United States captain Michael Bradley has won U.S. Soccer’s male athlete of the year award for the first time.
U.S. Soccer announced Toronto FC midfielder Bradley as the winner of the award on Tuesday night. The federation collected votes from players who earned a cap in 2015, technical staffers from the national team and youth national teams, MLS and NASL coaches, plus select former players, administrators and media members.
Bradley (43 percent of tabulated votes) edged out Fabian Johnson (33 percent) and Clint Dempsey (20 percent) for the award, while Brad Guzan and DeAndre Yedlin also featured on the five-man shortlist.
“It’s an honor to be selected amongst this group of players,” Bradley said in a statement. “This has been a challenging year for our team, yet we continue to understand the opportunity we have to represent the United States and know how important it is that we give everything we have every time we step on the field. That’s what means the most to me, and at the same time I certainly appreciate this recognition.”
Bradley led the Americans in assists (6) and minutes (1668) this year and reached 100 caps for his national team career. The 28-year-old midfielder assumed the captaincy from Dempsey prior to the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer and claimed man of the match honors in the victories over Germany and Netherlands.
In addition to his national team pursuits, Bradley also scored five goals in 28 appearances for TFC as the Reds made the MLS postseason for the first time in club history.