Each month, we will be recognizing one male and one female US Youth Soccer Player of the Month, 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
Emily from Port Orange, Fla.
Emily started playing club soccer when she was 11 years old and has been the goalkeeper with the same group of girls up through her 19U season. Despite being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 5, Emily has not slowed down at all and keeps a positive attitude on and off the field. In addition to her soccer training, she volunteers to help younger keepers and has obtained her USSF ‘F’ Coaching License. She hopes to play in college and attend veterinary school — something she prepped for this summer while shadowing at a local vet clinic. Emily also volunteers for Oceans of Hope, where she helps people with severe disabilities to surf and enjoy the water. She is also an aid for her school’s special needs class and helps the students compete in the Special Olympics. Emily continues to look past her own adversity to be a positive influence on the soccer field and in her community.
Male Player of the Month
Gianluca from Salisbury, Md.
Gianluca has played soccer since he was 5 years old, and he currently serves as a co-captain for his 14U club team. He is a well-rounded midfielder who always strives to lead his team in the right direction. He has helped his team to successful finishes and has international soccer experience, having played games in England and having trained with the 13U Scotland National team. Gianluca is a proud National Junior Honor Society member, and he has participated in community service activities through the organization. He is a trumpet player in his school band, and he has also won multiple awards in chess and math in Wicomico County. In the classroom, Gianluca has straight A's and a 4.0 GPA. In the past, he was also awarded the citizenship award. He enjoys staying involved in soccer by watching games on television or playing the FIFA video game with his friends.