Caroline from New Orleans, La.
Caroline is a hard worker on and off the field. As a club player for the Chicago Fire Juniors, she can play anywhere she is needed, but she especially likes playing midfield. She gives 100% until the referee blows the whistle. She does not get discouraged when the game does not turn out the way she had hoped and respects all players with great compassion. She is a team player; she wins as a team and loses as a team. Caroline volunteered to coach young 6-8 year olds how to play soccer over the summer. The children loved her and look up to her greatly. She has all A's in all honors classes, maintaining a 4.7 GPA as a freshman at Mount Carmel Academy. Caroline went through two knee surgeries due to soccer injuries, but that did not slow her down. The setback only made her stronger.
Vincente from Tennessee
Vincente shows great leadership as he is the captain of the US Youth Soccer ODP Tennessee team as well as his club team with Lobos Rush Premier. He shows great leadership by uplifting his teammates to higher levels, making everyone give 100% every training session. He trains five days out of the week and three of the five are double practices. What sets him from anyone else is his desire to get better every day and never cheat himself by giving maximum effort in every training session. Vincente has a great personality. You will never not see him without a smile on his face, and he is very humble and charismatic. He is by far coachable and pays attention to the little details. His speed of play is tremendous as he plays center midfield or left or right midfield. He is a player you can count on every match to make a difference in the game. He is a dominate left-footer but isn't afraid to have a go with his right, making him a diverse player. Vincente isn't just about soccer as he takes academics just as seriously. He earns all A's and has all advance classes.
Makayla from Elizabethtown, Ky.
Makayla is a selfless player who competes for both her club team and high school junior varsity squad. She plays wherever her club team needs her, and despite not being a trained goalkeeper, she has stepped up to be the main keeper for her team. A well-rounded player, she enjoys distributing the ball from the midfield and knows an assist is as valuable as a goal. Makayla is also a youth soccer referee and a straight-A student as an eighth-grader. She belongs to Green Club, Beta Club and volunteers with various organizations. She also recently participated as a buddy at her club’s US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Festival, which she loved. Makayla continues to work hard, both on and off the field, and has a passion for helping others.
Zack from Merriam, Kan.
Zack is a hard worker on and off the field. He has a passion for reading and giving to kids who may not have the same opportunities as he has been afforded. This year, he has found organization to which he can donate books. He has donated not only books, but clothes, furniture and other needed items. Academically, he was selected for the gifted program at the age of 6 and has scored above average in standardized testing. Zack has played soccer since he was 3 and was selected for US Youth Soccer ODP in Kansas at 9. He is a top striker for his club team with the ability to play any position. Zack displays leadership to go along with an outstanding balance of academics, athletics and service to his community.
Hannah from Kingsland, Ga.
Hannah is an active leader both on and off the soccer field. As the captain of her team’s defense, she has been instrumental in anchoring the back line after her team moved up to a select league this season. Her energy and positive influence is continuously on display, as she is regularly the first on the field and last off during practices. Additionally, her tactical presence was unmatched despite playing in an Under-17 Boys Select league. Off the field, Hannah maintains a 4.52 GPA while being an active member in her high school’s Junior ROTC program, and she regularly carves out spare time to volunteer for youth programs in Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. Her tireless commitment to bettering herself and all those around her serve as a model for personal and civic excellence.
Wyatt from East Bank, W.V.
Wyatt has always been very active in his community while taking on many volunteer and fundraising programs. He has raised money for Jump Rope for Hearts the last three years and finished strong last year with more than 150 jumps. He takes great pride is his position at school this year, where he walks the preschool children from the bus drop-off area to their class. Last year, he accomplished a mastery level of 4 on the West Virginia Educational Standards Test in the categories of reading and mathematics. Wyatt has also accomplished a perfect attendance for the first five years of his academic career and is very proud of this goal. On the soccer field, he always looks for players that are open to give them the opportunity to score and enjoys playing defense just as much as striker. He is a team player and enjoys making his teammates smile.
