBlazer or Chevy Impala. Chevy has a long history of being there, supporting aspiring athletes and our support of U.S. Soccer is one more example of this."

U.S. Soccer's Chevy Female Athlete of the Year awards is the oldest and most prestigious award of its type, dating back to 1985. The finalists were nominated on the basis of: a) competing and excelling at the highest level during the calendar year, b) exhibiting decorum on and off the field which reflects well on U.S. Soccer, and c) contributing toward the growth, development, credibility and popularization of soccer in the United States.

Three players have won back-to-back Female Athlete of the Year awards. Besides Tiffeny Milbrett's current two-year streak from 2000 and 2001, living legend Michelle Akers won the award in 1990 and 1991 and world leading scorer Mia Hamm claimed the top prize an unprecedented five consecutive years from 1994-1998.

Chevrolet, the largest division of General Motors Corporation, has been a proud sponsor of U.S. Soccer, the U.S. Youth Soccer Association and state soccer associations since 1997. Listed below are the seven finalists, with mini-bios including 2002 highlights for each player attached.

Chevy Female Athlete of the Year Candidates

Mia Hamm - F - WNT / Washington Freedom (WUSA)
Shannon MacMillan - M/F - WNT / San Diego Spirit (WUSA)
Tiffeny Milbrett - F - WNT / New York Power (WUSA)
Cindy Parlow - F - WNT / Atlanta Beat (WUSA)
Danielle Slaton - D - WNT / Carolina Courage (WUSA)
Briana Scurry - GK - WNT / Atlanta Beat (WUSA)
Aly Wagner - M - WNT / Santa Clara (NCAA)

Mia Hamm - Forward - WNT / Washington (D.C.) Freedom (WUSA)
Although injured for the first half of the year, Mia made a dynamic comeback and posted incredible numbers for her limited time on the field ... Despite appearing in just nine matches for less than 500 minutes, she finished fourth on the team in scoring with seven goals and five assists for 19 points ... Scored the game-winning "golden goal" in the USA's 2-1 overtime win over Canada at the 2002 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup, which was the fifth consecutive regional title for the U.S women ... Scored five goals for the USA in the month of September alone, notching a hat trick along with three assists to fuel a 8-2 rout of Scotland, and adding two goals in a 5-1 win over Russia in the first game of the 2002 Nike U.S. Women's Cup ... Was later named Tournament MVP for leading the U.S. to a record eighth consecutive U.S. Women's Cup title ... Increased her world-record goal total to a whopping 136 scores in 228 matches ... Was second in scoring for the Washington Freedom with eight goals and six assists for 22 points while only playing in 11 games as she helped lead the Freedom to the WUSA final ... Was recently nominated for 2002 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award, which she won last year ... Won an unprecedented five consecutive Chevy Female Athlete of the Year Awards from 1994-98.

Shannon MacMillan - Forward - WNT / San Diego Spirit (WUSA)
One of the U.S. Women's National Team's most improved players over the past few years, MacMillan had a breakout scoring year for the U.S. in 2002 ... Led the high-scoring U.S. team with an impressive 17 goals and three assists for 37 points ... Mac scored in six of the team's first eight matches this year, kicking off the year with a hat trick and three assists against Mexico on Jan. 12 ... Scored seven of the team's eight goals at the prestigious 2002 Algarve Cup in Portugal, including her second hat trick of the year in a 3-2 win over Denmark ... Scored four goals in the 2002 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup, second to only Milbrett (7) and Parlow (5) ... Moved into 6th place on the all-time scoring lists with 52 goals and 43 assists for 147 points in 145 career caps ... Led the San Diego Spirit in scoring for the second consecutive year, notching five goals and eight assists for 18 points.

