FRISCO, Texas (August 16, 2022) – US Youth Soccer (USYS) announced today Kieley Whittaker and Daniel Karlen as the recipients of the 14th annual US Youth Soccer William J. “Billy” Goaziou Scholarships.
Goaziou’s dedication to growing the sport is remembered each year as USYS honors two individuals with a one-year scholarship in the amount of $1,250. The selection process, based on community service and giving back to the game, awards the scholarship to one male and one female attending a post-secondary educational institution for the first time.
Karlen, this year’s male recipient, is from Louisville, Kentucky, and has enjoyed a fruitful career on the field that’s just getting started. He was recently honored as the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s (KHSAA) 2021-22 Student-Athlete of the Year during his last year at Trinity High School. Karlen was a district champion each year of his high school career and also won the 2019 Kentucky State Cup with his then-club team, Javanon FC.
Karlen’s success at Trinity High School included excellence on the pitch and in the classroom. He is a member of the National Honor Society and was selected to the KHSAA Academic All-State first team every year while graduating with a 3.96 GPA. He will further his education in the Honors College at Anderson University, where he will be studying mechanical engineering while continuing his playing career.
Karlen also realized the difference he would be able to make in his local communities and sought to better them the best he could. Karlen dedicated 125 hours of his time each school year to a variety of organizations, including the Special Olympics, CrossRoads Missions, and Lyndon Woods Nursing Home, among others.
Additionally, Karlen has been a certified United States Soccer Federation (USSF) referee for more than five years and was selected as the 2021 Kentucky Young Male Referee of the Year – while also becoming a certified USSF Grassroots Coach.
Whittaker, this year’s female recipient, is from Orlando, Florida, and has embraced the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others while finding success in all avenues of life. She was a two-time district champion as a member of the women’s soccer team at William R. Boone High School and a vital member of the team as a three-year captain. Whittaker also played competitively for the South Orlando Soccer Club (SOSC) for seven years.
She is a member of the English, Science, and Spanish National Honor Societies, in addition to the National Honor Society and National Academy of Finance, and graduated William R. Boone High School with a 3.80 GPA. Whittaker was also involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and First Presbyterian Church.
Whittaker’s relationship with the SOSC helped launch one of her more impressive off-field contributions, stemming back to her gift to the game. In 2020, Whittaker decided to launch a USYS TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) program at the club and has seen its impact on the community and the lives of those involved, with more than 100 players and 150 buddies joining the effort.
Whittaker will further her education and continue making an impact on the lives of others at Florida State University.
About the William J. “Billy” Goaziou Scholarship
The William J. “Billy” Goaziou Scholarship was created to honor Goaziou’s involvement in soccer. In an illustrious and lengthy career that spanned more than 25 years, Goaziou served as treasurer of US Youth Soccer and the Florida Youth Soccer Association and was also chairman of both the USYS Budget and Olympic Development Program Committees. Goaziou also took office as the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Treasurer and was re-elected four times.
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer)
US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sport organization in the country, is on a mission to provide world-class support, resources, and leadership, helping every member fulfill their goals on and off the field of play. US Youth Soccer registers nearly 2.5 million players annually. Through its programming, resources and leadership, US Youth Soccer is advancing the game for its 54 Member State Associations, 10,000 clubs and leagues and nearly 1 million administrators, coaches, and volunteers. US Youth Soccer connects families and communities to the power of sports and its shared love of soccer. US Youth Soccer provides a path for every player, offering programs that provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game.