Olivia from Canal Fulton, Ohio
Olivia has been an enthusiastic and talented soccer player since she began playing the sport in kindergarten. She is an asset for her club soccer team and has shown outstanding character both on and off the field. Oliva maintains a 4.0 GPA in school through hard work in the classroom. She also volunteers to help with church mission trips and has also assisted at local nursing homes. A big challenge arose in the past year, when Olivia was diagnosed with Alopecia — a condition that leads to hair loss. Olivia is still learning to deal with the day-to-day reality of having no hair, but she continues to shine on and off the field while setting an example for others to follow.
Joshua from Flemington, N.J.
Over the past two years, Joshua — who plays for Lehigh Valley United — has collected more than 150 bags of food and raised money for the Flemington Food Pantry. After learning the highest demand for food comes in the summer months, Joshua has taken the initiative to gather donations — including 68 bags in one week this summer. The groceries and personal care products go to low-income families, which often include veterans, children and senior citizens. Each year, Joshua has asked a local store to donate bags, and he has personally drafted and printed more than 200 flyers to attach to the bags. He has also gone door to door to request donations and collected bags from willing households to deliver to the food bank.
Abby from Rock Hill, S.C.
Abby is a rising eighth grader and plays goalkeeper for her North Carolina club team. This past season, she helped her team with the US Youth Soccer North Carolina State Cup while allowing just a single goal. She then traveled to compete at the US Youth Soccer Region III Championships in June. Abby has been involved in US Youth Soccer ODP for three years and traveled to Sweden for the Gothia Cup International Tournament in July with a GPS Bayern-Munchen FC team, where they finished the tournament in third place out of 48 international teams. As a student, Abby maintains an “A” average and has won Academic Excellence Awards and an Outstanding Student in Science Award. She was also inducted into the Beta Club at school. She feels her highest honor yet is being invited to train at the U.S. Soccer Training Center in North Carolina as a 2003 goalkeeper. Abby always works hard at school and in training, and despite her success, maintains a very humble attitude.
Patrick from Millville, N.J.
Patrick is a quiet young man who speaks loudly on the field. As center midfielder for his team, he is a leader and commands the field by controlling the flow of the ball from defense to offense — setting up his offensive players every game to score. He is relied upon for his soccer knowledge, is a superb communicator during the game and always supports the efforts of his teammates without trying focus any attention on himself. Patrick is also a straight-A student, a middle school track and cross country runner, and a devoted brother. He enjoys a challenge in school and on the soccer field, and he meets both with success. Prior to entering his middle school, his elementary school teachers and staff voted him as 5th Grader of the Year for his academics, kindness and humility. He attends Next Gen USA and Sunday school, weekly. He was selected as a Young Olympian for US Youth Soccer ODP.
Jaxton from Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Jaxton has been the ultimate team player for her club team and the Cumberland Valley Middle School team. She has also played in US Youth Soccer ODP as a member of the Region I and Eastern Pennsylvania teams. Recently, she helped lead her club team to a regional tournament championship by scoring the deciding penalty kick after a double-overtime final. Jaxton traveled to England a part of the US Youth Soccer ODP Eastern Pennsylvania team and helped the side to an impressive 3-1 record against some of England's top girls programs. Off the field, she has made the honor roll four consecutive quarters — maintaining a 99 percent average while taking advanced classes. As part of her love for soccer and her desire to give back, she assists her sister's Under-10 team as an instructor and assistant coach. With Jaxton's strong work ethic, she hopes to one day play Division I soccer for an Ivy League school.
Nathaniel from Lafayette, Ind.
Nathaniel has been a key player in the midfield for his club and high school teams. His coaches cite his mental toughness, sportsmanship and agility as his top traits. This year, Nathaniel has been named to the US Youth Soccer ODP Indiana 1999 team, and as a freshman, he was awarded the most improved player award by his high school coaches. He started his academic career a year before his peers and has consistently achieved high academic success in his school’s excel program for gifted students. He began earning high school credits in seventh grade and college credits in ninth grade. Nathaniel was recently selected to participate in a highly selective honors science research class in the Purdue School of Nuclear Engineering. He also participates in National Honor Society, volunteers as a tutor at his school and occasionally assists his little brother’s soccer team.
Jordan from Bethel Park, Pa.
