Each month, we will be recognizing one male and one female US Youth Soccer Player of the Month, presented by Olive Garden, whose accomplishments on and off the field stick out among the rest.
The players who are selected will represent a balance of athletic achievement, sportsmanship and citizenship.
Examples of these athletes' characteristics include:
- Impactful or notable in-game performance
- Displays good sportsmanship and the promotion of teamwork
- Community service
- Superior academic achievement
- Overcoming personal obstacles
While great performances in the game of soccer are appreciated, it's important to note that accomplishments off the field are valued just as much as those achieved on the field.
This month's honorees are...
Female Player of the Month
Erica from Tallahassee, Fla.
Erica is soccer player with determination, perseverance and inspiring attitude who never gives up. She is the starting center forward on her club team and scored 22 goals for her rec team this past winter. Erica displays a fierce love for soccer and provides motivation for others while playing as being a below-the-knee left leg amputee. Her resolve on the field is matched in her academic pursuits, as she finished third in the State of Florida History Fair with a report on Paralympic Games founder Ludwig Guttman. She is volunteering this summer at a horse camp for children with disabilities and has been involved with assisting the homeless through school programs, in addition to working with services that do offshore cleanup, help oyster beds and adopt sea turtles. She also developed the idea to send culturally accurate dolls with limb loss to children in Haiti through her church.
Male Player of the Month
Liam from Sugarland, Texas
Liam has been playing soccer since he was 10 years old and recently was selected for the 2015 US Youth Soccer ODP South Texas State Pool for his 2000 age group. He will attend the Regional Camp this summer in Alabama and has also been invited to play for a top club in Houston. In the classroom, Liam is an A-student and an active member of the junior honor society. He enjoys science and history and finished second in his school’s science fair. Liam also has a strong record of community service, such as helping with beach cleanups and food banks. His parents’ jobs have required Liam to move several times, but he has shown the ability to rapidly adjust to new places, cultures and teammates with a consistently positive attitude. His passion on the field and behaviors set a great example for his peers.