Tiffeny Milbrett - Forward - WNT / New York Power (WUSA)
After establishing herself as one of the top players in the world over the past few years, Milbrett started the year slow but exploded toward the end to play a major role in the U.S. qualifying for the 2003 Women's World Cup ... Finished tied for second on the team in scoring with nine goals to go along with six assists for 24 points ... Seven of those nine goals came in the 2002 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup, for which she was named Tournament MVP ... Tied a WNT record with five goals in one game, including a natural hat trick in the first nine minutes, in a 9-0 win over Panama on Nov. 2, for which she is nominated for Best Game Performance (Player) ... Scored the first goal in the 2-1 overtime win over Canada in the Women's Gold Cup final, which is nominated for Best U.S. Goal ... Led the New York Power in scoring for the second consecutive year and was eighth in the league in points with 28 on 10 goals and eight assists ... Became the third U.S. women's player to win consecutive U.S. Soccer / Chevy Female Athlete of the Year awards when she was honored last year and in 2000.

Cindy Parlow - Forward - WNT / Atlanta Beat (WUSA)
Parlow continues to be a force and key target player in the U.S. Women's National Team attack ... She finished 2002 tied for second on the team in scoring with 11 goals and two assists for 24 points ... At just 24 years of age, Parlow has already run her caps and goals total to 115 and 57, moving her into sixth place on the all-time goal-scoring list ... Scored six goals across four consecutive games, sandwiched by two-goal games on July 21 (a 4-0 win over Norway) and Oct. 2 (a 4-0 win over Australia) ... Scored a total of five goals in the 2002 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup, including a hat trick in the 7-0 semi-final win over Costa Rica that earned the U.S. a berth in the 2003 Women's World Cup ... Was third on the Atlanta Beat in scoring with five goals and four assists for 14 points.

Briana Scurry - Goalkeeper - WNT / Atlanta Beat (WUSA)
After almost a two-year absence from the Women's National Team, Scurry has returned to the fold to make a claim for starting spot in goal for the 2003 Women's World Cup ... Made her triumphant return in a 4-0 win over Norway in front of a hometown crowd in Blaine, Minnesota on July 21 ... Allowed just two goals in eight matches in 2002, recording three shutouts and a 0.30 Goals Against Average on the year ... Posted an undefeated record of 7-0-0 in 2002, upping her all-time record win total to 86 ... Was the team's first-choice 'keeper in both the 2002 Nike U.S. Women's Cup ... With eight appearances in 2002, increased her all-time record cap total to 111 ... Led the Atlanta Beat to the playoffs for the second consecutive year ... Had a 9-8-1 record and 1.33 GAA for the Beat, as well as six shutouts ... Was first in the WUSA in catch-punches with 95 and fifth in saves with 80.

Danielle Slaton - Defender - WNT / Carolina Courage (WUSA)
At just 22 years old, Slaton has cemented her spot on the U.S. back line and could be a starter at left back or in the central defense for years to come ... After missing all of 2001 with a knee injury, Slaton returned to the WNT to appear in 11 matches in 2002 ... Has already accumulated 35 career caps for the USA ... In just her first year in the WUSA, she earned 2002 Defender of the Year honors and was also one of three finalists for the Rookie of the Year award ... As this year's top draft pick, she helped the Carolina Courage complete a worst-to-first turnaround by winning the regular season title and claiming the 2002 WUSA title over the Washington Freedom ... Although a defender, she was fourth on the team in scoring with four goals and shots on goal with 24 ... Was an automatic starter in her first year as a pro, appearing in 18 of the team's 21 games.

Aly Wagner - Midfielder - WNT / Santa Clara (NCAA Div. I)
After missing 2001 with a series of leg injuries, Wagner has finally found a regular spot on the U.S. Women's National Team ... Has emerged as arguably the best playmaker on the U.S. Women's National Team, leading the team with 11 assists ... Also scored three goals in 2002, finishing fifth on the team in scoring with 17 points ... Like Slaton, she has over 30 caps (32) by the age of 22 ... Led Santa Clara to the NCAA Div. 1 title game for the second consecutive year, but the Lady Broncos fell short in their back-to-back championship bid ... As a senior, she scored nine goals and had nine assists while playing in just 18 of her team's 26 games due to national team duty... Is expected to be the top pick in the 2003 WUSA Draft ... Won the 2000 Chevy Young Female Athlete of the Year award.