Jordan is a member of the US Youth Soccer ODP PA West 1999 team and has attend the US Youth Soccer ODP Region I camp for the past five years. She has captained her club team for four years while leading the side in assists five of six years. Jordan maintains a 4.3 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. In the winter, she coordinates a six-week futsal league for her entire club, and she has participated in trips to feed the homeless of Pittsburgh. Jordan is passionate about coaching soccer and has attended two NSCAA Conventions. She also has her U.S. Soccer ‘F’ License and is working to get her ‘E’ License this summer. Jordan is interested in becoming a doctor in sports medicine, so she can help athletes overcome injuries.
Justin from Northville, Mich.
There is a long list of accomplishments for Justin in his academic, athletic and community exploits. He has posted the highest GPA in his junior class of 300 students in multiple semesters while getting all As in AP and honors classes. And he received the lone Harvard Book Award in his school. On the field, he led his club to its first US Youth Soccer State Cup title in 20 years and helped his high school team win regionals for the first time in 19 years. Justin led both teams in points during the title runs. In the summer, he volunteers to work with kids in Detroit and helps with PBJ Ministries to make sandwiches for the homeless in the city. He has also passed out food and supplies during snow storms, and he does everything while managing his time between school, sports, family and friends.
Ella from Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Ella is a quiet, consistent, and strong player that lets her results do the talking. Off the field, she has earned her way onto the Principles Honor Roll three quarters in the row with perfect grades ever since starting middle school. She also knows how important it is to show up every single day and was awarded the perfect attendance award at her school. Ella’s passionate interest in sports inspired a recent essay she wrote at school that made it all the way to the principal’s office. The topic of her essay was “Why sixth graders should be allowed to play school sports," and it included research on how athletics help kids become better students. Ella is a top flight soccer player in Colorado and recently earned a spot in the newly formed US Youth Soccer ODP Colorado Mountain Region pool. She also helps out with her younger sister's Under-10 team and would even like to referee in the near future.
Ethan from Hopkinsville, Ky.
Ethan’s competitive nature and team-oriented approach make him the type of player who can help can team. He is an offensive center midfielder who looks to create scoring opportunities for teammates, which helped him lead Kentucky with 32 assists in 2015 to go along with 14 goals. He recently traveled to Holland with the US Youth Soccer ODP Kentucky team to tour and train in the Netherlands. Ethan’s work ethic carries over to the classroom, where he holds a 4.0 GPA. In addition to his studies, he takes part in several extracurricular activities at school, including the 4-H Club, Beta Club and National Honor Society. He is also a student of the local Youth Leadership team, which provided opportunities to experience how city and private businesses operate. In addition to his clubs at school, Ethan has completed several mission projects as a member of his church youth group.
Emma from Mansfield Center, Conn.
Emma is an outstanding student-athlete who is always trying to make a difference on and off the field. She has attended the leadership club at her school, and she always strives to be a positive role model for her peers. Emma is constantly practicing soccer, whether it is at her club practice or just working with the soccer ball on her own. At just 10 years old, she makes personal goals for herself and ways she can contribute to her team. Emma also enjoys helping younger players while at practice. She hopes to continue playing soccer into adulthood, and her biggest dream is to be a part of the U.S. Women’s National Team. Emma and her family are also volunteers with American Lab Rescue, in which they foster dogs until they find a forever home. Emma takes pride in helping with training and socializing their foster dog.
Xander from Bernville, Pa.
Xander has a passion for the sport of soccer and a desire to never give up. He currently plays in the Under-9 and Under-10 age group — after being one of three U-9 players asked to play up on the undermanned U-10 team. He enjoys the challenge and handled the transition well by scoring four goals in his first U-10 game. Xander also excels in the classroom, where he continues to get all As and Bs. His teachers have referred to him as a role model in school, and he helps out with a peer support group. After losing a brother to Leukemia, Xander has become involved in Penn State’s THON — a student-run philanthropy dedicated to helping families affected by childhood cancer. During THON 2016, Xander joined the Penn State women’s soccer team on stage during the dance competition portion of the pep rally, allowing him to combine his enthusiasm for soccer and giving to the community.
Cassidy from Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Cassidy is a consistent player who keep a team-first mentality whenever she steps on the field. She sets personal goals that she aims to achieve while also making sure to keep the spirits high in all of her teammates, especially during difficult times. In addition to playing soccer, Cassidy is also involved in competitive karate and is an active member of the Future Business Leaders of America program at her school, which allows her to give back to the community. Over the holiday season, she took the initiative to meet with her school principal and set up “Teens for Jeans,” which collects jeans within her entire school to provide to the homeless. In addition to her volunteer efforts, Cassidy has maintained straight As for her entire school career — providing further evidence to the dedication and sense of responsibility she adopted from playing soccer.
Sean from Puyallup, Wash.
Sean is a leader at school, in the community and on the soccer field. He plays for Washington Premier SC and was a goalkeeper for the Washington 99 team at the 2016 US Youth Soccer ODP Championships. For both his club and US Youth Soccer ODP teams, Sean is a top player and leader on the field. At his school, he is in the AP program and also part of the Mission Trek Program, which allows kids to spend their weekends volunteering in the community. Sean is a member of several other organizations and works with his local TOPSoccer program, as well. In all, he served more than 300 community service hours last year. Sean continues to make an impact in the community to honor his father, who he lost to cancer when he was in second grade, and shows his dedication in the classroom, through volunteer programs and on the soccer field.
Mary Kathryn from Charleston, S.C.
Mary Kathryn, “MK,” brings positivity and humor to her soccer team while leading by example both on and off the field. She is a dedicated and versatile player who has the ability to play anywhere on the field. As a member of the US Youth Soccer ODP, MK threatens defenders as a forward, winger and attacking midfielder. She excels academically and has maintained all A’s this year while being heavily involved in extracurricular activities. MK dons several hats at her school, where she is a news anchor, safety patrol leader, flute player, member of the chorus and member of the running club. She also enjoys playing soccer in her neighborhood and helps to spread the love of the game to kids on her street. She has an inner drive and enthusiasm that helps inspire others to reach their full potential.
Cameron from Marietta, Ga.
Cameron has been playing soccer since he was 5 years old, when he became interested in the game through a friend. The two are still playing together, and Cameron shows great sportsmanship while also making impactful plays on the back line to help their Under-12 team succeed. Cameron also offers great support to his brother, Jordan, who has a disorder that causes seizers. Cameron helps his brother by volunteering most Sundays with the local US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program, which allows players with disabilities to enjoy the game. Cameron, a sixth-grader, is the youngest volunteer, and he loves to play goalie while the TOPSoccer players score on him. In school, Cameron consistently makes the Principal’s List with straight-As and works hard to overcome any personal obstacles along the way.
Skyler from New Fairfield, Conn.
Skyler shows great leadership on and off the field. She is a dedicated player, and she was awarded the Players’ Player honor by her teammates in the fall of 2015. In helping her team to the championship in a recent tournament, Skyler was a key member of the defense while also leading her team in assists. When not playing soccer, Skyler worked at the Ocean City, Md., Branch Library during the summer. She became the youngest volunteer ever accepted at the library and proved to be so valuable that she was asked to return the next summer. Her extracurricular activities do not slow her down in the classroom. As a sixth grader, she is at the top of her class, reads at a 12-plus grade level and consistently scores in the 95-99 percentile in math and standardized tests. Skyler is level headed and focused on her goals, and she is very humble and always pushes herself to be the best that she can be.
DJ from San Diego, Calif.
DJ makes an impact on the field for his club team at Albion SC, his school team and as a member of the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program. He displays perseverance, technical ability, aggressiveness and vision while playing soccer, and he also promotes teamwork and great sportsmanship both on and off the field. DJ plays several different positions, including goalkeeper, and will line up wherever his coach asks in any given game. Off the field, he has joined his family in helping package canned good for the homeless; donated clothing, shoes and other items to disabled veterans; and delivered food for the elderly and disabled this past Thanksgiving. DJ is also competitive in school and takes pride in being in the top of his class. He makes sure to finish his schoolwork in a timely manner before turning his focus to soccer.